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Ask a question about water exercise, equipment, benefits, tips, facts, routines, special populations, or whatever.
Q.: Can you please tell me the best exercises to tone the abdominal area? Thank you kindly, Maria Coco
Q.: What would you consider to be the lowest and highest temperature of the water during water aerobics to be safe? Janice Garges
Q.: What kind of medical research is used for exercises for after hip replacements? Pat Olson
Q.: What exercises do you recommend for inner legs? Mary Haberman
Q.: Is it safe to do toning exercises from the side of the pool, and if so, can you suggest any? (Standing tall and holding on to side of pool). Donna May
Q.: I teach a water program specifically for those with arthritis. I like to break up the hour w/a fun activity such as beach ball volley ball, hot potato w/play balls, noodle partners, catch w/squishy pool balls/toys, or treasure hunts w/weighted pool toys, etc. I'd like some new ideas for games/activities to play in the pool. Can you suggest any? Terri Arnold
Q.: Is it ok to move forward/travel forward in the water while performing a forward flip kick (a 'can can' style kick starting with a bent knee and extending to full extension and back to center in the rebound position) once correct posture is cued? Alternating legs as you travel? Sarah Postle
Q.: Hi, was wondering if you have any ideas... I want to conduct a 'SURVIVOR' aqua class for my more advanced aqua participants. I'd like to run it over a period of weeks, in teams and eventually be left with the 'ultimate aqua survivor'. Do you have any ideas on relay exercises etc anything to do with the water to make it a success?? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Janene Blenman
Q.: How many times more resistance do you get walking in water as opposed to on land? And are the distances comparable or could you walk shorter distances in water to achieve the same benefits as on land? Could you give me a ratio? Thanks! Deb Montgomery
Q.: I am 70 years old. I have had coronary by pass surgery. I am about 35 pounds overweight. I have a pinched nerve in my back which greatly limits my mobility, I have diabetes which is under control. Which of your CDs would be the most beneficial to me or shoud I order a customized workout?. I want little or no aerobic exercises. L. Rogers
Q.: What are the contraindications to aqua aerobics? Claudia Delves
Q.: Could you please recommend some yoga routines in the pool to keep warm in winter (i.e. in cooler water). Diana F.
Q.: How do you become certified in Water Aerobics/Exercise? Thanks, Roxanne DiSalvo
Q.: I teach water aerobics to pregnant ladies. Are there any exercises I should stay away from? What are some good ones? What would be a good "beat per minute" to do? Susan Metzger
Q.: Do you know if there is a water proof pedometer on the market to use for water walking and water jogging? If yes, please tell me where I can purchase. Thanks! Beverly Hinton
Q.: How many calories do you burn in 30 minutes of water aerobics at a medium to high level. I continue with 20-30 minutes of toning, with leg, arm and stomach exercises. I try to do no less than 45-50 minutes in the pool. Karen Wallace
Q.: Is there more water resistance with your fingers closed or slightly open? I have had several instructors who differ on the proper technique. Thanks! Judy Murphy
Q.: I am an AEA certified water exercise instructor. I have been doing this for 3 years and teaching group exercise. I am about to begin water exercise personal training, and I'm kind of at a loss as to where to begin. Any experience in this regard? Thank you so much! Pat Hutchinson
Q.: I'm training a total hip replacement client. Her Dr. advised her not to do deep water running because it can cause damage to the replacement. She belives that the greater pressure of deep water is the reason for the potential damage. I assured her the pressure is not the area of concern as it is no more than that when working in shallow water. The Dr. is also concerned about repetitive use damage, as deep water running can involve vigorous repetitive hip flexion/extension. Terri Arnold
Q.: Do you recommend heart monitors in water? If so which one would you recommend? Cat
Q.: What bpm music do you recommend? Kim Hill
Q.: I understand that persons with osteoporosis of the spine should not perform spinal flexion. Is this true in water exercise? Lynda Fox
Q.: Criss Cross Legs on the Wall Exercise, is contraindicated as the outstretched arms put extra stress on shoulder area. Am I incorrect? JoAnn Pedoto
Q.: What are the benefits of wearing "a belt" in a deep water wellness class? Cathy
Q.: What are the different uses and benefits of using a noodle in your water program? Rebecca Rauthe
Q.: Q: Do you have a Water Aerobics heart rate chart? I am thinking of age versus what your heart rate should be after cardio workout. Thank you, Karen Doran.
Q.: Q: Do water shoes lessen the weight-bearing benefits of exercise? What about osteoporosis? Do people need to do exercises other than aqua aerobics to get the benefits of weight bearing exercise? Catalina Diaz
Q.: Can you please tell me the temperature a pool should be for people over 50? Vicki Boyd
Q.: A 60ish, relatively fit woman, came to my class wearing ankle weights. Do you see harm or contraindications in this situation? Gretchen Sims, AEA certified instructor, Dallas, TX.
