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Sunday, February 08, 2009

Hydrotherapy workshop quick reference...

Hydrotherapy workshop notes

  1. Stand on the pool side - not in the pool - so people in the pool can see your actions and you can see them.
  2. Greet each person by name, give everyone eye contact and use their names often during a class.
  3. make sure the short ones are at the shallow end. Non-swimmers or infirm should be alongside the pool side and/or next to a strong minder.
  4. walk about while running the class. Get next to participants and encourage them.
  5. Look like you are enjoying it - no yawns, no looking about. Keep focussed on the job - the people in the pool.
  6. Do not use background music - People must be able to hear you clearly.
  7. Use exaggerated actions to describe each movement. Move at the pace you expect the participants to do the exercise.
  8. Encourage people to work at their own pace. You may need to encourage some to ease off the effort while others may need a hurry along.
  9. Signal a change of exercise 2-3 sweeps before the change. Use the name of the exercise to come. Then give a clear, load "Change" while demonstrating the new exercise.
  10. All exercises are long, full range of motion exercises.
  11. No choppy exercises. Long flowing motions. go for full stretch in and out.
  12. Encourage people to grab the water and not to slice through it. You want "barges" - not "cutters".
  13. Breathe out as the arms and/or legs come to the body and in as the chest is inflated. This is most important. You should be able to see people breathing heavily regardless of fitness. Unfit and infirm people have usually forgotten how to breathe properly, so here is your opportunity to teach them.
  14. Always be on the lookout for first signs of any distress and do not hesitate to ask a person to ease off, stop or take an early shower.
  15. Each exercise should be timed to go from 30s-60s before changing.
  16. Rotate generally from upper to lower to upper to lower body. You can rotate between big muscle exercises to small muscle exercises.
  17. 20 minute and 40 minute classes.
  18. You can look after all abilities and exercise intensities within a single class, no problem.


  • Chest flies (single, double)
  • Arm curls (single, double)
  • Punches (single, double)
  • Eggbeaters
  • Upright rowing
  • Arm sweeps up and down (single, double)
  • Trunk rotations with hands together
  • Can can kicks (straight legs, bent leg then kick)
  • Skateboards
  • Kick backs
  • Side steps
Contact Gary Moller if you would like him to run a pool-based workshop for you and your staff about how to run hydrotherapy exercise rehabilitation classes. Hydrotherapy is perfect for patients recovering from debilitating illness or injury and for maintaining health, mobility and independence in the elderly.

Gary Moller
DipPhEd PGDipRehab PGDipSportMed (Otago) FCE Certified, Thompsons Nutrition Certified Natural Health Consultant, Nutra-Life & Kordel’s Certified Natural Health Consultant
health, fitness, performance - naturally

15 Heaton Terrace
Wellington 6021New Zealand
Phone/fax: 64 4 801 6436

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