Training for fitness instructors, swim centre staff, rehabilitation professionals, sports coaches. Learn how deep water running, water aerobics, swimming can be the best low impact exercise to build overall fitness and performance.

Course Code: BRE207
Fee Code: S1
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
Get started!

Study Aqua Fitness Online – in your own time, add to your skills.

Bring variety to your own exercise, or to your client’s fitness regime!

  • Ease yourself into exercise if you’re recovering from illness or injury

  • Don’t overload the body with high impact training

  • Have fun whilst you exercise, most aqua fitness training is done in groups or teams

  • Be the professional with diverse knowledge of fitness

What you need to know!

  • Aqua fitness has many health benefits

  • Muscle groups are targeted – toned and stretched

  • Muscles undergo resistance and isometric – muscles are strengthened

  • Routines can include the use of weights underwater

  • Resistance of the water increases the effectiveness of the routine

  • Water based exercise are less likely to cause damage to muscles or joints


This is the ideal professional development course, it's comprehensive, it will lead you through:

  1. all the benefits of aqua fitness and how it differs from other exercise,

  2. what you will need to run a class,

  3. the types of exercises and program design, principles of aqua fitness,

  4. health and safety,

  5. and fitness class leadership.

Bring new and innovative techniques to your work for better results.

  • Rehabilitation - physiology, occupational therapy 

  • Sports Coach

  • Physical Education Teacher

  • Personal Trainer

  • Swimming Teacher


Lesson Structure

There are 7 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction - Definition of aqua fitness and therapy and how it differs from other fitness activities. Encompasses the different stages of a fitness session and the management of an aquatic center.
  2. Equipment and Facilities - The aim of this lesson is to gain the skills and knowledge which will aid in the selection, use and management and facilities required for aqua fitness activities. Includes pool position, design and depth, equipment required for aqua fitness activities, music and first aid requirements
  3. Types of Exercises - This lessons gives an understanding of the wide range of different aerobic and anaerobic movements that can be used in aqua aerobic programs. Lesson content includes stretching, aerobic and anaerobic principles and exercises in both shallow and deep water.
  4. Hydrostatic and Hydrodynamic Principles - The aim of this lesson is to develop an understanding of the principles underlying the design of an appropriate aqua fitness program. Includes definitions of pressure, weight and body alignment in water, warming up, recovery and cool down.
  5. Safety and Health - This lesson gives an understanding of the aqua fitness training requirements of special needs groups. Includes pregnancy, safety and health requirements, pre-exercise screening checklists, liability and legislation.
  6. Program Design - This lesson provides skills in the design and delivery of appropriate aqua based programs to improve and maintain aerobic fitness. Includes program aims, warm up, the exercise body, recovery and cool down examples, as well as intensity levels.
  7. Leading a Program - This lesson gives an understanding of skills to provide better leadership qualities during an aqua fitness session. Covers leadership concepts, teaching, communication, body language and student numbers.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

What You Will Do

  • Gain an understanding of how aquafitness activities differ from other fitness activities.
  • Learn the skills and knowledge which will aid in the selection, use and management of equipment and facilities required for aquafitness activities.
  • Gain an understanding of a wide range of different aerobic and anaerobic movements that can be used in aquafitness programs.
  • Develop an understanding of the principles underlying the design of an appropriate aquafitness program.
  • Develop an understanding of the aquafitness training requirements of special needs groups.
  • Learn and develop knowledge of the importance of the design and skills on how to deliver of appropriate aqua based programs to improve/maintain aerobic fitness.
  • Gain an understanding of skills that will enable better leadership of an aqua fitness session.

Expand your skills - the industry needs aqua fitness instructors now. 

Simply scroll back to the top of this page and follow the prompts on the right side of the screen. Getting started is easy. 



When a person’s body is partly submerged in water, the force of gravity is countered by the buoyancy effect of water (ie. the water pushes you up to the surface - or causes your body to float, countering gravity which pulls you down). The net result is a less jarring effect (than on land) as the body moves up and down. The work load and motion are the same, but the water resistance gives it a feeling of being gentle. This allows a high impact work out with the qualities of a low impact work out. Water is also an excellent medium for exercise for older people. The water in this case acts as a support, allowing movement and flexibility that may not be allowed on dry land.