Q.: I have been asked to teach a water exercise class for Moms and their babies. Do you see issues or concerns that I should be aware of? Gretchen Sims, AEA certified instructor, Dallas, TX
Q.: If you walk one mile in water what distance would that be considered on land?

Q.: Can you please tell me the best exercises to tone the abdominal area? Thank you kindly, Maria Coco
A.: Please understand that while you cannot "spot" reduce, aquatic exercise is a great way to strengthen and tone a particular area. Remember that the abs and the back work together. If you have needs for work in one area, the other probably has needs too. The core body is the part between the shoulders and the hips. A favorite core exercise, in my classes, is a suspended cross country ski. Move to a section of the pool where you can barely touch the bottom and ski with both feet suspended off the floor. The arms are straight but not locked and swing opposite to your ski legs movements. A lot easier with the noodle or AquaJogger belt you say??? Yes, but you maximize your back and ab conditioning when you don't use equipment for buoyancy. This is because your core is forced to tighten while your limbs work harder to keep your head above water. Touch down with your foot now and then if you must but strive to ski suspended for at least a minute, then rest and try again. There are several excellent sources for a wide range of aqua exercises for the abs. WaterWellnessWorkouts has a Compact Disk (CD-ROM) containing 91 strength and toning exercises to target the abdomen area. Water noodles or barbells will be used in some of these movements. Each exercise is complete with color photographs, detailed explanations, and variations. Terri Mitchell, Aquatic Fitness and Therapy Specialist from Austin, Texas, does an awesome abs workshop. Thanks for asking, Barb
Q.: What would you consider to be the lowest and highest temperature of the water during water aerobics to be safe? Janice Garges
A.: Water temperatures are usually based on individual preferences, doctor recommendations or facility requirements. Comfortable and safe water temperatures depend on several factors, including the condition of the participants, the environment, and the speed or intensity of movements. Water varying from 83-86 degrees Fahrenheit is most comfortable for typical water fitness programs per Aquatic Fitness Professional Manual (page 70). The Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program Manual (page 9), recommends a range of 84-88 degrees, with a minimum of 83 degrees. Thanks for asking, Barb and Carla
Q.: What kind of medical research is used for exercises for after hip replacements? Pat Olson
A.: I am assuming that you are asking about the selection of our water exercises in the After Hip Replacement Surgery Water Workout. Our exercises were chosen with the advice and guidance of physical therapists who work with clients recovering from Hip Replacement procedures. The following introduction is also included with the CD or Notebook. This is an exercise program for people seeking an active water workout after hip replacement. The exercises conform to the restrictions/guidelines suggested by the medical profession. Basic instructions to follow: At any time that you feel pain, stop the exercise. At no time should you allow your legs to cross your mid-line - don’t swing your left leg to the right and vice versa. Do not bend at your hips more than 90 degrees - instead lift your heels behind your back and/or keep your knee lifts low in the front. Keep your straight leg lifts low to the front, side and or back. Do not attempt any of the exercises that have motions your Doctor or Therapist advised against. Please warm up and cool down in order to avoid injury to your muscles. To lower the impact on your knees, bend your knees with each foot landing and touch your heel to the floor. Throughout the workout, try to stay about chest deep in the water. Wearing a vest or straddling a water noodle will also keep impact to a minimum. Thanks for asking, Carla
Q.: What exercises do you recommend for inner legs? Mary Haberman
A.: Most any water exercise that moves the leg in and out will work the inner leg area. Criss crossing the legs is a simple example. Some of my favorites include: Noodle Bent Knee Jumping Jack; Noodle Big Criss Cross Feet; Noodle Leg Pendulum; Noodle Little Criss Cross Feet; Noodle Pendulum Exchange; Noodle Swing Sit Jack; Double Leg Lift; Giant Leg Circles; Leg Clap; Spider Pull Ups; Spider Slide; V Leg Lift; and Jack Slide. These exercises are available on the All Exercises CD, or the combination of Wall Supported Exercises CD and Noodle Exercises CD. Remember to try some of the variations that come with these exercises. Thanks for asking, Carla
Q.: Is it safe to do toning exercises from the side of the pool, and if so, can you suggest any? (Standing tall and holding on to side of pool). Donna May
A.: There is absolutely no reason why you can’t do toning exercises from the side of the pool as long as you don’t have physical contraindications. As with any activity, you can cause an injury by incorrect form or exertion. These are some of my favorite Wall Supported Exercises. Giant Leg Circles Hold on sideways with your right hip against the wall and your right arm resting on the deck. Raise your fully extended left leg to the front and toward the surface as high as comfortable. While keeping the left leg as straight and as high as you can, sweep it out to your left side. Just before your left leg reaches the left side, drop it down and back to begin the backside of a giant circle. Continue circling your leg to the front, up and around to your back to complete the circle. From this position with your left leg behind you, sweep your extended left leg forward and out to the left side. Drop your left leg forward and down, then back around to the top and continue the sweep to the front. (You are actually drawing giant circles clockwise toward the front and counter clockwise to the back). Repeat the circles for 30-45 seconds then turn around and place your left hip against the wall to exercise your right leg. Caution: Do not move your upper body - allow the leg to do the work to create