What do you think of ankle cuffs for Aqua Aerobics?

My greetings to you, dedicated Aqua Aerobics participants! I think it is high time you diversified your sessions by adding a very useful piece of Aqua Aerobics equipment, the ankle cuffs.

I am sure that you have mastered your skills in managing yourself with water resistance during your workouts, so let us now explore how ankle cuffs can be used during a class. In this video you will see me conducting an “Eclectic” class at a Moscow Aqua Aerobics convention. The participants are using noodles and only one ankle cuff. (Half of the class are wearing it on their left leg and the other half of the class on their right leg). This is even more challenging in terms of keeping balance.

Ankle cuffs are made of material which floats. A long time ago, one of my colleagues stated that she didn’t like this piece of equipment because her students’ legs kept floating to the surface of the water which prevented them from exercising. I shied away to explain the specifics of using such equipment.

In 2011, I participated in a class at an AEA conference where I was wearing ankle cuffs which didn’t feature straps around my feet. Being buoyant, the cuffs rode up my calves, squeezing them. I felt how it obstructed the blood circulation in my legs.  When I mentioned it to the presenter, who was from my country, she accused me of not being professional and compromising the company which produces this piece of equipment. Having had this unpleasant experience, not only do I ever use the ankle cuffs without the straps around feet by myself, but I don’t use them with my students either.

Here are some tips to help you use ankle cuffs correctly

In spite of the experience above, I like this equipment very much and hope with the following tips you will be enjoying your workout wearing ankle cuffs:

–       Put on one cuff so the strap is around your foot and it sits snugly, i.e. not too tight, so that it doesn’t affect the blood flow, or too loosely so it doesn’t flap around as you perform your exercises,

–       As soon as you get in the water, make sure you stay upright, the legs are straight and the feet are right beneath your hips. This is the starting position you want to return to each time you perform movements.

–       Keep in mind, this piece of equipment floats i.e. it is going to compromise your starting position by trying to get your legs to the surface of the water all the time while you are exercising.

–       You can design any kinds of exercises, but keep in mind that the most effort is put into returning to the starting position, when you are able to keep the balance and the ankle cuffs beneath the hips.

It is useful to try out your choice of the movements before you introduce them to your participants. Remember to feel that the movements are workable and you are enjoying your own session. It will help to ensure that your participants will feel the same. Enjoy the workout!

You can always send me your feedback here