Water is Cooling
Depending on the temperature of the water; it can remove any heat build up in the body faster than any heat build up that occurs when exercising on land. It is important, however, that the water you are exercising in is not too cool, as you can rapidly lose too much body heat when you are submerged in very cool water.

Compression Forces are Decreased
The weight of the body on land tends to compress joints (eg. Weight above the base of the spine causes the joints at the bottom of the spine to squash together). When the body is immersed in water, these forces of compression are significantly decreased.

Hydrostatic Pressure on the Body is Even
There is equal pressure on the body in all directions around parts of the body at any given depth of water. This means that any damage by sharp or irregular movement is decreased. The water acts as a dampener, buffering & slowing such movements. When the body is immersed in water, these forces of compression are significantly decreased, hence there is less wear and tear on the joints.

Hydrostatic Pressure Can Affect Blood Movement
Any part of the body that is submersed will have a greater pressure on the skin than normal air pressure on the skin is. This situation means that the heart must push blood harder to get it into blood vessels that are close to the skin surface. As the primary goal of exercise is to increase the heart rate, this assists in meeting the criteria more easily. However, it is something that also needs to be watched, especially if any participants have a history of high blood pressure problems.

Increased Resistance to Body Movements
The resistance to movement in water can be around 830 times greater than the resistance to the same movement in air. This is really what water fitness programs are all about. The combination of a greater work load in a softer, more supportive environment makes water exercise ideal for all age groups and fitness levels. Water sport can be very demanding, as can be seen by the health and fitness of elite athletes such as swimmers and triathletes. But it can also be gentle, making it a good type of exercise for nearly anyone, as well as one that can be increased as the level of fitness increases


The lungs can benefit greatly from aqua exercise. Any exercise on land or in the water which increases the heart rate, will in turn increase the depth of breathing. By breathing more deeply, lung capacity is gradually increased. Unlike exercise on land though, the water surrounding the body can help prevent over heating as well as excessive perspiration (and rapid water loss) during heavy exercise.

There are three levels of lung capacity, residual volume, tidal volume and vital capacity. Residual volume is the air still left in the lungs after all air has been breathed out. Even when we have expelled as much air as is physically possible, about 25% of the lungs still hold some air. Tidal volume is the amount of air that is breathed in and out at a regular breathing pattern. Vital capacity is the total capacity of lung available for holding air. It is a sum of the residual volume, the tidal volume and the inspiratory reserve volume, or that air that we can inhale, but is not needed for regular breathing (like taking a deep breath before diving in a pool.)

Swimming is particularly good for increasing lung capacity, because not only is the body stimulated to breathe more by an increased heart rate, but the swimmer tends to take deeper breaths - particularly with underwater or lap swimming. Vital capacity is often much greater in swimmers than in non-swimmers.


Aqua exercise is particularly useful as a therapeutic tool for people recovering from injury, or with some other problem that hampers their ability to exercise on land. Various aspects (eg. surgery, severe pain, different disabilities) can impair a person’s ability to participate in more traditional exercise; whereas aqua exercise if properly prescribed may be a very appropriate alternative. A doctor or physiotherapist should be consulted prior to starting any type of exercises, especially if special conditions do apply. They also may be able to suggest particular exercises to try and those to avoid. Overworking is also a concern, as the water can lessen the impact, but can also mask soreness or pain if muscles are worked too long or hard.

Because the effect of gravity is reduced, the body can move more freely when submerged. This may allow an injured part of the body to be stretched more, with less pain. It is also reduced flexibility, as well as pain from wear and tear, arthritis, etc., that often makes exercise difficult for older adults. Stretching can be very important to enhancing recovery or allowing increased flexibility in movement, both on water and on land. Exercise in the water can therefore, in due course, lead to increased flexibility.

Because water offers greater resistance than air, muscles will be strengthened as they are moved through water. Many of the movements made, especially in aerobic type exercise, will not only increase the heart rate and the aerobic benefits, but this added resistance will increase muscle tone. The same can be said in comparison of swimming versus running. Swimming will give a much better upper body work out, while still using the legs, while in running or jogging the legs benefit (and the arms, to some extent, from swinging in rhythm), but the rest of the body muscles are used very little.

