In the past, “aquagym” conjured up images of gentle sporting activities for seniors. Today, it is a different story – pool-based group classes are anything but tame – and attract men and women of all ages. Cycling, trampolining or even underwater pole dancing – there is something for everyone. So say goodbye to swimming eternal lengths of the pool: as you are about to discover your indispensable aqua class!
The benefits of swimming pool-based exercises
Water is an optimal training environment for several reasons. First of all, as in water the body is three times lighter than on land, it is almost impossible to injure yourself. The water cushions your movements and makes them more fluid, which protects your joints.
But that does not mean people looking for an intensive workout will be left wanting more! Moving in water requires greater muscular and cardiovascular effort. This means the results of training in water are numerous: improved blood circulation, toned muscles, reduced cellulite and increased mobility, as well as the feeling of wellbeing water provides.
Aqua classes at Aspria
Aspria offers several aqua-fitness classes with one thing in common, you won’t get bored! In addition to meeting friends and enjoying the benefits of water, you will also have fun when you exercise.
Aspria has developed a wide range of group classes – and it’s not just aquagym.
Concept: Aqua Biking – a concept that started in 1990s Italy – means cycling in a swimming pool, with water up to the chest. Wearing waterproof shoes, participants pedal to the rhythm of lively music, following instructions of a trainer. The many different exercises involve variations in pedalling speed and position on the saddle, with the addition of arm movements, completed by a warm-up and stretching.
Perfect for: Everyone: as they can pedal according to their fitness level when cycling. There is no need to adjust the resistance of the bike with a dial, as for “classic” cycling classes; the water offers all the necessary resistance.
Benefits: Aqua Biking allows you to build up your legs, abdominal muscles and upper body. It is not only gentle on the joints, avoiding aches and pains and other traumas, but is also merciless against cellulite thanks to the draining effect of the water’s friction.
Aqua Pole Dance
Concept: Also originating in Italy, Aqua Pole Dance combines acrobatics and dance movements around a vertical bar fixed to the bottom of the pool. Rather than being overtly sexy like its land-based version, Aqua Pole Dance is a physically challenging, cardio-based sport, involving many pulling and sideways positions. Fortunately, the buoyant effect of water makes this sport more accessible than classic pole dancing.
Perfect for: Women, who are most attracted to the sport – but men are of course also welcome.
Benefits: This discipline works especially the obliques and the upper back, but also the lower body. It helps improve vitality and flexibility levels.
Concept: Aqua Jump means trampolining to music in a swimming pool. The trampoline is attached to the bottom of the pool with suction cups.
Perfect for: Beginners and advanced athletes, as everyone can adapt the exercises to their level of fitness. Also, you do not even have to be able to swim to take Aqua Jump classes, as the water only reaches your waist.
Benefits: The jumps and resistance of the water make these classes intensive cardio sessions, that burn many calories and eliminate cellulite. The constant instability means that the muscles of the abdomen, back and legs are constantly contracted.
Concept: WatFit (a combination of “water” and “fitness”) consists of working out on, not in, water. The exercises, inspired by yoga, pilates and fitness, are performed on a floating PVC mat. Although the mat is held in place by water lines, it is somewhat unstable, requiring class participants to use their entire body to maintain balance. No weights or other equipment are added to the exercises, given that it is hard enough to lift your own body weight on a floating mat.
Perfect for: Everyone, from beginners to experienced athletes, as the intensity of the exercises can be adapted to the individual’s sporting ability. The exercises are also very varied, and Aspria offers three types of WatFit workouts, from relaxing to very intense.
Benefits: Weight training, cardio, postural work, breathing, muscle strengthening, coordination – the benefits of WatFit are numerous. This discipline allows you to strengthen the whole body, and in particular the muscles of the ‘abdominal belt’ area, back and pelvis.
Take your workout to new heights
In short, swimming does not just mean laps or stately exercise. Aqua-fitness can take many forms and gaining more and more followers. Whether you want a relaxing, intense or more unusual activity to add to your training programme, consider trying a group class in the pool as this year’s new challenge.
Discover the complete schedule of Aspria aqua classes on the Aspria website and take the plunge!