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Join Us at the AEA 29th Annual International Aquatic Fitness Conference (IAFC)

IAFC 2016

Location: Innisbrook Resort Palm Harbor, Florida
Dates: May 10th-14th, 2016
Program Link:

The IAFC has something for every aquatic fitness instructor level. NZ Manufacturing is proud to be the official resistance training tool supplier for this event. At this “Aquatic Fitness Retreat” you’ll find:

  • Exclusive Specialty Certificate Programs for Aquatic Fitness Instructors
  • Master Classes for Aqua and Land
  • Aquatic Workshops (theory and pool)
  • Lectures and classroom education offerings (for those who want to stay dry)
  • Great networking with aquatic professionals from around the world
  • A marketplace to buy aquatic fitness equipment

Longer in-depth aquatic workshops have been added this year to offer extra time to dive deeper. These aquatic workshops will alternate between pool & lecture.

In preparation for this conference, NZ Manufacturing is providing a scholarship award in the amount of $500 that can be used within 12 months from receipt of the award for any continuing education provided by the AEA. The award will be presented from a drawing held at the dinner banquet on Friday, May 13th at the conference. The scholarship award will be selected from those participating in the 50/50 drawing at the event.

The following StrechCordz® dry-land and in-water products will be demonstrated by four presenters at four different workshops:

The presenters scheduled to demonstrate the StrechCordz® products in their workshops are as follows:

Lori Sherlock, Ph.D.
Hometown: Morgantown, WV
Associate Professor at West Virginia University
Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist
More about Lori

Lori is also Chair of the Aquatic Exercise Association’s research committee, AEA trainer and recipient of the 2015 AEA Global Aquatic Fitness Professional award.

Tuesday 5:00pm – 5:45pm: StrechCordz®: Expanding Possibilities in Aquatics
Dive in and discover the versatility of StrechCordz® aquatic training tools and their applications in aquatic exercise activities. This demo will showcase various aquatic fitness applications, including Pilates adaptations, as used in the Hydro Pilates program.

Lori will be using:

Jackie LeBeau
Hometown: Baltimore, MD
Assistant Director for Fitness at John Hopkins Training Center
Training Specialist for AEA
More about Jackie

Wednesday 4:30pm-5:15pm: StrechCordz® – New Applications for Aquatics
Jackie will be presenting the StrechCordz® dry-land workshop showcasing a combo of strength and cardio circuits using the StrechCordz® Aqua Pool Band to illustrate its versatility on land.

Martine Flamen
Hometown: Gent, Belgium
Founder & Owner Aqua & Move
AEA International Master Trainer
Speedo International Trainer
More about Martine

Aqua & Move is a large swim academy for adults and children, which also includes aquatic fitness programming for adults. Martine is also the owner of a VDRG, a dance school with more then 1500 dancers and she is the director of Hip-hop International in Belgium.

Thursday 2:30pm-4:30pm: Back to Basic Seniors
Discover various strategies for creating an engaging and exciting aquatic fitness class for seniors. Martine will feature one of her circuits with the StrechCordz® Drag Belt Tow Tether.

Marti Peters
Hometown: Estero, FL
Membership Director for Club Spa & Fitness Association
Owner, MartiFit In-Home Personal Training
More about Marti

Marti has traveled the world providing continuing education and writes fitness articles for several publications.

Friday Morning 7:30am-9:30am: Core Central
Working your core muscles to the max is what this workshop is all about. Marti will teach you how to build strength, improve balance and function with the StrechCordz® with Handles. You’ll learn how core muscles work and interact along with keys to muscle activation & effectiveness.

Presenter Highlight: Jackie Lebeau

jackie-lebeauWhat do you love most about the IAFC?

There are professionals from all around the world that you get to interact with. Regardless of what language they speak, their non-verbal skills are strong. I’ve improved my own skills by watching these International presenters.

What inspired you to get into Aquatic Fitness?

I started in aquatics as a lifeguard in high school. Fitness is like a snowball effect. My boss asked me to teach deep water exercise so I ended up getting the certified.

What StrechCordz® product do you use most in your in-water training?

I like to use the Safety Cord Short Belt with the cord attached to the back so my class can do jumps and boxing exercises. I also love the Drag Belt Tow Tether because the parachute is great for small group circuit training. They can run forward, backward and laterally for group class.

Check out Jackie’s Training video:
Jackie’s Training Video

Using TurfCordz Resistance Training Products to get a Jump on Spring Training

We spoke with Daniel Hutchins, who is a co-owner of Getting Fit LLC (a business dedicated to providing athletes with the right tools and accessories). At, customers can purchase the best of fitness products at low prices. Daniel spoke with us about the inspiration behind Getting Fit, what the best products for Triathlons are, spring sports, and his favorite TurfCordz® products.

