Aqua Ex Summit:
Refresh Your Pool Without Getting Wet

by Robin Taylor

When the pandemic began over a year ago, one of the first safe environments recommended to exercise in was the pool. The Centers for Disease Control announced they were not aware of any scientific reports of COVID-19 spreading to people through the water in pools and hot tubs. They set up a series of guidelines for pool operators to follow, including social distancing (about the length of a pool noodle), use of face masks (except in the water), increased ventilation, cleaning/disinfecting equipment and supplies along with the use of chlorine and bromine in the water for maintaining chemical balances to help kill the virus.

Now that gyms and pools are reopening safely, the need for refreshed group exercise classes arises. SCW Fitness Education is known for their 3-day MANIA® Fitness Conferences with workshops and lectures focusing on all aspects of health and wellness, as well as business and marketing. A specific aqua based conference was never needed until now. We are proud to offer a specialized single day, Aqua Exercise Summit, devoted to water fitness for both instructors and managers.

“We are thrilled to offer our first aquatic specialty convention. This has been over 30 years in the making,” exclaims Sara Kooperman, CEO of SCW Fitness Education! “SCW has been offering aquatic certifications and programming for decades and are bursting to offer this in one magnificent and intense full day convention. Innovative, educational and easily applicable workshops make this virtual conference an absolute treasure.”

Fitness Professionals get to “pool together” on land, May 1, 2021, for this 1-day live-stream event via Zoom featuring 24 sessions led by 11 Star Aqua Trainers. The precision crafted, laser focused workshops, covering formats including HIIT, Active Aging, Mind-Body, Strength, GX and Programming are designed to drive your career further and make your class participants beg for more. With new and current attendees eager for exciting choreography, the Aqua Exercise Summit is guaranteed to prepare the instructor with the knowledge needed to get their peeps jumping and splashing to a whole new workout.

A full schedule of hyper-focused sessions is available with no pre-selection required. This brand new SCW Fitness event allows for participants to earn 7.5 CECs from the best in the business including NASM, ACE, SCW, AFAA, ACSM & AEA, as well as to network with other pros to create relationships for career advancement into the future. All this for only $99 (regularly $199) in only one day and as an added benefit, 30 days of session recordings are also available for only $30 more, that way you can take your new moves to the pool and splash on your own time.

This is the chance for Aquatic Fitness Professionals to expand their knowledge base and elevate their business by learning and engaging with the industry’s top aqua exercise experts, like Jenna Bostic, MaryBeth Dziubinski, Jeff Howard, Ann Gilbert, Connie Warasila and Sara Kooperman, JD. Motivate your clients and participants with powerful new ideas, challenging workouts and concrete programming. Register now for the SCW Aqua Exercise Summit and in just one day, excel your expertise and career from small ripples into TIDAL WAVES.


About the Author, Robin Taylor

Robin is the SCW Editor for Spotlite, Tidal Waves and Weekly Work-UP as well as the Assistant Product Manager for WATERinMOTION and MANIA. Having taught Aquatic Fitness for over 15 years, Robin is AEA and AFAA certified and a WATERinMOTION Champion. She has participated in several WIM filmings, as both a pool participant and on-deck presenter. Robin has been an employee of SCW for almost five years. She is married and has two adult daughters and has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Florida.

Barre Anywhere!

