Aqua Barre & Pilates Exercise

Friday, December 20 2019

The recent popularity of barre classes and studios has naturally inspired adaptations of barre workouts for the pool.   If you are interested in adding some Pilates and dance-based exercises into pool workout regimen, check out the latest video to post in the “Video Only” Category - Peyow Aqua Pilates: FunKtional Barre 1.

Anne Pringle Burnell is the creator of Peyow™ Aqua Pilates.  She is a fitness expert who presents at national and international conferences and is an education provider for Aqua Stretch™ and Stott Pilates™.  For more information on her and Peyow Aqua Pilates, check out the exclusive Fitmotivation video interview. 

What is Peyow FunKtional Barre?  According to Anne, Peyow is the Mandarin word “to float.”  In a recent article in the October/November issue of AKWA Magazine, Burnell lists four Peyow FunKtional training concepts that are prominent in the video.

1. Pilates & Dance Based Exercises
FunKtional training includes Pilates moves combined with basic ballet barre exercises, including footwork and jump training from a dancer’s perspective.  In the workout, the Pilates exercises activate maximal core control.  The basic barre exercises enhance flexibility and balance and  the jump training maintains cardio, turbulence and thermal warmth.

2. Stretch (Eccentric) Training
This workout combines dynamic flexibility with slower stretches that accentuate the eccentric phase for enhanced flexibility. The use of the noodle for balance allows for a more controlled execution of the lengthening phase of the movement.

3. Postural Ease of Movement
Postural imbalances can be corrected through the stretching of tight muscles and the strengthening of under utilized muscles.  The noodle assists with enhanced range of motion for improvements in flexibility.   The resistance of the water combined with enhanced core activation provides strengthening opportunities.

4. Kinesthetic Awareness
Muscular control, body alignment, balance and coordination are improved as you achieve greater awareness of your body in place and in movement.  The exercises in this video require focused coordination.

Below are three tips for the FunKtional Barre 1 workout.

1.  Noodles
Low-density noodles were used in this video and it is probably a good idea to recommend low-density noodles to your students.  Less dense noodles tend to be the cheaper kind available in multiple colors.  Over time, participants can progress to the more dense noodles for increased challenge.

2. Gloves
The use of gloves is encouraged for this workout.   Having gloves on while using the noodle for basic barre exercises encourages lengthened fingers by using use the noodle for support rather than for gripping.  Prolonged gripping is discouraged because it reduces blood flow to the fingers and can elevate blood pressure.

3. Shoes
Shoes are not recommended for this workout.  Traditional Pilates and dance-based movements are typically performed without shoes.   However, please consider wearing shoes if you have been advised to do so due to a medical condition or if the pool floor is rough on your feet. 

Peyow Aqua Pilates features other videos in their DVD workout series, including, Water Ballet Stretches, Timed Intervals, Plank Challenges and more.  And while you are on their website, checkout the manual for the entire Peyow Aqua Pilates program.  I have that manual and love it.

Big thanks to Anne Pringle Burnell and Peyow Aqua Pilates for filming FunKtional Barre 1 and sharing this video with subscribers.  


Author: Mark Grevelding is the founder of Fitmotivation. He is also a training specialist and consultant with the Aquatic Exercise Association’s (AEA). Mark has been active in the fitness industry for 22 years as a group fitness instructor, personal trainer, international presenter and a continuing education provider for AEA, AFAA & ACE.