Talk to us a little about Getting Fit. What inspired you to establish the business? What’s your favorite part of managing Getting Fit?

Getting FitBrandon, Ernesto and I are big into Triathlons and while competing in an event two years ago, we noticed that there was no one there with a booth to sell last-minute items. We wanted to give people the opportunity to purchase items such as swim caps, water bottles, and energy chews on the day of the event.

My favorite part of managing Getting Fit is the relationships we make with all of the triathletes. The atmosphere is just great – everyone is there to have fun and to help each other out, whether you are one of the top athletes or a beginner.

What TurfCordz® products do your customers tend to buy the most, particularly in the spring?

Our customers tend to buy the Safety Cord Speed Belt S125 for the running portion of the Triathlon and the Drag Belt/Tow Tether S109 (a StrechCordz® item) for the swimming portion. The Speed belt helps them to improve their speed by training with a partner and the Drag Belt helps increase their endurance and strength through resistance, while making them quicker at swimming, which tends to be the weakest event for most athletes.

What springtime training exercises do you recommend for athletes who use our TurfCordz® products?

I would recommend the Squat Cordz S99 to build leg muscle. I would also recommend the TurfCordz® with Handles S116 for upper-body workouts.

Do you have any favorite exercises using TurfCordz ® products?

I love using TurfCordz® with Handles S116, which allows me to train from the comfort of my own home. The Jump Belt S130 is one of my favorites for basketball training.

Which sport is closest to your heart? Why?

Track. It is a sport you can participate in year-round and it is peaceful…you can put some music on and just go for miles.

Getting Fit not only carries our key training gear from TurfCordz® and StrechCordz®, they also carry our MediCordz® gear for rehabilitation of injuries that can occur during training or competition.

2016 Spring Aquatic Exercise and Swim Coaching Conferences

2016 Spring Aquatic Conferences

For swim coaches and water aerobics instructors, there are three must-attend conferences to keep up with the latest in-water training tools.

At these must-attend annual conferences, aquatic professionals and swim coaches have a chance to preview the latest in in-water training equipment, training techniques, and get a chance to catch up with their professional colleagues from around the world. Details of all three aquatic events are found at the end of this article.

As the leading manufacturer of stretch cords and swim training aids, we will be featuring live demonstrations of our StrechCordz® and MediCordz® products at specific events. To find out more about the AEA/IAFC Conference, we spoke with the founder of the Aquatic Therapy and Rehab Institute and the Aquatic Exercise Association, Ruth Sova. She also spends time helping NZ Manufacturing test new products as a member of our advisory board.

Tell us a little about the Aquatic Exercise Association. As the founder, why is the AEA important to you?

As I was traveling to teach at different pools and conferences I noticed that there was no clearinghouse for information on aquatic exercise. We needed one. We weren’t learning from one another but just doing our own thing. We needed to see what everyone was doing so we could choose what worked for us and our clients (and pool). I decided I would create a clearinghouse of information … that’s how AEA started. It continues to be the go-to place if you have questions about how other people are dealing with a situation like yours. The education is excellent—not just at conferences, but on the website and in the AKWA magazine.

NZ Manufacturing will have a number of StrechCordz products demonstrated at the AEA Conference in May, including the Aqua Pool Band, Mini Modular Set, Drag Belt Tow Tether, and the Safety Short Belt. What has your experience with StrechCordz products been?

StrechCordz is hard to spell but easy to use. The straps, cuffs, and handles are all secure and the tubing holds up in the water. We’ve had many other brands disintegrate and/or snap during use. The StrechCordz work perfectly. There’s no unwinding of attachments. Everything is secure. Even the Mini Modular set that comes apart according to your use will not come apart when assembled … no matter what assembly you decide on.

You also founded the Aquatic Therapy and Rehab Institute, which also has an approaching conference in June. What is the importance of this organization? How long has it been around?

In 1992 my dad had a stroke (and my mom needed help), their home had burned down and they needed a new home built, our daughter was getting married, and my husband decided to buy his own business … there wasn’t enough time to be president of AEA and a mom, daughter, and wife. Something had to go, and it couldn’t be family, so Angie Proctor and Julie See took over AEA. In the meantime, I had started teaching more Special Populations courses and as I was traveling to teach at different clinics, hospitals and conferences I noticed that there was no clearinghouse for information on aquatic therapy. (Does this sound familiar?) Once again, we needed to share…I decided I would create a clearinghouse of information and, just like AEA, that’s how ATRI started. It was small and manageable while I was with my family, but grew nicely as I had more time. It is the go-to place if you have questions about how other therapists are dealing with a particular patient. The education is excellent; like AEA, it’s not just at conferences but on the website, on our eList, and in our newsletters.

