Move in 6 Directions for Better Exercise Results

Move in 6 Directions for Better Exercise Results

Why Move in 6 Directions? In 2011, I entered the Gray Institute fellowship program. I thought I was going to enhance my understanding of anatomy and biomechanics. And yes I did become more familiar with muscles and movement, but more importantly the Gray Institute connected everything I already knew and inspired me to learn more. As a traditionally trained fitness professional, I now understood that my claim to teaching tri-planar movement fell short. I was forced out of my black and white comfort zone into a grey area I was totally uncomfortable with. Fortunately, the faculty has a special gift of conveying difficult concepts in a way that are actionable. The secret? Always being able to answer why. Now equipped with a new way of thinking, I realized that if I was going to teach others, I needed to find a simple way of sharing information that was still very complex in my mind. I needed to explain the why. With that the foundation of WECOACH was born. Simply, if I can teach people only one thing about exercise it would be that each joint needs movement in 6 directions. It helps get to the source of pain and weakness, solving problems, and preventing injury in a huge way! The Power of Why If you have been following my blog or perhaps using a WECOACH DVD or audio workout, you’ve heard me talk about moving the body in 6 directions.  Here’s why! Every joint in the body moves in 3 planes. Let’s take the shoulder as an example. Feel each plane of motion as you swing the arm: Front... read more
Fat Burning Water Workout: HI-YO Intervals

Fat Burning Water Workout: HI-YO Intervals

The Best Fat Burning Workout One of the most commonly asked questions to aquatic fitness professionals is, “what is the best fat burning workout?” Although there is no “best way”, the bottom line is the more calories that are burned, the greater the potential for fat loss.  There are many ways to design a weight loss workout. For example: (1) Exercises performed for longer duration at a lower intensity and (2) Exercises for a shorter duration at higher intensity can yield the same fat-burning outcomes. On land a high intensity workout may be reserved for advanced exercisers.  However, water serves as the great equalizer making high intensity interval training appropriate for all! Water … the Great Equalizer! For example, say you weigh 200 pounds and you walk on a treadmill for 1 mile at a pace of 4 miles per hour.  A 15 minute workout would expend approximately 113 calories.  You could reduce exercise time and burn more calories by running at a 6 mile per hour pace burning 151 calories in just 10 minutes.  Or perhaps you would rather try intermixing short sprints into your treadmill walking program. This integration of high intensity bursts increases fat burning capabilities resulting in a higher number of calories burned. However, running on a treadmill may not feel good on your joints.  Water offers a joint friendly fat burning workout alternative! Aquatic exercise has many benefits.  In addition to being a great fat-busting workout, it takes the stress off of joints, promotes the use of more muscles, and provides an opportunity to mix up your workout routine. Did you know?  Water aerobics for an hour can result in an average of 400-500 calories... read more
5 Water Exercises for Rheumatoid Arthritis

5 Water Exercises for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Water exercises for Rheumatoid Arthritis have tremendous benefits of which I learned first hand from Kendra Jones. I first met Kendra at a convention hosted by the Aquatic Therapy & Rehab Institute. In a single conversation, it was easy to spot her kind and caring personality. I learned that Kendra’s interest in water exercise stemmed from her own diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis commonly referred to as Jr. RA.

First diagnosed at the age of 4 with childhood-onset rheumatoid arthritis, by 26 she had both hips replaced and at 28 was facing surgery on her neck due to excruciating pain from discs fused together (again from the JRA).

Weighing her options and on the advice of a neurosurgeon, Kendra found other ways to manage the pain without surgery. Today she shares with WEOACH followers some of her favorite water exercises for Rheumatoid Arthritis!

read more
Holding the Pool Wall is not Just for Beginners

Holding the Pool Wall is not Just for Beginners

Holding the pool wall might not be known for advancing an exercise, but it should!  Did you know that stability enhances mobility and with greater stability isolated muscle strengthening is possible? Think about a time when you’ve been nervous or scared. What does the body do? Shoulders rounded, muscles tense and perhaps the body is a little slow to move. These protective tendencies are also instinctive during exercise. If you have joint pain, or you’re trying an exercise for the first time, it’s natural for the body to select a position and movement that feels safe. Even for experienced exercisers, you’ll notice things like: securing better balance by widening the base of support, crouching down or rounding the body. Furthermore, the muscles may tense, range of motion reduce and perhaps the joints start moving in tandem rather than independently. Are you quick to get students away from the pool wall? I know I was. Not wanting my students to rely on the pool wall, I encouraged free standing exercises. Humbled by the intelligence of the body, I learned the value of stability and the benefits to all fitness levels. Not only could the pool wall be used to help relax and build confidence but also to improve mobility and stability. With this lesson learned, I had my fit college students seeking better athletic performance and seniors looking to improve balance, both using the wall to get better results. Enhancing Mobility When the body senses greater security, it feels confident to move in a greater range. Feel it for yourself. In the pool, or on land, try a single leg balance reach.... read more
Healing Sounds for Water Exercise

