The goal of any program whether in water or on land should be to improve activities of daily living ( ADL's) and life on land.
suggests that sixth decade is the point in time when losses of muscular
strength, size and function are most dramatic (Pollock et al.)
Did you know that with retirees - there is a span of approximately 35 years ? ( 55 - 90 years old)
This makes for a very challenging program for instructors designing safe and effective programs for that many levels and skills.
people 55-75 years old can do what they normally have done in the past.
With the 75-85 year old group mobility differences start to occur which
cause limitations for living an independent lifestyle. After age 85
years of age most people have some concerning health issue and
Functional movement can stretch and strengthen the
muscles which serves the purpose to use the body in the most efficient
manner to accomplish a specific objective and stay independent and
What are Some Activities of Daily Living or ADL's?
Walking, Crossing the street ,
Stair Climbing, in and out of a car
In and out of a Shower/Bath
Carrying Groceries, Lifting laundry,
Washing, Brushing hair, dressing,
Cooking, Cleaning – vacuuming, dusting, moving things
Raking leaves, shoveling snow?
Getting on and off bus or in and out of car
Crossing the street, walking to the mail box
All of the above activities helps the body to maintain independence and function.
is no magic pill for function. Essentially, if you don't use the muscle
strength, mobility and flexibility = the body will lose muscle
strength, mobility and flexibility!
To perform functional
movement successfully there is a need to re-train posture and balance.
This helps to distribute weight more evenly over the skeletal system to
place the minimum amount of stress on the supporting joints. Add
exercises throughout a program for training better posture which will
require both balance and core strength.
There are two types of
balance - static or dynamic. Static balance requires holding on the spot
and may be as simple as putting some body checks or yoga poses
throughout a program. Be sure to add some thermal sets before and after
balance training especially if you are working in a cooler pool. Dynamic
balance utilizes more movement and travel and then surprises the body
with a balance or body check exercise. All of the basic movements may be
easily performed and then stop or balance the body in a position. Teach
the progressive levels to “body-check” for balance and stability.
Always demonstrate and teach how the arms must be utilized to assist
balance and support in the water.The number one reason
consideration for training for function is to help clients with
Here are some tips to help clients train in a functional
manner with water exercise.
Keep people active throughout a program
Train the muscle groups that provide movement for all activities
Imitate Daily activities in the water
Incorporate changes of direction and agility moves
Retrain the fast twitch muscle fibres
Maintain or improve present levels of fitness for those already active
Before you Start a Program
aware of Health Conditions. Many people in the class might have health
conditions such arthritis and a partial or total hip or knee
replacement, lower back problems, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, heart
problems or just general depression with growing older and maybe living
alone. Encourage everyone to do as much or as little as they wish at
their own pace. Advise stopping if pain exasperates or increases. Note:
that pain and discomfort is subjective so check in and make sure that
everyone is working at their preferred level of intensity. Always work
through good range of motion to target the muscle through its full
length. A long muscle is a stronger muscle.
Dress appropriately as
not to get chilled in the water. If the pool water is cool suggest
dressing for success i.e. wearing a thermal vest, polyester shirt or
tights, or a cap or hat. Advise participants to wear shoes to prevent
slipping and improve stability. Suggest aquatic mitts to enlarge the
area of support and help with balance.
Train Participants with the necessary Water Specific Skills
How to enter and exit the pool safely
Recovery to standing position
Sculling for balance and movement
Walking with correct foot action forward
Discovering the buoyancy and resistance of water
Using water for assistance and resistance
Finding correct water depth
Demonstrate the WaterART working positions to modify or increase the intensity for the same basic moves.
Give Permission to go at own skill, speed and comfort levels
final note. All clients should partake in a screening process of some
sort. Either verbal or written. Asking clients to disclose any medical
issue and telling them to work within their own comfort limits is key to
safe programming. In a group exercise program establish who might have
pain, poor range of motion, muscle strength, level of skills and/or
discomfort. Be aware that some clients such as those with Fibromyalgia
will have their good and bad days. Always remind your class not to
overdo their workout when they are having a good day as they may pay for
it later in the day. Remind people especially diabetics know that they
should have had something to eat before coming to class. Always identify
non-swimmers and set boundaries for their comfort and safety.
What is Functional Movment ( PDF)
What is an Aquatic Functional Squat (PDF)
Check out our DVD Library
DVD009 - Senior Functional Fitness Program click here
DVD059 - Fun with Function click here
DVD061- Programming for Common Hip Problems click here
DVD062- Programming for Common Knee Problems click here
DVD063 -Programming for Common Back Problems click here
DVD071 (2 Discs)Shape Up and Water Train - click here
DVD078 ( 2 DVDs) Entry Level Program for Non-Swimmers click here
DVD079- Move You Way to Health - (2 DVDs) click here
DVD085 - Aquatic Fitness Stepping click here
DVD090 - Arthritis Mobility & ROM Tutorial (2 DVDs) click here
DVD091- Aquatic Rehabilitation for General Populations Tutorials (6 DVDs) click here