by Stefanie Miller
The word barre is a French term used in ballet for a handrail placed hip height and used by dancers to maintain balance during practice. That name is also known in the fitness industry as a type of workout. Barre, if you are unaware, is a combination of Yoga meets Pilates meets Ballet. It was created by ballerina Lotte Berk while living in London in 1959. After injuring her back, she got the idea of combining her ballet barre routines with her rehabilitative therapy to form an exercise system. Lotte wound up opening the first “Barre” facility, The Lotte Berk Studio in her West End basement with many celebrities, like Barbara Streisand and Joan Collins attending classes. Barre focuses on the lower body and core and is used to develop flexibility and strength from the ankles to the abdominals. It stresses proper form and alignment to help develop the back and improve posture, but it doesn’t stop there! In every one hour class, the whole body and each muscle group is activated making barre one of the best workouts to experience. In the last several years the resurgence of barre is undeniable, gaining worldwide attention in not only boutique studios, but in the pool as well. Exercising in an aquatic environment opens up a whole new world both mentally and physically. The properties of water allow your body to use buoyancy for resistance and provide less stress on the joints. Aquatic fitness classes can take place in the shallow or deep water. When it comes to converting a land barre class into an aqua barre class in the shallow end, all you need is a pool noodle or even just the edge of the wall. Both items act as a barre to help the participant’s balance, but the noodle offers a bit more instability since it isn’t secure. For even more of a challenge, barre classes can take place on a stand-up paddle board; talk about working on core strength! Imagine floating on an unstable surface down on all fours, gripping the edge of the paddle board with your right hand while slowly lifting your left leg to the sky and reaching the left hand straight out ahead of you. Not a class for the faint of heart! Taking a barre class in the pool is not only stimulating, but also refreshing since the water also delivers a cooler environment to exercise. The benefits of attending a barre class are endless. As you’re reading this, you may be slouching in your chair (you probably just sat up tall) well if you were partaking in regular barre workouts, then your back muscles would be noticeably stronger, resisting the need to slouch. Let’s take a look at other reasons to add barre classes to your weekly workout regimen. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
  1. Improves posture
  2. Strengthens glutes
  3. Tones abdominal muscles
  4. Increases flexibility
  5. Reduces stress
  6. Better mental focus
  7. Increases all over strength
  8. Improves endurance
One last tip if you are considering trying a barre class, protect the feet. As with any form of exercise, it is advised to wear some type of shoe. Both on land and in the water, unforeseen dangers can lurk. Whether it be a stone, hair clip or even a piece of glass. Barreletics Performance Skin Footwear offers all over grip and support both in-studio taking Barre/Yoga/Pilates or when working out in the pool doing water aerobics, aqua barre or any other pool or beach activity! Being aware of your surroundings and the surface supporting your body will help activate and alleviate any issues that may arise. You will walk (or swim) out of class not only feeling strong and empowered but mindful as well.

About the Author, Stefanie Miller

As lead designer Stefanie created Performance Skin Footwear
that is unlike any other product on the market. This completely innovative
design works across many vertices including; Barre, Yoga, Pilates, Karate ,Kickboxing, as well as water sports. Stefanie has received many awards for her innovative design combined with functionality of use.

Changes Toward a Healthier Tomorrow
by Cheri Kulp

Who would have thought 13 months ago we would still be in the same situation we face now. Even though many of us are vaccinated and restrictions are easing up, the hesitation to surrender back to the way it was still exists. Throughout the past year we, as a society and especially as Fitness Professionals, have learned to adjust with the quickly changing landscape. SCW has played their part quite thoroughly, staying on top of the latest education and research to provide personal trainers and instructors along with gym managers and owners on both how to safely re-open pool facilities and the best practices for teaching under our current restrictions.

For many, the pandemic has changed work routines and workout practices. When members and clients return to their comfortable exercise environment is still unknown, but at least for now there are alternatives for certified instructors and coaches to work with their participants to help them reach their health and fitness goals. Online certifications, virtual workouts, and multipurpose home-based equipment have become the norm more than the exception. Mask wearing requirements and stringent safety and cleaning procedures have brought new challenges to facility-based workouts. New and different skills are needed to connect with and lead participants through a workout, especially those with limitations or specific concerns.

In order for growth to take place, surveys, feedback and input from staff, presenters, participants and other industry leaders is extremely important. SCW Fitness decided the most efficient way to specifically assist instructors was to begin updating our certification manuals with current and pertinent information for these present times.

“The focus of re-doing our certifications is that we are living in a different world right now,” comments Sara Kooperman, CEO of SCW Fitness Education, “instructors (both novice and experienced) need to know how to teach not only in person, but also virtually. It is so important for them to learn to instruct for recorded sessions as well. We are committed to continually offering reliable education at an affordable price, giving those passionate individuals all the tools needed to begin or grow their career in the professional world of fitness.”