a slow and smoothly flowing exercise. Knee Leg Opposing Leg Sweeps Stand erect with your back against the wall. Raise and bend your right knee toward the front until it is about hip high. Turn your right knee out to the right and attempt to touch the right wall with your right knee. Kick your right leg to full extension and then sweep it around to the left wall, keeping it as high and straight as comfortable. Lower your right leg to the starting position. Raise and bend your left knee toward the front until it is about hip high. Turn your left knee out to the left and attempt to touch the left wall with your left knee. Kick your left leg to full extension and sweep it around to the right wall keeping it as high and straight as comfortable. Lower your left leg and repeat the alternating pattern for 30-45 seconds. Noodle Stair Master Hold on to the wall and step on your noodle with your feet shoulder width apart. Raise your left knee and keep your right foot down. As you lower your left foot, raise your right knee. Continue raising and lowering left and right feet (running on the noodle) for 30-45 seconds. Touch Foot Touch Wall Hold on sideways with your right side toward the wall, feet together and your right arm straight. Extend your left hand out to your left side and touch your rising, fully extended left leg. Lower your left leg while your left arm reaches over your head toward your right and touches the deck. Repeat for 45-60 seconds and turn around to exercise the right side. Triple Knee Lift Hold on sideways with your right hip against the wall, feet together and your right arm resting on the pool deck. Lift your left knee toward your chest, about hip high and pause. Maintaining the bent-knee position, drop your left knee down beside your right knee. Raise your left knee out to the left side as high as you can and pause. Return your left bent-knee beside your right knee. Raise your left knee to the back as high as you can and pause. Return to the starting position and repeat the front, side and back pattern for 45-60 seconds. Turn around to exercise the opposite side. Caution: When lifting your knee to the side, your knee should stay in line with your hip and your foot should be as high as the knee. Do not move your upper body-let your leg do the work. Thanks for asking, Carla
Q.: I teach a water program specifically for those with arthritis. I like to break up the hour w/a fun activity such as beach ball volley ball, hot potato w/play balls, noodle partners, catch w/squishy pool balls/toys, or treasure hunts w/weighted pool toys, etc. I'd like some new ideas for games/activities to play in the pool. Can you suggest any? Terri Arnold
A.: It sounds like you have some great ideas, but the Arthritis Foundation has very strict guidelines for their water exercise program, so all I can suggest to you are the ones found in the back of their Instructor Manual. Noodle Scrabble Play Scrabble with the noodle by printing letters of the alphabet on cut up noodles or small sponges. Make teams and spell words by physically moving the letters around. Noodle Tango The noodle is to be used for “prop” purposes only, NOT as resistance. Hold the noodle in front of you. With your head pointing to the right, walk to the right. Pretend the noodle is your partner, stop and change directions to the left. Repeat. I have done this with Tango music in the background, walking lines and circles. There was so much giggling and laughter, it was hard to give directions. They absolutely loved it. Hot Potato A variation of Musical Chair. Pass a noodle piece or small sponge thru the water. If you are holding it when the music stops, you are “it” and go to the center of the circle. People inside the circle do specific exercises as the game continues. Each time the music stops, switch the direction of the pass. Ball Activity Push a ball against a partner without touching the ball. Use your hands to push the ball on the surface of the water. Do not splash each other. Basketball Float a hula-hoop (or a similar item) in the pool and use a beach ball for the basketball. Use the “Squat” and “Arms Overhead” water exercises. Beach Ball Activities Kayak motion on each side - above the water. Lift ball to eye level or slightly higher. Throw the ball directly up (to themselves) and catch it. Make circles or “Figure 8's” with arms out front. Participants form a circle, facing inward, passing the ball in a circle. Pass the ball to the person on the right, all the way around the circle and switch directions. Add several balls for more fun. I have them do leg movements (march, squat, Jack Feet, etc) as they pass the ball around. Please note: Don’t allow them to throw the ball at one another or use the ball for resistance by pushing it under water. You can do variations of the above, as long as you stay within the Arthritis Foundation recommendations, in particular, taking care with the amount of stress on the joints. Thanks for asking, Carla
Q.: Is it ok to move forward/travel forward in the water while performing a forward flip kick (a 'can can' style kick starting with a bent knee and extending to full extension and back to center in the rebound position) once correct posture is cued? Alternating legs as you travel? Sarah Postle
A.: I don't see a problem with this described motion if you are walking forward (or backward for variety). Alternating legs is also OK while walking. I do see potential for possible core and back strain, resulting with injury if this movement is attempted at a faster pace. The water depth, condition of the participant, and height of the kick, are all factors to be considered. Thanks for asking, Carla
Q.: Hi, was wondering if you have any ideas... I want to conduct a 'SURVIVOR' aqua class for my more advanced aqua participants. I'd like to run it over a period of weeks, in teams and eventually be left with the 'ultimate aqua survivor'. Do you have any ideas on relay exercises etc anything to do with the water to make it a success?? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Janene Blenman
