The Power of Water


Hone your client’s ability to constantly adapt to changing forces via Dynamic Fluid REsistance Training

From Fitness Trainer January/February

Constant Unpredictability. Just when you think you have life figured out, a tidal wave of change unsuspectingly surges toward you, knocking you off balance demanding flexibility in your choices and strength on the follow through.

So yeah, if we want to truly look at functional training for life’s day-to-day, well then, we should really be looking at Dynamic Fluid Resistance Training (DFRT), right?

DFRT is the use of specialized, water-filled equipment to create an active or unstable form of resistance. For instance, think of that client of yours—the middleaged parent who has a toddler running around the home; now think of them getting the little one ready for bed, you can bet that child is an active or unstable form of resistance.

Just as the mass of an unruly toddler invariably shifts as it moves; so does the mass (water) within DFRT equipment. It’s these very shifts that cause disruptions in the normal movement patterns of an exercise in turn increasing the demands placed on core muscles (strength) and joint stabilizers (flexibility/ range of motion/ stabilization).

A Surge of Influence

One such piece of DFRT equipment that has been making waves by creating a dynamic movement process that mimics real world movements for your real world life is Surge. This cylindrical tool (42” in length, 8.43” in diameter and at 65lbs when fully filled) , utilizes water to create an unstable resistance and moving mass within a mass. So not only are you using force to move the Surge, as well as an equal and opposite force to stop or change direction of the movement, but you’re also working against the inherent force of the water which is also moving, stopping and starting at its own speed within the Surge.

Depending on the movements you choose, the amount you fill the Surge (water resistance), and the duration of exercise; this piece of equipment can be utilized in cardio, strength, and stability programs.

Get Ready to Adapt

  • The fluid shift in the Surge creates an unbalanced, unstable condition that causes the body to constantly adapt to changing forces.
  • Slow Controlled Action: builds strength while calling for stability.
  • Power Action: improves cardio and explosive power.

Squat, Curl & Press

Action: Slow Controlled                                                    10-12 reps / 3 sets

Muscles Worked: full body

– Stand with feet shoulder width apart and the Surge on the floor in front of the toes.

– Bend at the knees and hinge at the hips to grab the Surge.

– As you raise the Surge to shoulder level try to keep the water silent as possible.

– Brace the core and press the Surge overhead.









Lateral Lunges

Action: Slow Controlled                                                    10-12 reps / 3 sets

Muscles Worked: core and legs

– Stand with feet shoulder width apart and the Surge at chest height.

– Brace the core and step out to the side, pushing the hips back, pressing into the heel while other leg remains extended in place, all the while keeping the water quiet.


Crash the Door

Action: Power                                                                      10-12 reps / 3 sets

Muscles Worked: shoulders, core, and legs

– Standing with feet hip width apart, hold the Surge horizontally at hip height.

– Brace the core and quickly step to the left with one foot while keeping the hips squared.

– Rotate through the core while laterally driving the surge toward the left.









Single Leg Bent Over Rows

Action: Slow Controlled                                                    10-12 reps / 3 sets

Muscles Worked: core, back, legs

– Stand on one leg with the Surge in both hands and your back flat.

– Pull the Surge up to ribs and then lower it down again and repeat.


Shoulder Block

10-12 reps / 3 sets

Action: Power

Muscles Worked: shoulders and Core

– Standing with feet hip width apart, hold the Surge horizontally at shoulder height.

– Brace the core and quickly step forward with one foot, driving the Surge forward.




Action: Power                                                                      10-12 reps / 3 sets

Muscles Worked: full body

– Hold the Surge in both hands at shoulder level.

– Now push the Surge forward as you then drop it to the ground and shoot your legs back.

– Return to a standing position.










Is founder and CEO of Burn with Kearns, where he is responsible for the worldwide development and implementation of personal training continuing education courses and group fitness licensing programs. For over 25 years, Kevin Kearns has been professionally involved in the fitness industry. In 2013, he was named an All Star Conference Presenter for IDEA, the worlds largest association for fitness and wellness professionals. Based on his extensive martial arts and fitness backgrounds, Kevin has served as the strength and conditioning coach for professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters. He is certified by the NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association), is a Functional Movement Screen (FMS) Certified Specialist, a FreeMotion Master Trainer and member of Team Bosu. In the summer of 2013, Kevin released a book, “Always Picked Last,” about how bullying impacted his childhood and the lessons he learned in overcoming it.