Healing Sounds for Water Exercise

Are You Rhythm Ready? Have you ever considered the impact music has on your workout?  In my group exercise classes, I noticed with certain music my students appeared disengaged while other times they were relaxed and smiling even when they were working really hard.  Curious to know more about the impact of music on exercise, I started to do some research. I could never have anticipated how a casual conversation with two musicians would turn into a new sound for water exercise.  I knew water exercise is was great, but I didn’t know it could be even better with the right sound.  After many months of hard work, they did it – Jamie and Erika Mahn created a new sound for water exercise called, “Blue Rhythm.” Meet the Musician: Jamie Mahn Jamie made his musical debut at the age of 4 singing at an Oktoberfest celebration.  At 12, he delivered his first impromptu piano show to snowbound guests in New York. Performing piano, guitar, sax and more on stages worldwide, music literally runs through his body! Currently, Jamie delivers a live all-request piano show with partner Brian Burn. Burn ‘N’ Mahn, covers every style of music from the 1920s to current top 40 hits.  Jamie says, “To stay on top of the latest, we listen to satellite radio while driving from gig to gig and basically learn songs on the road so that if people ask we can play them.”   440 Hz vs. 432 Hz Most music is tuned to a frequency of 440 Hz, which has been the industry standard since the 1950s, yet Jamie and Brian have been... read more
9 Solutions for Cloudy Pool Water

9 Solutions for Cloudy Pool Water

Pool Water Quality is Important Many aquatic professionals are intimidated by the complexity of pool water chemistry when in reality, it is not as complicated as it may seem. If water is cloudy, there is a serious problem, but clear water doesn’t necessarily mean safe water either. Every pool that is open for public use has to be tested at least 3 times a day and results of those tests need to be recorded in a written log.  This is the law, according to public health codes. The 3 main tests are: pH Free Chlorine Total or combined Chlorine Safe Level of Combined Chlorine There are different opinions on “safe levels” of combined chlorine (chloramines) in pool water. Our opinion is that if there is a perceptible change in the color when the #3 drops are added (Taylor Test kit above), you have a problem. Chloramine formation can be accelerated by: Pool users not properly showering before entering the pool. People using the pool rather than getting out and going to the restroom. People sweating.  Everyone sweats in the water – just like you would exercising on land. Residues from ammonia or nitrogen-based cleaning products used to clean the deck/showers. Fertilizer residues tracked on shoes into the building (nitrogen-based used on landscaping). Poor air circulation and lack of fresh air introduction into the pool building. Over-use of “shocking” the pool for maintenance purposes.  The pool should not be shocked before or during meets.  In fact, current research shows using a chlorine-based shock should only happen if there is an identifiable bacteria problem. Operating the pool with too high of free chlorine level. ... read more
Yoga Exercises for Back Pain

Yoga Exercises for Back Pain

Tired of waking up with aches and pains?  Yoga in the pool can help.  Stretching in the aquatic environment is beneficial and can be practiced by individuals of all fitness levels.  Buoyancy supports the body for better range of motion while moving against the natural resistance of the water improves strength. So you might be wondering, can this gentle and low-impact exercise really help with low back pain? The answer is YES! Aquatic Yoga Exercises for Back Pain In fact, when researchers investigated the effects of aquatic strength training on health and fitness of postmenopausal women, they discovered significant physiological benefits.  Of great importance to those with back pain, findings showed that: Aquatic resistance exercises may provide more benefits to individuals who would be more sensitive to heavier loading or impact which may occur when training on dry land with certain devices and exercises.  Colado and Triplett (2009) Buoyancy and resistance make water an ideal environment for: Improving flexibility Decreasing risk of injury and chronic low back pain Reducing stiffness Improving muscle balance and postural awareness Enhancing joint health and decreasing likelihood of degenerative joint disease What is Stretch Fusion? Stretch Fusion is my answer to aquatic flexibility training. A workout format that combines dynamic movement with Yoga based exercises.  Individual poses are paired with active movement to maintain your body temperature as you complete the routine.  This unique approach to flexibility training utilizes the water’s magical properties, buoyancy and resistance, to achieve better results. Not only will you be more flexible, but you can reduce stress and help free yourself from joint and muscle pain. Yoga Exercises for Back Pain... read more
Top 10 Reasons for Exercising in the Water

Top 10 Reasons for Exercising in the Water

By:  Mark Grevelding, Fitmotivation Founder Fitmotivation and WECOACH:  Getting More People in the Water WECOACH founder, Laurie Denomme and I have been friends and professional colleagues for more than 15 years.  During these 15 years, we have both been dedicated to one mission – getting more people in the water and showing them a better way to exercise.  Over the years, Laurie and I have developed our own expertise and preferences in regards to aquatic exercise.  Laurie has become well known for mind & body and flexibility programming, as well as a more functional approach toward water exercise. And I suppose I have become well known for choreography, dual depth programming and more recently my personal preference for exercising in the water with high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Fitmotivation is proud to share a professional alliance with WECOACH.  Together we bring a wide variety of exercise and programming options to both health seekers and fitness professionals, with Laurie more on the “Zen” end of the spectrum, and myself more on the “Zing” side.  However, I can assure that I would not be personally exercising with “Zing” if not for the water. A childhood spent as a gymnast and a runner and then 30 years of weightlifting (initially incorrectly) and 20 years of teaching group fitness have taken a toll on my body. Let’s just say I have achy breaky body parts.  Running or doing any high intensity or high impact exercise on land is simply out of the question. Does that mean I had to give up the thrill and the endorphin buzz obtained from running or exercising at high... read more