A.: This is such a terrific idea! Barb came up with a couple of relay suggestions. 1. Food Tray relay. She uses plastic (waterproof) eating utensils like a straw, plate, glass, fork, spoon, knife, etc. Using a kickboard as a tray, each relay person on each team loads one more item on the tray and returns to their team for the next person to go. The tray must be fully loaded in order to win. This will take a bit of thinking on their part to select items that will stay on the kickboard and then add the items that need bracing to stay on the kickboard. You can use clear items that will make it harder to find if it falls in the water (might want to check with your facility manager on the clear items). The tray can float or be held above water, or relays of each. 2. Blowing ping pong balls. Barb has found ping pong balls that look like little sports balls (basketball, soccer, baseball, etc.). You can mark plain ones if you can't find this type...it is only needed to tell the teams apart. Participants must blow the ball to a designated area WHILE a member of an opposing team is blowing in opposition. You'll have to come up with rules on spacing, touching, splashing, etc. Adapt the spoon carrying the egg to spoon carrying the ping pong ball. I have used all types of floating equipment for classes or relays. 1. Classic Over: Relay teams are in lines and they pass a ball or other piece of equipment over their heads to the end of the line. The last person has to run with the equipment to the front of the line and start the pass to the back. 2. Running relays: Charlie Chaplin Feet (toes turned out); Pigeon Toes (toes in); Bunny Hop; Ski; Jacks; High Knees or Knees to Elbow; Wide Knees; holding a ball between their knees and traveling; Partner run with elbows linked together; etc. 3. Using inner tubes, kickboards, noodles to get to a destination, pushing or riding; relays with team members pushing a member while sitting on the noodle net chair; pushing small floatable toys to a destination with hand waves (hands push the water without touching the toys) - left hand, right hand, both hands. 4. Sports Events: Set up a pool volleyball game; football game; basketball game; Beach balls and clean plastic trash cans work well for this. I could go on and on! I must mention safety as a priority. Participants can get carried away and get very competitive. Discuss safety rules and guidelines to protect all the competitors. Excessive splashing, pushing and throwing equipment at people, are some of the most common safety hazards. We want them to have a great time, but we don't want anyone hurt or so intimidated that they don't want to return or participate. You said this is a very active group... take care to match heights, weights, strength, etc. when possible. Thanks for asking, Carla
Q.: How many times more resistance do you get walking in water as opposed to on land? And are the distances comparable or could you walk shorter distances in water to achieve the same benefits as on land? Could you give me a ratio? Thanks! Deb Montgomery
A.: Naturally, walking in still water would provide greater resistance than walking on land on a wind free day. But, there are many variables which would impact the resistance so to provide an exact ratio the specific person doing the walking and the variables must be scientifically monitored. Although you phrased the question 'do you get' I am willing to bet that you are more interested in the ratio for yourself than for me. Those related to the particular person walking are weight, limb length, speed, buoyancy. Those relating to the water are depth, turbulence. Those relating to land are wind speed and direction. Temperature of both the air and water may also be a factor. I have located an Aquatic Exercise Association research tidbit which addresses the comparison of walking on land and deep water walking measured in energy expenditure, heart rate and the number of calories burned/minute. Perhaps this will provide some insight to help you. AKWA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 1998 Research Tidbit Commonly asked question… “How does walking one mile in the water equate to walking one mile on land?” There are several research studies that compared walking and running on the treadmill to walking and running in deep water with a buoyant vest. Results were measured in energy expenditure, heart rate and the number of calories burned/ minute. Deep water running and treadmill running were very similar in energy expenditure.Deep water walking elicited 2 times the energy expenditure of treadmill walking. Deep water running and treadmill walking at similar intensities resulted in similar energy expenditure values. In “energy expenditure” terms, with all other factors being equal, it could be estimated that walking one mile in the water may be similar to walking two miles on land. Ten female and ten male subjects performed similar exercise bouts on an underwater treadmill (UT) and a land treadmill (LT). The subjects walked at 2 and 3 miles per hour at 0% grade. UT walking elicited greater cardiac output and stroke volume than LT walking at both speeds. UT oxygen consumption was greater at both speeds with greater variance at 3 miles per hour. Analysis of data at matched oxygen consumption values demonstrated heart rates to be significantly lower and stroke volume higher during water exercise. Aquatic Exercise Association Research Committee 1998 1. Coad, d. et al. The energy cost of treadmill versus hydor-exercise. Medicine and Science in Exercise and Sport, 1987 19(2), S63. 2. Demaere J. et al, Effects of a deep water and treadmill running on oxygen uptake and energy expenditure in seasonally trained cross country runners. Medicine and Science in Exercise and Sport. 1997, 29, S221 3. Byrne H, et al. A comparison of the effects of underwater treadmill walking on pxygen consumption, heart rate, and cardiac output. 1996, Journal of Aquatic Physical Therapy, November, 4-11. If this does not give you the detail you need, may I suggest you communicate with a teaching university in your area which has a exercise physiology program and request their assistance, using you as a subject, to determine the ratio in a controlled environment. We would be very interested in knowing the outcome so please share the results with us once the project is complete. Thanks for asking, Barb.
