“What is a woggle?” I asked myself this question when I read some posts on a Facebook page and the word “woggle” was used quite often. I joined this Facebook group where swimming teachers can get advice related to their job. In the UK it is called a “swim woggle noodle”.
A water noodle is one of my most favourite pieces of equipment.
Having been teaching swimming and water aerobics for more than twenty years, I personally love this piece of equipment the most. Woggle noodle swimming aid (a noodle later in this post) can be really useful while teaching children and adults. It is beneficial to use noodles during water aerobics classes, and it provides a lot of fun and diversity.
While working for myself for some time, I strove to make my business as most profitable as possible. Working in the water fitness industry, I wanted to spend less on necessities for my business, hence I had to go for such equipment which would be multi-functional. I found that the noodle is just the equipment.
I am not a strong supporter of using special equipment in the early classes of the beginner where the main goal is being comfortable in water, the conscious control of your body, breathing and competent movements in the water. I consider kick boards, flippers, noodles, etc. as special equipment, but if really needed I would use a noodle. For me personally, the knowhows are the following:
– As a great flotation equipment, a noodle can provide the necessary support from the right (hand) grip to different games in water in order to maintain what has been learnt and develop new skills to make friends with water. I personally prefer my students to use a noodle (sometimes cut into two or three pieces) rather than a kickboard when practicing kicking sets. Holding a kickboard with extended arms in front puts a lot of strain on the shoulders.
– There can be situations when young students cannot or just don’t like doing exercises on their own. In this case a noodle is the best solution, for a example in one-to-one training of children with special needs. When the students don’t have the contact of their feet with the pool bottom and they still need to move freely as well as they need time to practice longer. An extra benefit is that it is a lot of fun.
– There are some swimming drills where a noodle is beneficial to use in order to improve or correct the technique. When a flexible noodle is placed across the chest and under the armpits, it allows my students to keep their head above water without too much effort. I use this position when I teach how to kick breaststroke and I need my students to lower their hips in order to do it.
Noodles in teaching water aerobics
There are so many ways to use noodles in water aerobics and the sky is the limit for the instructors to create an interesting, beneficial and nearly perfect classes.
Types of noodle classes
– Single use
– Using in pairs
– Using in groups
Ways of using the noodle:
– A noodle is flotation device that can be used to create neutral buoyancy, to maintain vertical alignment in the water.
1) Under the arms in front.
2) Under the arms behind.
3) Under one arm.
4) Sitting on like on a horse.
5) Sitting on like on a swing.
6) Standing with one foot.
7) Standing with both feet.
– The noodle is buoyant device.
1) Holding with both hands in front.
2) Holding with both hands behind.
3) Holding with one hand.
4) Standing with one foot.
5) Standing with both feet.
6) Using a knotted noodle
It is important to remember there are some recommendations and restrictions in using noodles during water aerobics classes. The use of noodles as a flotation device in different positions should be limited and diverse. On the site For The Love Of Fit you will find clarification of flotation methods and warnings against some of them and why. My own practical suggestions, which have been tried and tested for over twenty years of my experience would be:
– While exercising, it is better not to hold on to the noodle for a long periods of time because initially hands’ and wrists’ muscles are not strong enough to handle such exercises. Besides such exercises might provoke shoulders elevation, which is not the aim of any workout, not to mention water aerobics.
– A noodle under the armpits can apply pressure on the delicate nerves and blood vessels of the armpits. Sometimes when people move their arms, they can chafe the skin on the inside of the upper arm.
– Standing on a submerged noodle can be an exciting balance exercise, but is not practical for a complete session. Besides, it does not provide many vigorous limb movements associated with cardiovascular work.
All the recommendations above can be helpful in designing an aqua aerobics noodle class, yet an aquatic enthusiast should be creative and careful in choosing the right exercises and combinations to create a productive and efficient class.
Go for it! Be creative as much as possible! But remember to test it first!