SCW offers over 35 recognized, certified continuing education manuals filled with education to become a professional instructor or trainer. We are pleased to announce that our Aqua Exercise Certification manual has been updated and available.

Additions and improvements in the newly revised Aqua Exercise Certification manual include:

  • Even more comprehensive information, including diagrams, pictures, and tables.
  • The legalities of music, latest trends, and tried and tested standards.
  • A reorganization of chapters and resource addendums for easier studying, comprehension, and application of skills.
  • A BRAND NEW virtual section with practical tips for live streaming and recording sessions.
  • Input by a collaborative team of respected and recognized leaders, instructors, teachers, and fitness professionals with hundreds of years of combined experience and expertise.
  • Instructional videos that companion each certification providing instructors demonstrations to practice skills, movements, and gain ideas for their classes.

SCW Fitness has always known education is the key to success. Revising the multitude of professional certifications and manuals is a huge undertaking and a continuous work in progress, but we feel very strongly in our goal of delivering the latest research and documentation to help make each and every one of our courses the best possible so that the future of the fitness industry will continue to thrive, creating a healthier tomorrow.


About the Author, Cheri Kulp

Cheri Kulp has been a certified instructor for over 30 years. She holds a degree in special education and has previously taught for 18 years. Cheri has been a WATERinMOTION® champion for a decade and is the choreographer for the new aqua dumbbell program, WATERinMOTION® Strength. Her areas of expertise include presenting at SCW MANIA® conferences for 4 years, personal trainer, ARC lifeguard, swim instructor and Les Mills instructor. She has appeared in over 25 videos.

The Benefits of Water Exercise
by Christine Alexander

Summer is almost here and more people will be using the pools to cool off, swim laps, splash around and mainly just hang out with friends and family. A pool is typically taken for granted and seen as a destination, but if participants knew more about the benefits of being in a pool and especially exercising in a water environment, aquatic class numbers and the demand for additional programs would be sky high creating more revenue for the instructor and facility.

Pools not only offer a space to play and exercise, but they also provide a healthy environment, with minimal risk of sharing illnesses, germs and diseases like COVID, Flu and other air borne contaminants. The Centers for Disease Control has stated that there is no evidence that the virus that causes Covid-19 can be spread to individuals through the water in pools, hot tubs or spas. The CDC further shared that the proper operation and maintenance, including treatment with chlorine and bromine, of these facilities should inactivate the virus in the water. High touch surfaces, like handrails, are frequently wiped down and water exercise equipment can be cleaned easily since most are made with antibacterial materials.

Since pools have been deemed safe, pool-goers need to know the many reasons to exercise in the water. Some may be familiar, and some might surprise you. As it has been said, “water is the Fountain of Youth” and the properties of water provide these benefits.

Buoyancy is defined as the upward force exerted by any fluid upon a body placed in it, essentially water can support the body along with assisting and resisting movement. This force allows you to float and decreases the compression of your joints. As a result, you can exercise with greater range of motion, which improves flexibility. People with joint issues experience decreased pain, which is why water exercise is so popular with people who have arthritis. Buoyancy reduces the body’s weight by 90% in neck deep water, by 65-75% in chest deep water, and by 50% in waist deep water. People who cannot exercise on land are able to move easily and possibly even vigorously in the water. Aquatic exercise is ideal for the obese, many tend to drop out of other forms of exercise because it is too uncomfortable. Buoyancy is responsible for the feeling of fun people experience in the water, even when they are working hard. It is the reason why so many individuals who try water exercise end up staying with the program.

Aqua Fitness Professionals learn the resistance of water is 12x-14x greater than the resistance of air. In fact, the resistance depends on how much force you are using when you move your limbs through the water. There are two types of resistance, drag and buoyant, depending on what is being forced through the water. It is three dimensional, meaning force is applied to the body from all sides and directions. The harder you push, the harder the water pushes back. Drag resistance slows movement down. This allows you to perform rebounding moves and other sports-based activities without risk of injury, while at the same time improving skills. The water provides a constant muscle load. People who exercise in water see improved muscular strength and endurance. Opposing muscle pairs are worked equally, which promotes muscle balance.