Q.: I am 70 years old. I have had coronary by pass surgery. I am about 35 pounds overweight. I have a pinched nerve in my back which greatly limits my mobility, I have diabetes which is under control. Which of your CDs would be the most beneficial to me or shoud I order a customized workout?. I want little or no aerobic exercises. L. Rogers
A.: I believe the Fluid Flex Stretch and Energize Workout is exactly what you are looking for. Thanks for asking, Carla
Q.: What are the contraindications to aqua aerobics? Claudia Delves
A.: There are some general contraindications for water exercise, aerobics or water therapy. The absence of open sores or wounds, and correct incontinence precautions, are sanitary issues which must be addressed. The ability for independent dressing, entering and leaving the pool area, and self support and balance while in the water, may be requirements in some facilities. Some populations should avoid using resistance equipment in order not to over stress joints. Other specific contraindications may be categorized by physical conditions or diseases; age; disabilities; medications; etc. For safety purposes, acquire your Doctor's guidance before you start any exercise program. Thanks for asking, Carla
Q.: Could you please recommend some yoga routines in the pool to keep warm in winter (i.e. in cooler water). Diana F.
A.: Unfortunately, the slow, graceful, flowing movements of yoga won't keep you warm in cooler water temperatures. In order to stay warm in cooler water, you need to move faster, as in cardio exercises. However, H2OWear.com has attire similar to scuba suits that will keep you warm. They have attractive jackets and unitards that may solve your problems. Thanks for asking, Carla
Q.: How do you become certified in Water Aerobics/Exercise? Thanks, Roxanne DiSalvo
A.: There are two national certification organizations available to you. The Aquatic Exercise Association (AEA) has a website at AEAwave.com. The United States Water Fitness Association (USWFA) has a website at USWFA.com. You will be able to find prices, locations and general FAQs at these sites. Good luck, and thanks for asking, Carla
Q.: I teach water aerobics to pregnant ladies. Are there any exercises I should stay away from? What are some good ones? What would be a good "beat per minute" to do? Susan Metzger
A.: The focus should be on maintaining the current level of fitness rather than seeking major improvements. Here are additional guidelines other than the ones listed on the site: A doctor’s guidance is strongly advised for your participants. Warm up and cool down segments should be longer and have gradual changes in intensity. Keep the choreography simple. Water temperature should range from 78-84 degrees. A lower tempo range of 125-150 bpm for shallow exercises and 100-130 bpm for deep exercises. Water level at chest to armpit depth allows for reduced impact while controlling movements. Avoid high intensity exercises that raise and lower the heart rate. Adapt wider stances as the pregnancy progresses and avoid traveling exercises. Develop formats with moderate, comfortable and continuous aerobic exercise, emphasizing postural muscles, slower transitions, and relaxation exercises. Avoid over heating and promote proper hydration. Avoid sudden movement and directional changes. Avoid extreme reaches or stretches. Use the ladder, steps or ramp to enter the pool - don’t dive or jump in. Wear water shoes for protection and better footing. Wearing a bra under the swimsuit may provide desirable support. Breathe during the exercises - NO breath holding. Any exercise that causes discomfort or pain should be discontinued immediately. Thanks for asking, Carla
Q.: Do you know if there is a water proof pedometer on the market to use for water walking and water jogging? If yes, please tell me where I can purchase. Thanks! Beverly Hinton
A.: This is the only waterproof pedometer on the market. www.heartratemonitorsusa.com http://www.pedometersusa.com/Pages/Oregon/MP121-BLRR1G.html Thanks for asking, Carla
Q.: How many calories do you burn in 30 minutes of water aerobics at a medium to high level. I continue with 20-30 minutes of toning, with leg, arm and stomach exercises. I try to do no less than 45-50 minutes in the pool. Karen Wallace
A.: AEA Fitness Professional Manual (page 250) indicates that 400-500 calories are burned in a one hour class session (armpit depth, 83-86 degrees, arm/leg movements). Thanks for asking, Barb.
