The noodle is an excellent piece of equipment to utilize into your aquatic fitness programs for many reasons; it may provide support and confidence to the beginning exerciser with some assistance. Conversely, the noodle may offer many challenging and unique exercises as well as body positions. Additionally, the noodle may add more surface area, drag resistance and progressive muscular strengthening training.
The noodle may be used In all water depths, for stretching and strengthening both upper and lower body muscles, by a single participant, in tandem or in a group for part or all of a program and by all age groups.
Most water fitness programs accommodate a variety of participants. Therefore, programming for all abilities is an important consideration for the instructor. Realize that there are so many adaptations (modifications ) or progressions that may be used with the noodle, the same program is not necessarily beneficial to all participants. “Different strokes for different folks!” Be ready to offer alternatives for all exercises and noodle positions. The bottom line – choose options with care, know who your participants are, train them to work at their own level and progress at their own pace.
SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS The Noodle is an excellent choice for water training as long as the participant is comfortable and can recover safely if they should become entangled or fall off the noodle. The noodle fall should be one of the first exercises trained. Additionally how to get on and off a "noodle" bicycle. Assume not everyone can do this and there is a big difference for utilizing the noodle for assistance (to lightly hold the ballet bar instead of a wall for more core training) or for resistance (to strengthen the muscles).
• Always screen participants for muscular-skeletal problems, especially for anyone with a painful back and/or painful shoulders
• If someone has a bad back, experiment with different types of noodles and which body position feels best. Body composition will greatly change balance in the water especially when amplified by a noodle
• Know who the non-swimmers are and who might be a health risk
• Non-swimmers must be advised to keep contact with the pool floor until comfortable to lift feet.
• Like any water fitness program, not all exercises are for everybody, so be ready to offer alternatives for all exercises and noodle positions
• May be recycled to create "dumbbells", for hand use - ½ noodles, ¼ noodles
• If participants have difficulties gripping, cut it down (but never over-grip a noodle as it cuts off circulation to the palm)
• Athletic types may feel uncomfortable or silly (especially riding a bike). Understand that everyone has a variety of needs and expectations with aquatic fitness
• Give people time to do each exercise correctly and have fun
• Know when to provide overloads and challenges. To add overload utilize a smaller noodle for suspended or use a thicker noodle for resistance work
TYPES OF NOODLES
CLOSED–CELL NOODLE Closed cell noodle do not absorb water. This noodle is extremely dense so it is much more challenging for strength work yet easier for buoyancy support. Should last at least 15 years ( and still counting). This noodle does not get moldy. Kids cannot chew the foam. Environmentally friendly choice. ($20-$30 depending on WP membership)
CLOSED CELL INTERMEDIATE NOODLE -Excellent for arthritic hands as it easy to hold. The size or diameter of this noodle is a little smaller than the regular noodles yet it is closed cell so it doesn’t seep water as readily and more importantly lasts longer. Will last 5 years depending on chemicals and if children chew them. ($6-$10 depending on WP membership)
SOFT CELL NOODLES WITHOUT A HOLE- Easier to hold than super noodles and not as buoyant for assisted body positions. No hole in the middle so will last longer a few months. ($3-$4 depending on WP membership)
SOFT CELL NOODLES WITH A HOLE IN THE MIDDLE- Great for blowing water through them (like a water hose) however these noodles simply do not last. They soak water and will only last a few months. ($1-$2)
The bottom line: “choose options with care, know who your participants are, train them to work at their own level and progress at their own pace".
Educational Resources WITH NOODLES:
Types of Noodles