Armed Resistance

Tuesday, October 25 2022

Cardio, core, balance and more, join Chris LaCour for Drag & Buoy, a pool workout that utilizes both drag and buoyant resistance, in pairs and unilaterally. Gain a better understanding of the difference between drag and buoyant resistance and enjoy challenging pool exercises with equipment, as well as some killer cardio core using the pool wall.  

Subscribers who like the more advanced workouts will be happy to know that Chris is back with more S’WET inspired challenges.  S’WET is a New York City-based water fitness organization that was founded by Chris’s wife, Jenni Lynn Patterson LaCour.  The two of them have filmed several videos for Poolfit, many of which are subscriber favorites.  Chris has an interesting back story into how he got into teaching aquatic fitness classes in Manhattan.  Watch the Fitmotivation Five Year Anniversary video with Chris and Jenni Lynn to learn more about it. 

Drag Resistance
Drag equipment, such as webbed gloves or the Aqualogix belles are the same as using no equipment at all; this equipment just increases the water’s resistance. When using drag equipment or no equipment at all, ALL movements are resisted - front to back, side-to-side, up & down, horizontal and more.  Muscle actions occur in pairs. For example, when performing an arm curl, both the triceps and biceps are targeted with concentric, shortening muscle actions. With drag resistance, the ability to target muscle pairs provides better muscle balance and epitomizes why water fitness is incredibly effective

Buoyant Resistance
Not all equipment is created equal and it is really important to understand that.  Buoyant equipment, such as foam dumbbells (hand buoys) and noodles is completely different from drag equipment. You simply cannot insert hand buoys into a workout that was not designed for their use.  Why? First and foremost, some foam dumbbells are large and bulky and cannot be moved in the water like drag equipment without posing the risk of injury.  Additionally, buoyant equipment differs from drag equipment in that you can only manifest resistance in one direction and target only one muscle in a muscle pair.  Why? Only downward and inward movements are resisted with buoyant equipment. Using the same arm curl example as above, only the triceps is targeted with a concentric, shortening muscle action as the forearm is extended downward. As the forearm returns upward with elbow flexion, the triceps is targeted with an eccentric, lengthening muscle action.  The bicep is completely uninvolved.  This may sound ineffective, but there is a good reason to train with eccentric muscle actions as they can build greater strength and help to reduce injury.  Watch Chris talk more about the difference between drag & buoyant equipment.

Two Belles & Buoys 
In two of the pool segments for Drag & Buoy, a pair of buoys is used, followed by a pair of drag belles.  The same exercises are used in both segments so that you can gain a better understanding of how the resistance and challenge differs.  The exercises using a pairs of buoys and belles are taught with a progression of movement that increases in difficulty while challenging balance.  The first exercise is taught grounded and is then followed by a bounded exercise.  The final exercise is taught on one supporting leg with variations of arm and leg movement that is designed to provide an incredible challenge to core stability and balance. 

Single Belle & Buoy
The single buoy and belle segments are taught at the pool wall with a hard, harder, hardest progression of movement that challenges both cardio and core.  Once again, the same exercises are taught so that you can gain a better understanding of how the two styles of equipment change the outcome of the exercise. In these exercises, you will clearly discover that the drag equipment is much more challenging in the suspended exercises because the buoyant equipment helps you float. 

Poolfit extends a big thank you to Chris for returning to Florida to film another round of videos.  If you are newer to the site and enjoyed this workout, be sure to check out Chris’s other videos, which include the Extreme Aqua and Dude Move series, among other videos.  Watch a fun behind-the-scenes video of Chris and Jenni Lynn in their latest Florida filming adventure.



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.