Q.: Is there more water resistance with your fingers closed or slightly open? I have had several instructors who differ on the proper technique. Thanks! Judy Murphy
A.: The Aquatic Exercise Association’s Aquatic Fitness Professional Manual, page 93, explains: The hand can serve as a paddle to scoop more water or can be positioned to minimize its pull in the water. The size of the surface area of the hand ,as it moves through the water and its shape, determine how much water the hand will pull and how much resistance will be created. A hand closed in a fist or a hand sliced sideways through the water will create minimal resistance. The hand position used for most swimming strokes (an open, slightly cupped with the fingers relaxed and slightly spread) is most effective at pulling the water. It is important to position your hands to "work the water" and increase the effectiveness of your workout. Judy, several answers also revolve around the definition of "slightly open", or how far apart your fingers are. Widely spread fingers will offer less resistance than fingers closer together. "Slightly open" will offer less resistance than fingers closed together. I keep my own fingers together, but relaxed, so some water will go between them. Keeping your fingers tightly clenched together results in a rigid, uncomfortable motion. I suggest that you try various hand positions yourself to see which ones offer the most resistance in the most comfortable manner. I hope this answers your question, thanks for asking. Carla
Q.: I am an AEA certified water exercise instructor. I have been doing this for 3 years and teaching group exercise. I am about to begin water exercise personal training, and I'm kind of at a loss as to where to begin. Any experience in this regard? Thank you so much! Pat Hutchinson
A.: The United States Water Fitness Association has a Personal Trainer Certification course. You can also buy the manual without certification as a resource guide. Go to USWFA.com and check it out. Thanks for asking, Carla
Q.: I'm training a total hip replacement client. Her Dr. advised her not to do deep water running because it can cause damage to the replacement. She belives that the greater pressure of deep water is the reason for the potential damage. I assured her the pressure is not the area of concern as it is no more than that when working in shallow water. The Dr. is also concerned about repetitive use damage, as deep water running can involve vigorous repetitive hip flexion/extension. Terri Arnold
A.: I agree with the Dr. about the deep water. Not so much about the pressure issue, but rather the uncontrolled conditions of being in the deeper water. Directional changes of the water can exert pressure from unexpected sources, which could result in possible ligament tears and joint displacement. Hip replacement clients need an immediately available and accessible point of stabilization, such as planting both feet on the pool floor, until balance and control are restored. There is nothing wrong with exercising in the shallow water, while maintaining medical guidelines. As with all things, common sense and moderation should be considered during any decision making. We should be clear on all the Doctor’s instructions and bow to his/her training and expertise. I also agree with his vigorous repetitive flexion/extension concerns. We do not want to cause unnecessary pain, suffering, repeat surgeries, and extended rehabilitation. Treat hip and knee replacement clients with caution, compassion, and respect while they are in your care. Our goal is not only to strengthen and maximize mobility, but to protect healing tissues from further injury. I don’t know about you, but my insurance won’t stand up to my contradicting a Doctor! :-) Thanks for asking, Carla
Q.: Do you recommend heart monitors in water? If so which one would you recommend? Cat
A.: There are several reasons for wearing a heart monitor in the water - therapeutic, athletic, calorie counting, exertion rates, etc. I know numerous persons using heart monitors in the water on a daily basis. They love the technology, information and feedback that it provides, and I approve of this type of monitoring. Prices range from $50.00 to $350.00. There are many brands to select from, and I have been in contact with a rep from Polar Products. The following are his comments: Using the Polar HRM in a water environment. All the Polar heart rate monitors are water resistant. All but the RS800/sd can be used as a heart rate monitor in the water. The transmitter is completely waterproof and the receiver is water resistant to 20, 30, 50 or 100 meters depending on the model. When using the receiver in a water environment, we recommend that you do not press any buttons under water. Heart rate measurement in a water environment is technically demanding for the following reasons: Pool water with a high chlorine content, as well as seawater, may be very conductive and the electrodes of a transmitter may get short circuited and EKG signals cannot be detected by the transmitter unit. Jumping into the water or strenuous muscle movement during competitive swimming may cause water resistance that shifts the transmitter on the body to a location where it is not possible to pick up the EKG signal. The EKG signal strength varies depending on the individual's tissue composition. The percentage of people who have problems in heart rate measuring is considerably higher in a water environment than in other uses. In the watch industry the water resistance is generally indicated as meters of water pressure, meaning a static pressure of water at the level in question. Polar applies the same indication system, as it is well known and water resistance is an essential feature of the heart rate monitor. Every Polar device having water resistance indication is tested to the water pressure before delivery. For more information go to http://polardiscount.com Thanks for asking, Carla
Q.: What bpm music do you recommend? Kim Hill
A.: I use soft instrumental relaxation music for the warm up and cool down segments. During the power and/or cardio portions I like to use BPM’s of 124-130. Land step aerobics music averages 128 which works great. I do avoid Big Band and jazz due to the acoustics in the pool - sounds awful. I select and mix/match my music choices constantly - keeps all of us on our toes! Thanks for asking, Carla
Q.: I understand that persons with osteoporosis of the spine should not perform spinal flexion. Is this true in water exercise? Lynda Fox
A.: Yes, it is true in water exercise also. The problem with osteoporosis, is a lack of calcium in the bones, causing fragility and easy breakage. The breakage is not necessarily due to body weight but to direct pressure on the bones themselves -sometimes caused by something as simple as bending or turning the wrong way at the wrong time. The major concern with spinal osteoporosis is the possibility of severing the spinal column with a bone fracture causing paralysis or worse. Please use extreme care, whether this condition describes you or your clients. Thanks for asking, Carla.
