Section 4

Class Set-up

Start your ABS™ Aqua Combat class off right by ensuring your students are at the proper depth and distance from each other. Use ABS™ Aqua Combat gloves, bells or mitts, your favorite music playlist and timer.

Section 4 | Class Set-Up
Class Objectives, Spacing of Students & Water Depth 

Great instructors know how important it is to be prepared, direct your students where to stand and effectively demonstrate and communicate the exercises. Click on the video below to learn the objectives behind ABS™ Aqua Combat classes.

Module 7  | Class Objectives

Class Objectives

Class Objectives

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Ideal Water Depth

Exercising in water is gentler on joints and muscles than exercising on the land. When submerged in water, one's body weight is offloaded, water cushions the body, and gravity is offset by buoyancy. 

Choosing the correct water depth for exercising is very important. It's the first thing you will want to consider when setting up your class. Too shallow or too deep of a water level will impede balance and movement and place undue stress on the body. A good rule of thumb for aqua fitness is for participants to workout in the water at their armpit level. This will ensure that they are exercising at their approximate center of gravity and that roughly 60% of their body weight is offloaded. (Please see the chart below)

Water Depth.png

Spacing of Students

Depending on the size, depth and shape of your pool, you will want to organize your students either in straight rows with windows, or in clusters. Students should be at least 5 feet away from the wall and stairs and at least 3 feet away from other students to ensure a safe class. It is important to be aware of spacing so that no one inadvertently kicks, punches or falls into the wall, or kicks or punches another student.


The instructor teaches from the deck at the center of the class. Eye contact between the instructor and the participants is imperative in order to give clear and concise instructions and demonstrate moves. At times, you may find it necessary to jump into the pool to motivate your students to work harder, but once you have achieved the desired effect, return to the pool deck to continue to coach and demonstrate.

Safety Tips

Teaching From Deck

Teaching from deck has a variety of benefits for both the instructor and the students. The students can easily see the instructor demonstrate the full range of exercises and the instructor can easily see all the participants in order to provide coaching, corrections, and modifications when needed.


There may also be some challenges for the instructor when teaching from deck. For example, the pool deck may be wet and slippery, which can create potential hazards for the instructor when demonstrating exercises. The temperature and humidity in indoor pools can be dangerous for the instructor. 

Here are some tips on how to protect yourself when teaching ABS™ Aqua Combat. 

  • Wear good cross-trainer shoes; the movements in Aqua Combat feature a lot of pivoting; to prevent knee injuries wear shoes that enable pivoting.
    Do NOT wear running shoes.

  • Use a mat while teaching to lesson impact.

  • Demonstrate all movements at water tempo.

  • Perform the majority of movements on deck in low impact.

  • Use a chair for balance if necessary when demonstrating single-leg movements. 

  • Demonstrate the combo a few times, then coach to motivate the participants.

  • Train the participants, not yourself

  • Keep hydrated

Section 5: The Science Behind ABS™ Aqua Combat

In the next section, you will learn why ABS™ Aqua Combat works and the multiplicity of health benefits.