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Working with Two Aqua Fitness Noodles

 

Often at a facility there is limited variety in aquatic equipment; however, noodles seemto be main stream in most pools.  

So try two noodles to take the intensity and challenge up a notch!

From exercise science we have learned that  the more ways the  muscles and the body can move or moving  in as many different body positions and strengthening muscles inas many ways as possible helps to improve athletic performance.

There are different types of noodles (with more or less buoyancy or resistance) so start these exercises with less resistive noodles and progress to the super closed cell noodle. 

   Always screen participants formuscular-skeletal problems, especially for painful backs and/or painful shoulders.

   If they are experiencing pain or discomfort - change the noodle position or modify to a single noodle exercise.

   If someone has a bad back,experiment with different types of noodles and what body position feels best.
Body composition will greatly change balance in the water especially when amplified by a noodle let alone two noodles.

   Assume double noodling is an advanced challenge exercise and not for all people coming to water exercise programs - but there are many people who really want to work more intense.

   Always be ready to provide a modification and coach the person to go at their own pace and personal best. 

 Noodles add fun, variety and you may easily train all components of fitness including

 

     cardiovascular,

     muscular strength,

     flexibility

     posture

     balance

     agility

     ADLs and function

 

Ideally if an instructor is using the noodle in a class, they should try to flow all noodle exercises together rather than picking the noodle up and putting the noodle away.

Keeping good flow to a program is important so thatthey clients gain the most benefits in the least amount of time. When changingfrom one noodle to two noodles & allow the participants enough time to have awater break or to get their noodles or body position. 

 

If your facility doesn]t have enough noodles for everyone to have 2 noodles per person,  an instructor may have half of the class perform different exercises without a noodle while the other half works with the two noodle exercises. This may help them to feel the difference and enjoy the variety of exercise options. To keep this program idea flowing  have  everyone have designated partners who they are sharing the noodles with. This often creates a nice social aspect to theprogram too!

 

There are really infinite ideas for double noodles exercises. Be sure to try all exercises out in the water PRIOR to teaching or deliveringnew ideas to the group. Often an exercise must be cued differently to be effectively and properly introduced.

 

Here are some idea for a successful program:

�   Start in shallow water, learn suspended (off the bottom contact), then progress to deep water depth.

�   Use arms mostly in the water to assist or resist balance and travel of the movements.

�   Avoid moves that impinge shoulders such as holding the noodle in front of the body OR straight out to the side of the body ( at shoulder height).

�   Always provide modifications, tips and add overloads progressively.

�   Warm up thoroughly, relax shoulders and neck area prior to performing strength exercises with noodles.

�   Utilize full range of motion forexercise. Small range and fast ranges are ballistic in nature to the muscles.

�   Always avoid locking the jointsespecially the elbows and the knees.

�   Avoid hyper-flexing  wrists or gripping of the noodle.

�   Allow everybody to go at their ownpace or speed and perform as many repetitions as they feel comfortable andsuccessful doing

�   Emphasize working the weaker musculature and balancing musculature (walk backward, focus sets).

�   Emphasize a variety of body positions & noodle positions.

�   Resist buoyancy and control movements for muscular conditioning work and benefit.

�   Provide intervals of work and rest  or easy active intervals (Note that everychange of position is additional work to the body.)

�   Allow time to change positions.

�   Always monitor intensity, ask:  "How are you doing?"   "Do you feel the work for CV or muscular specific?"

�   Use the noodle exercises to great for group patterns and partner work, which will build healthy team spirit. 


WORKING WITH TWO NOODLES FOR UPPER BODY STRENGTH

Forthe advanced noodle enthusiast working with two noodles can provide both challenge and lots of fun.


LATISSIMUS DORSI PULL-DOWN

If you ever wanted to be a gymnast the water is a great place to practice the craft.  Using one noodle in each hand pretend that you are on the parallel bars and start in an Ironman typeexercise.  Be sure to control the noodles to protect your shoulders (the hands do not go higher than the shoulders). Tryto keep the hands under the water and  when the arms are extended out to the side-pull both arms down to engage the back muscles.
Control the ascent. 
 

Cross Country SKI ( in shallow ordeep water)

Keepa noodle in each hand and change to a X-country ski like move. This is anexcellent way to progress the basic move to target advanced cardio and strengthbecause of the additional drag of the noodles.
You should  feel the greatest resistance in the arms but because the legs are moving rhythmically (long levers) the cardiovascular system is trained.
Be sure to swing the arms back towards the hips (not out) sothat the shoulders stay in good alignment. This will efficiently  target the posterior deltoids a muchneglected muscle group but so important to balance when walking on land.
 

NOODLE TRICEPS DIPS

Nowwith a noodle in each hand push each down into the water. Extending the elbowengages the muscles of the back of the upper arm (the triceps).

Feel the extraresistance using two noodles Does one arm feel stronger? Try to control theupward ascent for more challenge and benefits.
Keep the legs cycling for someadditional cardiovascular work. 
 

OBLIQUE PENDULUM  EXERCISE

Witha noodle in each hand control the body side to center then to the other side. Think of the body controlling down and through the hands of a imaginary clock (9o'clock, 8, 7,6,5,4,and 3 o'clock ),
Keep the knees together in a prayer position ( as if you are kneeling) . Keeping the knees bent will take undue stress off the spine.   
Feel the muscle work through the internal obliques and core stabilizing muscles of the abdominals.
Keep the elbows soft to take the stress off the shoulders and pull the arms down towards the ankle as you change sides to provide relief on the shoulders and more challenge for the exercise.

 

ADVANCED CHALLENGE EXERCISES

 

STANDING ON TWO NOODLES:

The big challenge here is to get up and stay up on both noodles. On leg is on one noodle while the other leg is on the other noodle.
This is much like a stairmaster only there is advanced dynamic balance challenge as the noodles try to take you off-balance.   
Just staying on the noodles requires superior balance. See how long  you may march on the noodles - one minute -two minutes is great core challenge!
Try - the exercise is  fun and really FUNctional.
  

CROSS COUNTRY SKI

Standingon the noodles (one on each foot), now try longer levers with a cross country ski move. 
The secret here is to coordinate the legs to work in exact opposition for length.
Be sure the arms move to in opposition too.  
You will soon find out if one leg is stronger than the other.
 

WaterART has lots of DVDs with great noodle exercises =but a must for all libraries is

 DVD003- Beginner Muscles & Noodles DVD

DVD004- Intermediate Muscles & Noodles DVD

DVD024- Kids Fitness Instructor DVD

DVD034- Shallow H20 Noodles

DVD035- Deep H20 Noodles ( lots of double noodle exercises)

DVD036- Arthritis Noodles

DVD039- Awesome Abdominals

DVD065 -Mindful Movement (Tai Chi, Yoga, Pilates)

DVD072- Shallow H20 Splash with Noodles

DVD077- Advanced Noodle Challenge

DVD078-Entry Level Programming for Non Swimmer to Water Exercise 

 

To Download (PDF) Article click here

    
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