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Am I doing this right?

This question is asked often by new participants. “Am I doing this right?” is kind of funny in the water because you almost can’t do anything “wrong”. There are some moves that might be “wrong” for your condition, but water is so forgiving, that almost all movements are right.

I teach multiple ways and I find that where I teach can make a difference. If I am on deck, you can see me, so you might be more likely to look at my movement and try to replicate it in the water. The hard part for instructors on deck is remembering that participants in the pool have to move much slower due to the heaviness of the water. It’s 13 time harder to move under water, so a big movement will be much more challenging for you in the pool. If you are taking a class where the instructor is moving quickly, don’t feel like you have to keep up. Go your own pace and don’t feel badly about it.

I can also see what you are doing pretty well from my vantage point. I can look down and see if you are traveling in the direction I want, if you are aligned correctly and try to verbally cue to help you move more effectively. You can always ask me to demonstrate it again or offer an alternative if it just isn’t working for you.

But I still have folks who just don’t get what I’m saying and need a hands on correction, so in my 8 am, Gentle Aquamotion class, I get in the water and help participants move the way I want. I always ask permission first and then I help you set up your movement. For example, if I want you to stand in a lunge and do a bicep/tricep press with your arms, I will make sure your feet are placed properly, your hips and shoulders are square and facing forward, that your elbows are slightly behind your body and that you do a full extension. I may move or hold your hips to help them stay square or I might move your arm to place it in the location for maximum movement. Then, I’ll ask you to do it a few more times to make sure it imprints in your brain. Next time, you will hopefully remember my directions and get right into the correct position.

A feeling of instability in the water is the most common initial issue that you are dealing with. As your core muscles become stronger, you will feel more stable. I usually tell my swimmers that their brain and core haven’t had a conversation in years and have to relearn how to converse. When that conversation begins is when you will feel more confident in the pool and you will really feel like you are “doing it right”.

The most important thing is to not give up.  The first few weeks of any new activity is always a challenge.  You don’t have to be a perfect specimen and you just have to do your best in that moment and feel really good about yourself that day.  The next time you try it, it will be easier.  The best part is, by asking questions, you challenge your instructor to be better and you might be helping your neighbor who was too afraid to ask it.  Now, sign up, get in and let’s get in shape.

Remember we have lots of class options all over Riverside. Go too here to check out all the fun pools you can swim in or go get our video and do it at home. No excuses and we are here for you anytime you have questions.

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