Discover a new way to work out in the pool!
Wonders of Water Fitness
While swimming usually provides a great opportunity for a cardio workout, resistance training is equally beneficial, which is why land-based trends such as Crossfit and TRX have taken off in recent years.
Taking inspiration from such trends, it’s now not unusual to see swimmers using additional aids such as weights, hydro belts, resistance bands, and more, during a workout in the pool. The water adds to these traditionally dry-land exercises, by reducing impact from weight, shifting your centre of gravity, and providing an extra challenge - both to experienced swimmers, but also those hoping to get into fitness and weight-loss in a fun and innovative way.
Many water-based fitness classes and trends to have recently taken over the swimming pool, and the reasons behind their popularity are clear to anyone who tries out a water fitness class. While water fitness class styles can be inspired from various disciplines, what unites them is that they combine other exercise with the power of water.
Hydrospin: Best of Both Worlds
Many people are aware of the all-over benefits of swimming, while others can appreciate the health advantages that come from regular cycling and spin classes. Some people might not have heard about cycling in the pool, however, and yet it’s becoming a health & fitness craze that provides a surprisingly brilliant workout!
Hydrospin (or hydrospinning) is a new style of fitness class for the swimming pool, taking the best of a bike spin class, and combining it with aqua-aerobics for an all-round fitness routine. While cycling is great for cardio fitness and leg strength, hydrospin allows the same level of intensity as spin classes, without the same pressure on joints and muscles, thanks to cycling under water. The water provides an improved level of support for the body’s movements on the stationary bike, while the water’s temperature keeps the body in check, so you won’t get as sweaty despite your hard work!
The types of exercise involved in a hydrospin class will vary from venue to venue, depending on the level of class and the fitness instructor, but the overall activity will remain the same. Using bespoke stationary bikes for the swimming pool, the water provides a constant level of resistance against your cycle movement. During a hydrospin class, the instructor will start off by getting participants used to the sensation of cycling under water, and warming up. After the warm-ups are complete, then the instructor will put the class through its paces with varying speeds and levels of spin intensity. Depending on the types of hydrospin bikes that the venue uses, the bike may offer different levels of difficulty, and the hydrospin instructor will use this feature during the class where available.
Shifting Your Focus
So far, it might sound like hydrospin is no different to regular spin classes, other than being in the middle of a swimming pool! Not so; the water also provides the opportunity for an upper body workout on top of the cardio and leg exercises. Participants will also adopt certain body positions which are difficult out of the water, which allows the body to train muscle groups that might be overlooked in other classes.
Also, cardio-type exercises take on an extra weight-training and toning element in the water, as the water’s resistance tones muscle and improves fat burn. This will improve muscle conditioning for the entire body, but it also means that those hoping to lose weight, or those recovering from an injury, will feel more free in the water and less hindered by weight. For this reason, hydrospin is a wonderfully accessible form of fitness class.
Hit the Pedal in the Pool
Hydrospin classes have popped up at gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools around the world, from Canada to Australia and everywhere in between. The venues need to have special hydrospin bikes available in their pool, and therefore class sizes may vary from venue to venue. Check with your local swimming pool or health centre, to see if hydrospin or other water fitness classes are available in your area, and don’t worry about buying extra equipment – most classes will provide the right equipment for participants.
If everything else is ready for you, then what else are you waiting for?