Our StrechCordz products are used for in-water and dry-land therapy and will be presented at the ATRI Conference. What is the significance of dry-land therapy versus in-water therapy? Have you used any of our StrechCordz products for aquatic therapy?

We have to function on land, so that’s where all our therapeutic endeavors take us. It’s simply easier on the body to be in water. For those who need to off-load or start at a lower level with patients, the water is perfect. StrechCordz give us the ability to focus on one aspect of the therapeutic process. We are imaginative in using the cords, putting feet in the handholds, using them asymmetrically, decreasing the tow length for working with only an arm or leg (instead of the trunk, etc.). They are a perfect assistant for those of us working in the water.

Have you used any of our StrechCordz products for aquatic therapy?

I love the Drag Belt Tow Tether! I can adjust the difficulty with the length of the tether. I can place the belt lower on the trunk to work hips and low back. I can place it higher (under the armpits) to challenge the whole trunk. I often use the yellow to assist with decreasing tone in a spastic/contracted arm. Walking slowly with the affected Upper Extremity* strapped with the drag tether starts to gradually open the arm.

*the shoulder, arm, forearm, wrist, or hand

The Safety Short Belt is perfect for those of us using the Unpredictable Command Technique. In vertical position, it allows the practitioner to balance perturbations to assist or resist the client’s natural righting skills. The practitioner can be behind, in front, beside, or diagonal to the client. The client can simply stand during the destabilization or progress to marching in place, and then progress to walking.

The Mini Modular Set has everything a person needs for a challenging workout and also for helping a client with symmetrical or asymmetrical loading. I can attach it to the client and still hold one part for control of the challenge (or perturbations) OR I can attach it to the client and not maintain any control, but let him/her simply be challenged by the equipment. The possibilities with this product are limitless.

Here’s a List of the Upcoming Spring-2016 Aquatic Exercise and Swim Coaching Conferences:

Date: May 10-14
Location: Palm Harbor Florida.

We will have the following products featured during lectures as well as in-water demonstrations by several presenters:
StrechCordz Aqua Pool Band, StrechCordz Mini Modular Set, StrechCordz Drag Belt Tow Tether, StrechCordz Safety Cord Short Belt and the Orginal StrechCordz with Handles .
Register :

Date: June 21-24
Event: 21st International Aquatic Therapy Symposium Conference
Location: Sanibel, Florida

Maryanne Haggerty, an exercise physiologist, will be demonstrating a NEW upper body and lower body kit for arthritic users which features very light resistance levels for in-water use. It is a MediCordz® brand product. The presenter will also be demonstrating MediCordz and StrechCordz products for in-water as well as dry-land therapy in six different presentations.

Date: Sept. 6-11
Event: ASCA World Clinic (The American Swim Coaches Association)
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

We will be having guest coaches assist us in the booth this year. We will be rolling out a new product: The Quick Connect Kit. This is similar to the Quick Connect but would a set of cords with the ability to perform super sets in circuit training. The Quick Connect feature allows swimmer to move from station to station without the need of removing belt/tubing. Simply disconnect and reconnect!

Let us know about other upcoming aquatic exercise events or share you feedback . Signup for our Newsletter.

Physical Therapy & Resistance Exercises with Dr. Christoper Hughes

pic2Dr. Christopher Hughes is a member of our Advisory Panel which helps NZ Manufacturing innovative and create better MediCordz® resistance cords and products that help patients recovering from accidents, surgery or torn muscles “Bounce Back with Resistance.”  We spoke to him about his experience in the field of Physical Therapy and how he integrates resistance-training exercises into his practice.

Position:Rank Professor, Slippery Rock University
Areas of Research: Shoulder Pathology and Kinesiology of Therapeutic Exercise
Areas of Teaching:Clinical Education, Biomechanics and Orthopedics

1. Your degrees all touch on both physical health and exercise. What were your beginnings in these fields?

My interest in health and exercise originated early, while I was playing Pop Warner football. I really liked sports, and more so the athleticism and necessary training and conditioning that accompanied it. Weight training as a freshman in high school really became a pivotal point for me to choose the field of exercise science, and ultimately Physical Therapy. I remember being one of the first to join the National Strength and Conditioning Association back in 1978. Back then it was just a newsletter, but their mission was clear: to bridge the gap between science and exercise. I am proud to say I am still a member. Academically, I’ve had great mentors at Springfield College in Massachusetts (B.S., M.S.). and The University of Virginia (Ph.D.).

