Pool Wall Cardio Core Workout

Wednesday, January 11 2023

Join Sharlie Peterson for a cardio and core fitness adventure at the pool wall.  This 45-minute water workout can be performed in both deep and shallow water and features high intensity wall exercise.  Stacked Wall showcases the building-block method of fitness instruction by stacking on one 60-second exercise at a time. 

Sharlie created this class template recently when she observed that her regular HIIT classes needed some changes in order to challenge some of the regular class participants.  HIIT is popular, but if your body becomes accustomed to exercising in short bursts of high intensity, it becomes difficult to maintain high intensity at longer durations. Therefore, the challenge was on to push harder and longer.  Stacked Wall not only features wall exercises performed for a full minute, the exercises are stacked one at a time as the workout progresses meaning class members have to ultimately perform at higher levels of intensity for several minutes at a time. 

Stacked Wall includes a warm-up, cool down and three working segments of wall action that are designed to improve cardio endurance and core strength. The working segments become longer as the stacking of 1-minute exercises progresses. The workout transitions from intermittent training to steady-state training as the stacks become longer.  However, the rate-of-perceived (RPE) level is higher in Stacked Wall than it is in more traditional aerobic workouts. The building block method showcased in this video is based on add-on choreography which is a gold medal standard of group fitness instruction that has been around for decades. Add-on instruction helps participants refine their form as exercises are repeated.  Less advanced participants exercise with greater confidence when moves are added-on and repeated. More advanced participants exercise with more intensity with repetition and a simplified lesson plan. Watch Sharlie talk more about this workout in the video below, and then read in her own words the inspiration behind the creation of Stacked Wall.

Stacked Inspiration
By Sharlie Peterson
In many pool facilities, there are multiple aquatic activities taking place at the same time. A water fitness class can be met with lap swimming, swim lessons, and sometimes, in my case, multiple classes happening at the same time. Having multiple activities overlapping one another in the same pool space can become overwhelming and also take class focus off of their workout.
One of the reasons Stacked Wall was created was to be able to utilize a pool wall when so many other activities may be taking place in the pool area. Each participant has a space on the wall that they stay at or come back to throughout the entire class, making it easier to focus and also freeing up the rest of the pool. The pool wall is often used in aquatic classes as a strengthening and core tool, which is why Shockwave Aqua Fitness wanted to showcase a well-rounded blend of cardio, strength, and core exercises.

The Stacked format was created when my Aqua HIIT routines were becoming stale in the summer of 2022. The athletic class participants wanted to be pushed more, and it was time to re-invent some of the programming. Stacked is an excellent format not only because it truly pushes the participants on endurance and cardio, but it is also a fairly easy class for instructors to teach as it only requires 8 exercises total outside of the warm up and cool down blocks.
The creativity with Stacked comes in knowing which exercises to pair together and which ones may not flow well together for reasons such as too much cardio back to back, or too many core-focused exercises can not only overwork class members but can also be on the boring side. By creating clever patterns of cardio, strength, and core work, your Stacked classes are sure to thrill and be a quick favorite among class members!

Poolfit extends a big thank you to Sharlie for sharing her passion for aquatic fitness with subscribers.  Check out her other Poolfit videos and stay tuned as more videos from Sharlie and her mom, Shelley, will be posting in Winter/Spring 2023.   Below, watch a video of Sharlie and Shelley's latest filming adventures. 
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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.