Q.: Criss Cross Legs on the Wall Exercise, is contraindicated as the outstretched arms put extra stress on shoulder area. Am I incorrect? JoAnn Pedoto
A.: Actually, several of the Wall Supported Exercises could be considered contraindicated. As with all exercises, common sense should prevail. One variation, is to perform the exercise while supported by a noodle. There are several factors that apply in your decision making: Depth of the Water in relation to the Wall Shape of the Wall/Gutter (corners work great) Size of the person Condition of the person Whether or not the position puts stress on the shoulders. We never want to put our clients in a stressful position, at the same time, we don’t want to dismiss a good exercise if it can be done safely. Thanks for asking, Carla
Q.: What are the benefits of wearing "a belt" in a deep water wellness class? Cathy
A.: The AquaJogger® buoyancy belt or HydroFit WAVE Belt®, comfortably suspends you in deep water, allowing you to breathe normally and move freely while performing a wide variety of water aerobics exercise. Water fitness specialist David Brennan, President of Houston International Running Center, discourages deep water fitness without a good flotation device, since correct form is almost impossible to maintain for any length of time without one. The water line should be at shoulder level, and your mouth comfortably out of the water without having to tilt your head. With an AquaJogger® or WAVE Belt®, you can walk, run, cross country ski, or perform any movement you choose with little or no pain. Deep water workouts are a great way to cross train and gain strength through the entire range of motion of a joint. Best of all, there is no weight bearing impact on your joints. While suspended by an AquaJogger® or WAVE Belt®, you can get your heart rate up to a level where you can burn calories and increase your respiratory rate to promotes a healthy heart and circulatory system. Submerged under water, resistance to movement is applied to muscle groups through the entire range of motion in direct relationship to how quickly you move through the water and how much surface area you present to the water during the movement. For best results, strive for a balanced workout regimen. You can use water's resistance to movement to increase intensity on muscle mass as well as provide cardiovascular training. It is also an effective way to relax and stretch the muscle groups that have been subjected to impact exercise activity and weight training exercises. Thanks for asking, Carla
Q.: What are the different uses and benefits of using a noodle in your water program? Rebecca Rauthe
A.: Noodle uses and benefits are as endless as the imagination and design allow. The information here is but an introduction to the ‘aqua pasta’ world but it is more than enough to get you started. Hydro-fit, maker of the white closed cell equipment 54x3 describes theirs this way: ‘Seriously, our Noodle is different. This popular and versatile exercise tool provides buoyant support for suspended water exercise and increased resistance for body conditioning.’ AquaJogger introduced the blue square noodle - sqoodle - in several lengths (48" or 64") and thicknesses (2" or 3") several years ago, used for both exercise and therapy. With this ‘aqua pasta’ it’s hip to be square. Go to http://aquajogger.com/newsletters/march05.htm and read an entire article called Use Your Noodle. Kiefer’s Tundra noodle is similar to the ones you see in the discount stores but much more durable. Kiefer describes the noodle like this: These floats are great for both children and adults. They won’t puncture and lose air like inflatables - they can be jumped on and tied in knots without breaking. Use for swim training, flutter kicking, water resistance exercises, deep water running, or just floating around! Great fun for the whole family. One very important thing to remember about the noodle regardless of size, shape or color, is that it is not intended to be a lifesaving or floatation device. Use these and all water exercise equipment with safety in mind. Never go into the water alone, and choose a pool where lifeguards are on duty. Water safety is always first consideration for the water exercise enthusiast. Thanks for asking, Barb.