2. What draws you to physical therapy?

The ability to not only determine and assess a physical problem but also to treat it. Both aspects can be a challenge and very few people are good at doing both. The breadth and evolving nature of the field have made it a lifelong profession. Also, it’s fulfilling to know that you can help someone get over an injury and improve the quality of their life.

3. Have you always been athletic? Do you have a special interest in any particular sport?

I was very active as a kid, so much so that I would probably be labeled as hyperactive by today’s standards! I was constantly in motion. My favorite sport was football. Honestly, I probably owe it all to watching NFL films. When they slowed things down on film you really got to see the true rigors of the game set to motivating narration and music. This really gave me an appreciation of how the body moved and how fascinating it is to watch controlled movement, strength, power, and speed.

4. Have you used our MediCordz® in your work with physical therapy? How so?

Yes. They provide a nice gradation of tension and you can get really creative with MediCordz®.
The neck harness is great for creating multiple angles of resistance and matches up well with the geometry and movement of the cervical spine and thoracic region. Because MediCordz® can offer significant resistance, it is also ideal for improving patient strength beyond the rehabilitation period.

5. Why did you decide to join NZ Manufacturing’s advisory board?

Product development and new technologies have always been an interest of mine. Bridging the gap between clinician needs and manufacturing of relevant products is so needed right now. It’s exciting to be a part of creating tools that are productive for the clinician and ultimately enhance patient care.

Let us know about other Resistance Exercise topics you’d like to hear about from our Advisory Panel or give us your feedback on our resistance exercise products here.

2016 Advisory Board Kickoff

happy new year

Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?

Over the holidays, we all had a little extra time to reflect and reconnect with those who help inspire us to reach our goals. This special New Year blog post is a conversation with Peter Verhoef, a member of NZ Manufacturing’s new 2016 Advisory Board. Click here to learn more about the physical therapists, strength training coaches, swim coaches and medical professionals that advise NZ Manufacturing on StrechCordz®, TurfCordz® and MediCordz® product applications and development. We’ll be featuring interviews and resistance training tips from our Advisory Board in upcoming blog posts throughout 2016.


VERHOEFWhat draws you to swimming over other sports?

I grew up as a swimmer and the process to become my best taught me so many valuable life lessons, it is my goal to share those with more swimmers as they begin and grow in the sport. There are many great opportunities for swimmers to develop a great work ethic, a competitive focus, create confidence, become a better teammate, and share incredible memories – I just hope to inspire more young athletes to experience it!

What’s your favorite thing about being a coach?

When you see an athlete begin to believe they can do something they didn’t think was possible before.  But with hard work and focus they can.  Along with other coaches at SwimMAC Carolina we strive to create opportunities for athletes to experience this as much as possible – to see one young athlete believe is great – a whole team of athletes believing is simply incredible.

Tell us a little about the 2012 Olympic Games. What was that like for you?

As a young coach, I was very fortunate to start my professional career working with Coach David Marsh (2012 Olympic Coach, 2016 Team USA Head Coach) and SwimMAC’s Team Elite swimmers. I joined the staff in 2010 and spent the following two years working with professional swimmers to reach their goal of competing in London. We watched 5 of our athletes qualify for Team USA in which they won 6 medals. I was able to be in London for most of their events.  Not only were these athletes that I worked with as a coach, some were my peers and close friends. It was a very memorable week of racing and it has left a lasting impression on me of how incredible the Olympics truly are. The whole event brings out the best in everyone (athletes, coaches and fans from around the world) and just being able to join in on the excitement only encouraged me to return and help build the next generation(s) of Olympians.

How do you incorporate StrechCordz® Resistance Training into your training program?

The challenge of coaching swimmers lies in the element of water – unlike land based sports, it can be difficult for athletes to see or realize what their body is doing compared to what the athlete thinks it is doing. Coaches must be creative in finding ways for the athlete to directly see the results of proper technique combined with proper force to move through the water. StretchCordz® not only provides a challenging part of working out – they are also instrumental in teaching swimming fundamentals. At SwimMAC we use cords in as many ways as we can think up. From creating a challenge by adding resistance or teaching proper “catch” of the water, to teaching how to reduce drag by assisting a swimmer to moving through the water faster – we can do it all with StretchCordz®!

Why did you decide to join the NZCordz Advisory Board?

I have been a customer and huge fan of NZCordz products as an athlete and a coach – this is an opportunity to share with other coaches and athletes ideas on how to get better within a very reasonable budget. Between learning from other experts on how to use the products to hopefully inspiring all levels of swimmers to use these awesome tools – this was an opportunity I could not pass up and feel honored to be considered!

Thank you Peter, and thank you to all of our Advisory Board Members who have the passion and commitment to helping athletes around the world make each year’s goals bigger and more achievable than before.

Happy New Year 2016!