Aquatic Fitness – Workouts Beyond Lap Swimming!
How many of us have already given up on that New Year’s resolution to get fit or are getting bored of the same old gym routine? Enter aquatic fitness! Aquatic fitness classes are a great way to freshen up workout routines and members will appreciate the exceptional health benefits that make pool workouts so amazing. Plus, your pool and community will be bursting with activity!
Exercising in water builds cardiovascular stamina, strength, flexibility, burns body fat, and increases circulation. Research shows that people who exercise in water can burn as much body fat and build as much muscle as those who engage in land-based exercise programs. Water acts as a built-in form of resistance challenging muscles that are difficult to engage on land. Water also lessens the effects of gravity, making you feel 90% lighter, so it’s the ideal activity for those recovering from an injury, experiencing joint pain, or carrying some extra weight.
Aquatic Exercise Trends
There’s more to water fitness than just swimming laps. Let’s dive into a few new trends to get fit in the pool:
Aqua cycling takes your spin class underwater. Originally designed as a physical therapy regimen, this low impact program takes it easy on hips and knees while still getting your heart rate up. Classes usually take place in a 4 ft deep, heated pool. Participants used bikes like the Hydrorider Professional Aquabike which are suctioned to the bottom of the pool. Clients love the restorative version of spinning and say the water helps with flexibility, strengthening and toning. The water keeps you cool so you can stay more comfortable than land-based spin routines.
WTRX (HIIT Workouts Poolside)
Many devout gym goers love HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) workouts. They are great for burning calories and offer fast results. EXOS and Speedo’s collaborative class, WTRX, combines the intensity of a boot camp style class with lower impact water movements. Like studio classes, participants move around to different stations doing exercises that raise heart rates and challenge muscles. Instructors also mix in high-energy activities, like partner races across the pool, treading water or a quick run of Marco Polo. Because water workouts put less strain on joints, clients love getting an intense workout without the soreness the following day.
Yoga remains one of the hottest fitness trends, and it doesn’t show any signs of going away. While yoga is already considered a low impact form of exercise, the buoyant effect of water makes aquatic yoga a perfect solution for those who are not able to practice on the mat due to physical limitations or injury. Many of the poses we’re familiar with can easily be adapted to the pool, some poses like plank, chaturanga, and cobra make use of the pool’s wall. Kickboards and noodles are also used throughout the program.
Whether your members are yoga lovers or boot camp believers, floating fitness mats like those from Aquaphysical and the Boga FitMat are offering a new way to combine fitness and water. Instructors offer a variety of workouts using the boards, including yoga and pilates based classes. Balancing on top of these floating mats engages and strengthens the user’s core for the entire class. There aren’t too many classes available yet, so your facility can adopt the trend early and be one of the first to offer this style of workout.
The bottom line is that today’s pools are for more than just lap swimming. a. Take advantage of the latest programs to keep your workout fun, challenging and effective!