Re-education of Muscles

After surgery or a serious accident, the way in which certain muscles are moved might be altered; and the relevant part of the body may need to be re-taught how to move properly. After a period of reduced (or nil) use, muscles can be very weak, difficult to use, and easily damaged).
This re-education can be much easier in water where the muscles are supported through buoyancy, therefore more easily moved.

The buoyancy of water causes the body to move more slowly, allowing a person more time to adjust to loss of balance. This reduces the chance of injury from falling and increases the coordination of movements. As water will slow down the movement, it is easier to keep good posture and form, which is often a problem in achieving the best results, especially in aerobics.

Muscle Spasms
There are a number of conditions which can cause muscle spasms, some slight, some severe. These include Cerebral Palsy, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis or Strokes. People with such conditions often find movement much easier in water than on land. In addition to the benefit of buoyancy, if the water is relatively warm, the muscles are able to be kept warmer during exercise, and due to improvement in blood circulation there is a resultant decrease in muscle spasms.
ACS is an Organisational Member of the Association for Coaching (UK).

ACS is a Member of the Complementary Medicine Association.

Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.

How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

You can see the course price at the top of this page. Click 'enrolment options' to see any payment options available.

You can pay by Credit Card, PayPal, Afterpay or bank transfer.

Yes! We have payment plans for most courses. Click 'enrolment options' to see the available payment plans.
We also have Afterpay that will allow you to pay for your course or payment plans in four instalments (if you are in Australia).

What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $55 (AUS) $50 (O/S) for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exam and you will be able receive your course certificate- a Statement of Attainment. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email

Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.

How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

We can prepare an invoice, quote or proforma invoice. Simply complete your details on our Invoice Request form

We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

Yes, we have many students who are in locked facilities, such as prisons or hospitals. We can cater by also offering paper notes at an additional cost.

What if I have any more questions or need more information?

We can assist you to find the right course for your needs. Get in touch with us via email ( call on +61 7 5562 1088 or complete our course advice form.

What if I change my mind?

Please get in touch with if you would like to be removed from our mail list.

If you would like ACS Distance Education to delete your information at any time (whether you are a customer or a prospective customer), please contact our privacy officer and we will process this ( ).

Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Tracey Jones (Psychologist)

B.Sc. (Psych), M.Soc.Sc., Dip.Social Work, P.G.Dip Learning Disability, Cert Editing, Cert Creative Writing, PGCE.
Member British Psychological Society, Member Assoc. for Coaching, Member British Learning Assoc.
25 years industry experience in writing,

Lyn Quirk

M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy
Over 30 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head fo

Jade Sciascia

Biologist, Business Coordinator, Government Environmental Dept, Secondary School teacher (Biology); Recruitment Consultant, Senior Supervisor in Youth Welfare, Horse Riding Instructor (part-completed) and Boarding Kennel Manager.
Jade has a B.Sc.Biol, Di


Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Melissa Leistra

Melissa has a Masters Degree in Human Nutrition from Deakin University and Bachelor's degree specialising in personal development, health and physical education. She has enjoyed teaching Hospitality in the areas of commercial cookery and food and beverage. Her experience includes 16 years teaching health and nutrition and working in the hospitality industry. Melissa enjoys living a self-sustainable lifestyle on a farm and raising all types of animals. She is an experienced vegetarian/vegan cook and loves to create wholesome food using her slow combustion wood stove.

Tracey Jones

Tracey has over 20 years experience within the psychology and social work field, particularly working with people with learning disabilities. She is also qualified as a teacher and now teaches psychology and social work related subjects.

She is a book reviewer for the British Journal of Social Work. Tracey has also written a text book on Psychology and has had several short stories published.

Yvonne Sharpe

Over 30 years of experience in horticulture, education and management, Yvonne has travelled widely within and beyond Europe, and has worked in many areas of horticulture from garden centres to horticultural therapy. She has served on industry committees and been actively involved with amateur garden clubs for decades.

Need Help?

Take advantage of our personalised, expert course counselling service to ensure you're making the best course choices for your situation.

I agree for ACS Distance Education to contact me and store my information until I revoke my approval. For more info, view our privacy policy.