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Aquatic Fitness Step Training

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.

Step Information:

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 spacing.

  • 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

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