Balls are probably one of the easiest pieces of equipment to import
into a water class. Now try the new "Water Wildlife" Splash Balls to
encourage your participants to enjoy their workout with a child's
enthusiasm. These are great for hand exercises which are often
overlooked in a program because we wear aquatic mitts for most programs.
There are two styles of splash balls - round and the animal creatures.
These "critters" provide an opportunity to work with different shaped
objects in the water in place of working with the regular round shaped
squish balls. Each shape will feel different to the touch and this can
add challenge and variety to your program. You can mix and match shapes
to work with one or more during a program.
As with the regular small squish balls (sometimes called splash bombs), these are suitable for all ages and abilities and may be incorporated into many programs.
an active kids program,
for training sports enthusiasts,
for functional movement for people with arthritis or sessions for older adults.
and balls may even be used as a means to attract new participants to your class.
Splash Balls will provide fun and functional movement while keeping the
body moving through the water. They have multi-uses for all components
of an aquatic fitness class such as:
and push the splash ball with one hand. Travel forward, backward
sideways and then to change to one hand, then the other hand pushing the
2) Alternate knee lift and pass the ball under the leg. This will also provide a great low back and gluteal stretch. You may even pass under the leg and behind the back -but keep moving!
3) Knee Tuck Jump and pass ball underneath the legs
Strengthening the Forearms:
Grip strength is key for turning handles, opening jars and keeping the
wrist muscular strong to protect and stabilize the wrist. Use the hands
to squeeze and squish the ball. Add some lower body movement to
movement for added variety, coordination and thermal regulation. Focus
on squeezing the ball every time the ball is passed under the leg, or
behind the back or even side to side.
pedal march or jog and stretch tall with the small ball in hand, then
pull back into chest and repeat with other hand.
under the water: lift one knee and pass the ball under one knee for a
low back stretch for the gluteus maximus muscles. Add a double knee tuck
and pass the ball under both legs for a deeper and more advanced
Rock side to side - lean to one side and lift the
opposing leg to reach the ball. Repeat from side to side. Elongate and
feel the stretch for the pectorals and anterior deltoid muscles of the
chest and front of the shoulder.
Hand & eye coordination:
Walk and throw up from hand to hand. Pass the ball over the head, behind the back, under the leg.
Mobility & Agility:
Ball toss and catch on one foot
Try Partners with Ball Toss:
Each throw to partner at the same time and catch with opposite hand
This is great for coordination for kids and the young at heart
Stand on one leg and toss a ball with one hand or one hand to the
other. Be sure not to hop when training balance. Keep the body still so
that the core can engage properly for balance and posture training. Hold
different body positions and try again..
Realize that balls may
not be suitable for all participants and/or all classes and some people
may not enjoy the "splash". Splash balls fill with water so remind your
clients to squeeze out the water prior to tossing the ball. The goal is
not to splash or put water in someone face or even your own face.
instructors must choose appropriate movements to target the intended
purpose and goals for the clientele. Making sure that you have a good
balanced program is important in water because the goal of water
exercise is to train for functional and active living on land.
that even a 5-10 minute session in a class may be enough to provide
variety and stimulus for new exercises and training benefits.
may be some in the class who don't keep their eyes on the ball when
working with a partner. These people may automatically turn the head
away when the ball is thrown in their direction. So, be sure to provide a
reminder or even give individual training prior to partner work. If
there is an odd number of participants -jump in to be the partner for
the odd person or ideally with someone who is less able to work with a
more active partner. If there is an even number of participants, an
instructor may work in a group of three or circulate between the pairs
to demonstrate or offer more help. Splash balls are truly interactive,
so be sure to get in the pool and participate with your group.
exercises and movements should be evaluated for safety, and
effectiveness for the exercise objective. All components of your program
should promote functional, healthy and injury free exercise where
everyone completes the program feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and ready to
come back for more.
For more fun and functional ideas
check out DVD068 - Teamwork, Partners and Games as well as the new
DVD086 - Aquatic Personal Trainer Program.
DVD024-Kids Fitness Program