Hydrostatic Pressure is the force exerted by the molecules of water on an immersed body. It is exerted equally on all surfaces of the body and increases with depth. Hydrostatic pressure decreases swelling, especially in the lower extremities. This is one reason why aquatic physical therapy is often prescribed for certain injuries and conditions. Hydrostatic pressure is also exerted on the chest cavity, which helps condition the muscles of respiration to inhale more deeply and forcefully.

Water exercise improves cardiovascular fitness. Immersion relaxes the blood vessels so that they can carry more blood while presenting less resistance to the heart, which is pumping that blood. This decreases blood pressure which lingers even after you get out of the pool. With regular aquatic exercise, the vessels themselves become more pliant and supple reducing the risk for hypertension. The hydrostatic pressure of the water pushes blood out to the extremities, and combined with more supple blood vessels, stroke volume and cardiac output increases meaning the heart becomes more efficient, pumping more blood with each stroke. Blood flow to the muscles during water exercise can increase an amazing 250%. With this kind of blood flow, heart rate is lowered. Target heart rates while exercising in shallow water average about 7 beats per minute lower than the same intensity exercise on land. The exact number of beats depends on many factors, including the fitness level of the individual. An added benefit of increased cardiac output is that a greater volume of blood is pushed through the kidneys, which in turn improves kidney function and increases urine output.

The working muscles and kidneys are not the only beneficiaries of improved cardiac output. Blood flow to the brain increases progressively with immersion from zero depth to shoulder depth and persists throughout the exercise period, delivering oxygen and nutrients which the brain uses to repair and regenerate brain and nerve cells. It is reasonable to assume that this would help slow the deterioration of age-related brain performance.

These benefits are just the tip of the iceberg. The properties of buoyancy, resistance, and hydrostatic pressure have so much more to offer. Water exercise improves flexibility, decreases pain, allows you to exercise comfortably, slows movement down reducing the risk of injury, improves muscular strength and endurance, promotes muscle balance, reduces swelling, conditions the muscles of respiration, improves cardiovascular fitness, decreases blood pressure, improves cardiac output, improves kidney function, and slows the deterioration of age-related brain function. And there are no side effects! So as the weather heats up and the kids have gone off to play, it’s your turn to jump in the pool to take advantage of everything the water has to offer and then some.


About the Author, Christine Alexander

Christine Alexander is the author of Water Fitness Lesson Plans and Choreography, published by Human Kinetics in 2011. The book is sold in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Christine has been teaching water fitness classes since June 1993. Her first classes were at the YMCA, in Kenner, Louisiana, a suburb of New Orleans. She moved to Plano, Texas in 1998 and she currently teaches classes for the City of Plano Parks and Recreation Department at Oak Point Recreation Center. She also teaches sub classes for the City of McKinney Parks and Recreation.

Kale Salad with Lemon and Garlic

Earth Day this year is April 22nd and the best way to show how much we love our planet is by going GREEN. Green can symbolize life, health, prosperity and more. We can also eat green, which benefits sustainability and keeps us healthy. Here is one highly nutritious salad to not only keep you in tip top shape, but to also keep our world beautiful as well.


1 head Curly kale (clean and dry)
2 cups Almonds (sliced)
1 ½ cups Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
⅓ cup Lemon juice
4 cloves of garlic (crushed & diced)
1 ½ cups Parmesan cheese (optional)
Kosher salt (to taste)

  1. Place sliced almonds in a skillet and toast until slightly browned, set off to side to cool.
  2. Mix EVOO, lemon juice, crushed garlic and salt (optional) in a bowl.
  3. Strip the curly kale from the center spine and break into bite-size pieces.
  4. Combine the kale, EVOO mixture and ¾ of the almonds together in a serving bowl
  5. Top with remainder of the almonds and Parmesan cheese (optional)
  6. ENJOY!


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