Q.: Q: Do you have a Water Aerobics heart rate chart? I am thinking of age versus what your heart rate should be after cardio workout. Thank you, Karen Doran.
A.: You can find one like that at Stretching.com. Thanks for asking, Carla.
Q.: Q: Do water shoes lessen the weight-bearing benefits of exercise? What about osteoporosis? Do people need to do exercises other than aqua aerobics to get the benefits of weight bearing exercise? Catalina Diaz
A.: A. Do water shoes lessen the weight-bearing benefits of exercise? I think the shoes wouldn't affect weight bearing water exercise. The water would have to be extremely shallow (and uncomfortable for most) to have weight bearing benefits. One of the best characteristics of water exercise is that it isn't weight bearing. What about osteoporosis? People with osteo do retain and improve their ossification levels. There is enough resistance in water exercise to provide muscle strengthening, which is the foundation of point of free weight training for osteo improvement. Do people need to do exercises other than aqua aerobics to get the benefits of weight bearing exercise? The most recent studies indicate that a well blended format of light floor exercises with free weights along with a substantial aerobic water training program have the best effect on de calcification with osteo clients. Answered by Cheryl -Carla's sister and BSN (Nurse).
Q.: Can you please tell me the temperature a pool should be for people over 50? Vicki Boyd
A.: The AEA (Aquatic Fitness Professional Manual, page 79) says that water temperatures for older participants should range between 83-86 for moderate to high intensity exercise and 86-88 for low intensity exercise. Thanks for asking, Carla
Q.: A 60ish, relatively fit woman, came to my class wearing ankle weights. Do you see harm or contraindications in this situation? Gretchen Sims, AEA certified instructor, Dallas, TX.
A.: The key to appropriateness for any piece of equipment for a particular individual is what the doctor says. Before beginning any exercise program, including aquatic exercise, physician approval is important. That way any specifics about modifications to maximize the benefit of the workout can be discussed, with the objective for that person in mind. In my experience, the use of wrist or ankle weights in lieu of effective use of resistance, and drag has never been advised to increase difficulty of the workout for general populations. When examining body mechanics, adding weight to the ankle increases the load of knee and hip joints to exceed what God intended to enable activities of normal daily living. To further challenge the weighted extremity by introducing vigorous movement into the mix along with the resistance/drag properties of the water may be a formula for pain and even injury, canceling the perceived benefit of increasing workout difficulty. There are some limited situations where weights may be of value. The use of weights to help a particularly buoyant person stay grounded is considered when all else fails. This happens in some Parkinson patients. Keep in mind though, that the lower body movement activity format for those who need weight to keep their lower extremities from floating to the surface is not aerobic. Occasionally the use of a weight on one side of the body may be part of physician prescribed physical therapy to aid when the objective is to strengthen the weaker side of a stroke patient. Again, this approach is monitored closely and at the specific direction of the physician to achieve a particular objective. As a personal trainer, I am currently working with a stroke survivor. We are using AQUALOGIX fins to challenge the weak side rather than weights. The other exception would be athletes training to fine tune a particular body function for competition success - always with close coach supervision. Caution about recommending any equipment which is attached to the body is advised to assure each class participant is comfortable with it, knows how to use it safely and is aware of the difference it makes to their personal body mechanics. This includes not only weights but buoyancy belts, flotation cuffs, and resistant fins. Thanks for asking, Barb.
Q.: I have been asked to teach a water exercise class for Moms and their babies. Do you see issues or concerns that I should be aware of? Gretchen Sims, AEA certified instructor, Dallas, TX
A.: This is a wonderful class to be teaching - as long as the child is ready, the class is fun, the water warm, and safety is the highest priority. You can find course information at the YMCA and the American Red Cross. Other sites of interest include: www.parenting.com/article/Baby/Development/Infant-Swimming-Classes; www.infantswim.com; www.ClubSwim.com; and www.kidzworld.co.za/cl_swim_aquatots.htm. Thanks for asking, Carla
Q.: If you walk one mile in water what distance would that be considered on land?
A.: Although a mile traveled on land and in water is the same, water has benefits that make it more intense, cardio, calorie buring, etc., experience. Resistance of the water (hydrostatic pressure) against all of your motions resulting in higher workout intensities as compared to land exercises. A massaging effect is created when your muscles are surrounded by water. Water provides twelve per cent more resistance than movements on land - without the gravitational stress and pain. Individual results vary, based on speed of movement, resistance equipment (gloves, barbells, noodles, etc), and amount of body under the water. The deeper the water on the body, the more resistance, resulting in a more intense workout. Thanks for asking, Carla

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