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Aquatic Noodle Gym
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Why WaterART Muscle Works!
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Why WaterART Muscle Works!

There are many benefits of a Water Fitness Program but perhaps one of the greatest benefit is that water’s natural resistance helps clients to perform muscular stretching and strengthening exercises in a pain free and comfortable way. That is because water allows the body to move in many movement planes and working or body positions as each movement is taken through multi dimensional resistance.

Training muscular strength and resistance is necessary for:

  • increasing muscle proteins (actin and myosin) which form larger muscle fibers that have greater structural and contractile strength. This helps to strengthen tendons, ligaments and increase bone strength.


Other benefits include

  • Having stronger muscles helps to increase physical work capacity – in other words, having more muscular fitness will help you to work at a higher level of cardiovascular fitness.

  • Keeping muscles strong will also increase and improve metabolism by burning more calories during exercise and while at rest


Cardio vs Muscle Conditioning:

Using only Cardio training may help you to lose weight but will not necessarily change your overall appearance. Adding muscular stretching and strengthening sets in the water, will help sculpt your body to change your physique and body shape. So if you want to look good in your jeans you have to work on core strength to improve the waistline, tighten the buns and sculpt the muscles of your legs.


The goal of WaterART Exercise is to improve function for daily activities requiring safe and effective movement on land.

Water vs Land:

Movement in water provides approximately 12-14 times more resistance than when the same movement is performed on land. On land all upward movement is performed against the pull of gravity whereas work in the water may be assisted with or resisted against buoyancy. This resistance may become exponentially more challenging when utilizing water specific equipment which can provide more surface area and/or buoyancy to work against.

Training muscles in water must be carefully planned.

Although each joint or biomechanical action is the same in water as on land, the properties of water make for unique program design.

Because water’s buoyancy naturally lifts the muscles up to lengthen and relax tight muscles, the client must work down against this buoyancy to strengthen the weaker muscles. Since this is completely opposite to land training, water exercise can train for optimal muscle balancing which helps to decrease injuries.

In order to gain an effective training benefit – muscles need first to be isolated and then worked downwards against the buoyancy of the water. If a client just utilizes momentum the muscles are not challenged sufficiently to overload and cause hypertrophy to the muscle.

One of the greatest mistakes with muscle conditioning is to try to strengthen both muscle partners at the same time. This often entails utilizing speed and momentum rather than control. Using the agonist and antagonist muscles simultaneously does not specifically target either side of the muscle pair. Work and overload is created when a muscle is fatigued with sufficient repetitions using control to both start and stop the action. When an instructor incorporates momentum into strength training design they are often working more joint stress. As a result the desired muscle group will not reach overload to become stronger and the resulting joint stress may cause injury.

As previously mentioned, in order to strengthen muscles EFFECTIVELY in the water -- the joint action (muscle movement) must be worked down against the buoyant resistance of the water. When assisted with buoyancy the muscles are not overloaded effectively. In order for muscles to hypertrophy (strengthen) they must be worked a little more than accustomed to - so cheating with buoyancy does not achieve the desired training benefits.

An important point is that since most muscle pairs are unequal in strength the joint action should isolate the intended muscle for specific strengthening. Working both sides of the muscle pair will end up with the same imbalance. Using control to start and stop the movement is the key component of the muscular contraction. Momentum doesn’t use the muscle through its length for a long enough time to be beneficial. So take time to set up muscle work by focussing on the intended muscle group. Use sufficient repetitions through the correct ROM at a controlled pace to properly fatigue and train that muscle group.

Muscles do work in partners or in pairs; however, to strengthen effectively muscles do require more than one repetition. In other words, even on land a muscle cannot be worked with one repetition or alternating repetitions with the opposing muscle group – such as working one biceps curl then changing to one triceps extension. To properly train muscular strength, fatigue and overload the muscle. The muscle set must be focused into 2-3 sets and 8-25 repetitions so that the muscle is fatigued effectively and thereby consequently trained and benefited.

Another point is that land movements dropped into the water do not work. As an example - a land biceps curl will work against gravity – however, in water the joint action will be lifted with buoyancy. To be effective the biceps curl must work against the resistance of the water and start with the arm extended behind the body so that the curling action will push down into the water’s buoyancy. Otherwise there will be negligible work or overload on the muscle.


Welcome Newcomers:

There are many reasons for people to start water training – however, many people do not realize that they don’t need to be a swimmer nor get their hair wet. Explain the difference between water fitness (vertical training) and swimming (horizontal training).

Taking the time to orient new comers to the water may seem overwhelming for them at first – however, what is interesting is that most people see results fairly quickly and soon realize that the water gym may be the fountain of youth for all.

Resistance training of moderate intensity (i.e., sufficient to develop and maintain muscular fitness and lean body weight) should be an integral part of every adult fitness and rehabilitative exercise program. In addition to the development and maintenance of muscular strength and muscle mass, the physiological benefits of resistance training include increases in bone mass and in the strength of connective tissue.

Both muscular strength and endurance are developed by the overload principle - by increasing the resistance to movement (intensity) or the frequency or duration of activity to levels above those normally experienced. Muscular strength is best developed in the water by resistance training using resistance that develops maximal or nearly maximal muscle tension with relatively few repetitions.

The properties of water allow the joint to be submerged and the body position to be changed more easily to allow positions that maybe were painful or not possible on land to be pleasant and effective in water.

Another hidden benefit of water’s strength training is that posture and injury prevention is improved because the naturally the tight muscles are stretched with upward movements and the weak muscles are strengthened while pushing down and through the water..

There are infinite exercises and techniques that will help to develop strong musculature in the water; however understanding the properties of water as well as the protection of the water is key to safe and effective training......

Otherwise – you may as well train on land !

Download full PDF Article -Why WaterART Muscles Work

Suggested DVDs to view

DVD002 - Aquatic Fitness Muscles (W0)

DVD003 - Beginner Muscles with Noodles (WO)

DVD004 - Intermediate Muscles with Noodles (WO)

DVD005 - Advanced Muscles (WO)

DVD008 - Advanced Deep H2O  Workout (WO)

DVD018 - Foam Weights Workout (WO)

DVD021 -Finning,The Ultimate Butt Burner & Program for Swimmers (ED)

DVD022 - Pre & Post Natal Instructor Program (ED)

DVD039 - Awesome Abdominals (ED)

DVD040 - Resistive Paddle Program (ED)

DVD041 - Fit Band Workout (ED)

DVD042 - Advanced Buoyancy Cuffs (ED)

DVD056 - Deep H20 Running Workout (WO)

DVD059 - Fun with Function (WO)

DVD060 - Advanced Dumbbells and Shoulder Impingement (WO)

DVD061 - Programming for Common Hip Problems (WO)

DVD062 - Programming for Common Knee Problems  (WO)

DVD063 - Programming for Common Back Problems (WO)

DVD071  - Shape Up and Water Train ( 2 DVD set) (ED)

DVD072  - Shallow H20 Splash ( 2 DVD set) (ED) !

DVD077- Advanced Noodle Challenge (membership)

DVD079- Move to Health with Walking (2 DVDs) (ED)

DVD080-Instructor Review

DVD086-Aquatic Personal Trainer Program (Guided Tutorials - 2 DVDs)

DVD087- Aquatic Personal Trainer Assessments (Guided Tutorials )

DVD088=Aquatic Personal Trainer Program Tutorial (Guided Tutorials - 1 DVDs)

DVD089  - Arthritis Instructor Tutorial  ( 2  1/2 hours of Guided Tutorials- 2 DVDs)

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