Deep Water Fitness Adventure

Friday, November 29 2019

Experience a challenging and fun deep-water workout that blends together vertical and horizontal movements with running segments for a fast-paced cardio core adventure in the deep end. 

Deep UpDown Run features four 5-minute combinations that each include four components.  The “down move” is a deep-water base move performed vertically with variations of intensity.  The “up move” is a horizontal exercise, typically performed in a reclined position for enhanced core activation.  The “UpDown move” is a combination of both the vertical and horizontal movements; starting vertical, working up to horizontal and then back down again.  The last component is two minutes of deep water running split up into four 30-second segments and alternated with the other three components. 


5-Minute Combo Template

  1. 30 seconds running
  2. 60 seconds down - vertical
  3. 30 seconds running
  4. 60 seconds up - horizontal
  5. 30 seconds running
  6. 60 seconds up & down – vertizontal
  7. 30 seconds running

Vertical movements selected in this workout are simple deep-water base moves.  Simple is best so that the routine is easier to teach.  However, the exercises can be made more challenging by incorporating variations in intensity using tempo, levers and range of motion.

The horizontal moves selected can be more core-oriented or even swim inspired.  The core-oriented exercises are typically performed in a reclined position, or an L-sit position.   But instructors with a swim background should feel free to get creative and blend in some swim style exercises. 

In the video, the vertical and horizontal moves are performed together, starting with the vertical move transitioning to the horizontal move and back down again.   However, instructors shoul feel free to perform any kind of vertical to horizontal move during these 60 seconds.  The term “vertizontal” was inspired by a deep-water DVD I produced in 2010 – Aqua Vertizontal.

The running segments interspersed are designed to keep the pace energetic and to add more of a cardio, high intensity element to the workout.   Instructors should strive to incorporate a variety of running patterns that move the legs in all directions so that the hip flexors don’t get over used in a traditional sprint

Bonus Round
Each of the four 5-minute combinations had 7 parts as seen in the template above.  After completing all four combinations, a 7-minute bonus round was performed in the video by doing all 28 parts for 15 seconds each.

Added Equipment?
Drag equipment, such as the Aqualogix uppers & lowers, or webbed gloves, can easily be inserted into this workout to increase the resistance and intensity.  A flotation belt is recommended for this workout and for deep water exercise in general.  The core is best activated when wearing a flotation belt because it allows for better vertical alignment.  Exercising in deep water without a belt causes the body to slightly tilt forward or backward, which deactivates the core muscles.  Exercising in the deep end with a flotation belt also allows the arms and legs to be freed up so that they can more effectively perform aerobic movements.  Watch me explain the importance of wearing a flotation belt in deep water exercise. 

The belt I am wearing in the video is by WaterGym and it is my personal favorite.  WaterGym belts are available in the PoolFit Marketplace.

Buckle up and enjoy another PoolFit adventure in the deep end!


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.