Aquatic step training is an excellent extension of shallow water
training because the participant may easily take movements from their
regular programs and progress to an up and down movement (more
intensity) without having to travel the movement across the pool and
back. This makes for not only a unique training experience but provides
options to train the body more effectively.
Who can benefit?
All ages, fitness levels and skills can benefit with this type of
aquatic work out. For example: high intensity sports conditioning
movements as well as lower level (but more functional) activities of
daily living may be uniquely programmed. The added challenges of
increased coordination, added range of motion and testing balance are
just a few more reasons to try the aquatic step.
Step training in the water allows personal training and specialized
rehabilitation clients as well as active group exercise classes to
change water depths by altering the height of their movements on the
step. These moves also provide functional stair stepping patterns. Each
participant uses their own �marked space� (the step) to travel up and
down at their own speed with each movement or pattern.
The new Aquafit step has a platform of 26 inches long and 14 inches
wide or the equivalent 68 cm long and 35 cm wide. This new step may be
used on land or in the water and comes with replacement feet to add
traction to the pool bottom. This step weighs 35 lbs to secure its
position in the water. The step height is 6 inches or 14 centimeters
with an option to add ONE 1/2 inch or 4.5 centimeter riser. The step
does need to be utilized on a flat pool surface and ideally the pools
surface should not be slippery tile or sloped wave pools. Generally
speaking, to provide ideal mobility and use of the step, about six
square feet (1.63 meters ) of space is required between participants.
That way they may easily move around and up and over the step.
Tips for a Successful Step Program
Step may be used as a full class OR a part of a class
Proper depth is when the stepper is standing on top of the step (arms at the side) and water depth is between forearm and wrist.
When stepping, the stepper should plant the full foot on the step
platform . In doing so the calve muscles are actively stretched and
released of muscular tension.
Shoes & mitts are key for safety, balance and training proper posture.
Cue the arms throughout the program. Sculling and mitts are especially important to help and support balance and good posture.
Add a Regular Body Check or Posture Check throughout the program
The stepper may guide the step to the bottom of the pool with their
foot. Similarly the step may be taken out at the end of the program by
the hooking the foot under the step.
Be sure to place the step on the bottom of the pool . The pool bottom must be level and not too slippery.
The instructor is responsible for creating space & cohesion with
the group. Take the time a the beginning of a program to orient
everyone and make sure that each stepper has the correct water depth and
BE sure to utilize all of the working positions not just rebound.(suspended, extended, neutral, modified rebound)
The instructor must initially demonstrate the moves from the deck so
that everyone understands them. On deck, the instructor needs to
utilize low impact movements and if the step is too difficult for the
instructor they should find a mat to simulate the step movements.
(different color than the regular deck mat).
Keep the aquatic stepping movements simple. Intensity is achieved by doing more repetitions not more choreography or complexity.
Develop cardio sets on and off the step. Add creative patterns. Cueing is important to maintain the flow of the group
Allow everyone to go at their own pace or personal best
Always offer a 5-10 minute warm up and orientation on and off the step.
After a good warm up and preparation, provided intervals of CV, muscle, balance, function, flexibility, FUN sets.
Check RPE (rate of perceived exertion) for both cardiovascular & muscle sets.
Enjoy Fun & Functional Movements!
Enjoy and Step up your programs to the next level.
Check out the New Aquatic Step
DVD037 - Step Splash
New DVD085 Aquatic Step