There’s a new fitness trend, and it’s all about the water. Underwater cycling, which is now popular in Europe, has come to the states. Aqua is the first New York studio to offer the 45-minute class that takes place in a swimming pool. While it's currently for women only, fans of the workout say the water helps avoid impact or stress on joints that working out on land can cause. Plus, the water adds extra resistance, which leads to better results.
But underwater cycling isn’t the only water workout available. Check out these five pool workouts that will cool you down while working you out.
Aqua Boot Camp
Get a great aerobic workout in the water with aqua boot camp—the class is guaranteed to get you totally toned due to the water’s high resistance. New York’s Equinox offers an Aqua Boot Camp class that includes core training, balance, flexibility and strength exercises through the use of webbed gloves, foam buoyancy balls and pool noodles. The class will have you kicking, running, jumping and traveling side-to-side and back and forth across the pool. You don’t need to be on dry land to get your butt kicked (and toned) by a kickass instructor.
Put your swimsuits on because this fun class is completely irresistible, especially if you’re a Zumba fanatic. The low-impact aquatic exercise combines the Zumba philosophy with traditional aquatic fitness techniques to offer you a great cardio-conditioning and body-toning workout. These classes also utilize extra pool gear like foam noodles and aqua dumbbells. Best of all, it’s practically impossible to not have fun during an underwater Zumba experience. By the end of class, you’ll be singing along and shimmying to the contagious music.
Another option for dance lovers is Aqua Ballet. If you love the graceful and (seeming) effortlessness of synchronized swimming, then this might be the right class for you. You’ll get the chance to tone your lower body while elongating your muscles. And since you’re in the water, the extra resistance helps to strengthen your legs and butt while using your core muscles to keep your body balanced. Bonus: You’ll pretty much feel like a mermaid, kind of like this amazing undersea ballerina.
It makes sense that this calming form of exercise is also offered underwater. Why not try out a new environment for practicing yoga? For those suffering from conditions such as arthritis, obesity and MS, being underwater makes physical activity doable, as the buoyancy of the water renders standing yoga poses easier. Warm water is ideal (around 83 to 88ºF), and will help relax your muscles and allow you to work deeper into a pose and hold it longer. For you yogis growing bored with traditional classes, here’s a chance to fall in love with your practice all over again.
Also called “poolates,” this watery workout will engage all of your major muscles to help you stay balanced, giving you a full body workout. All movements are done in the water using different positions like standing, floating and sitting. The practice is considered more challenging than traditional Pilates, as it can be difficult to control your limbs when the water is in a constant state of movement. And poolates is still all about the core—every movement comes from the body’s powerhouse, leaving you with a tighter and more toned stomach. Don’t be nervous to try something new. Just jump right in!