Exercise for strengthening the rhomboids will help to provide
a strong upper back posture while actively stretching the tight muscles
of the chest and shoulders.
EXERCISE #1 : WALK FORWARD & SERVE A PLATTER
exercise is helpful for training both mobility of the shoulders and
proper hand and arm positions. A great time to add this to your program
is at the beginning warm up segment with a forward walking pattern. In
doing so, the shoulders are warmed up yet the muscles are not exhausted
or fully engaged. A serve a platter joint action will open up the
shoulders, assist forward walking patterns and set the shoulder ups
(most people are leaning forward when they come to the pool).
the exercise with the hands in front of the body palms facing up. Be
sure to go into neutral working positions to submerge and protect the
shoulders during the horizontal abduction movement of the shoulders.
Slice the hand back in a modified upright breast stroke movement then
slow down and return to the start position and repeat traveling across t
he pool. Telling your students to hold something on their palms and
then serve a platter will help them to externally rotate the shoulders
to maintain an open shoulder posture.
Often with water
exercise people are prone to internal rotation as they are accustomed to
a swimming like movement such as a traditional breast stroke pull.
Training in this shoulder alignment will help them to avoid internal
shoulder rotation or thumbs down breast stroke which will 100% impinge
and aggravate the shoulders. The goal of an exercise program is to
improve the clients posture so as instructors we must take the time to
teach the joint mechanics of the arms to facilitate proper alignment and
posture of the shoulders and upper back.
EXERCISE # 2 : UPRIGHT BREAST STROKE IN ATHLETIC STANCE
important exercise is the upright breast stroke. Start with the arms in
front of the body ( or slightly horizontally adducted or crossed). Pull
the arms open as if opening a door with the thumbs up. Feel the middle
back musculature squeeze as the scapulae adduct with the pulling action.
Again with all upper body muscular strengthening, be sure to keep the
shoulders joint submerged so that the hydrostatic pressure of the water
places traction on the joint and thereby does not wear and tear the
shoulders. This is one of the best benefits of water training - so
utilize the water for added protection and resistance. On land, gravity
places downward stress on all joints so being able to submerge the
joint is a huge benefit to any muscular training exercise.
EXERCISE # 3 : UPRIGHT BREAST STROKE WITH FWD & BWD ROCK
progress this exercise add a lower body rock movement. Start with the
arms in front of the body when the weight is on the front leg. Be sure
when the weight is transferred to the back leg the arms pull powerfully
back. That way the movement will "fall" into the water to add more
range of motion as well as downward resistance with the upright breast
stroke movement. If this action is performed incorrectly - the client
may hyperextend their spine with pulling arms back when weight is front
OR they may pull arms back when weight is on front foot and push their
face into the water. Therefore, this exercise technique should be
emphasized such that the weight is on the front leg when the arms are in
front and the weight is on the back leg when the weight transfers
EXERCISE # 4 : PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD WITH FLEX PADDLES
of the above exercises may be progressed with flex paddles. Realize
that technique and coordination should be achieved prior to adding
equipment. Also, realize not everyone in a class requires equipment. The
flex paddles are an excellent piece of water equipment because the
vents may be opened, slightly closed or closed on either side. Also the
client has several ways to hold the paddles. These may be held north
/south (lengthways) or east/west (perpendicular to the ground). The flex
paddles are part of our WP J Membership gift program and if you don't
know all the ways to utilize the paddle then the DVD040 Resistive
Paddles Program will give you infinite ideas on progressing a program
and safe use of the flex paddles.
Download Full article
Full PDF download of DVDs
WP J Membership ( free set of Flex Paddles, DVD040, laminated reference card, small wet bag,)
Onsite Training - Aquatic Fitness Instructor Certification Events