Splashing Aqua Spin At Aqua Fit Pro
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” I cannot agree more with this statement by (supposedly) Albert Einstein and hence I’m always on the lookout for fun exciting things to do to keep fit and active. Staying on the riding a bicycle topic, I’ve always loved spin classes and when aqua spin (working out on a bike in a pool) emerged in London, I had to give it a try (burning 800 calories per class was a strong motivator, too!)
A little bit of background
Being high intensity, low impact exercise, aqua spin quickly gained its dedicated group of fitness followers. Due to the buoyancy of water, it is said to be strengthening one’s muscles and improving cardiovascular fitness without subjecting the body to additional wear and tear (that’s why it’s a safe and effective choice not only for fitness enthusiasts but also for people recovering from injuries: it allows one to strengthen the muscles without stressing vulnerable joints). Water’s buoyancy virtually eliminates the effects of gravity – supporting 90 percent of the body’s weight for reduced impact and greater flexibility. Thus, a 140 lbs (63kg) person weighs only 14 lbs (6 kg) in the water. Water acts as a cushion for the body’s weight-bearing joints, reducing stress on muscles, tendons and ligaments.
In addition to that, aqua spin keeps the body balanced: working out in water provides equal resistance through a full range of motion, a phenomenon known as double concentric muscle action. Last but not least, it’s good not only for the heart and muscles but also for internal organs and lymphatic system. Water also has greater resistance than air, which means walking in water requires more effort and ultimately burns more calories than walking on land.
To be fair, I did not need much convincing and it’s been a matter of minutes when the class was booked. My early enthusiasm of joining LA Fitness some time ago did not get wasted as I the sports swimwear that I bought on the first day of joining the gym with a pool came handy for my Aquafit class preparation. The preparation stopped there as I did not know what to expect, and on a bright sunny day I headed to LA Fitness Moorgate with my friend and fellow blogger Sarah for an hour of Aqua Fit Pro spin.
My AquaFit immersion & the flow
The feeling of spinning in the water feels totally odd at the beginning - it’s exciting and funny at the same time. I felt like a kid who got onto the bike for the first time - I felt like my moves were not smooth enough and I must have looked really awkward. That was until I started following the instructor Malcom's advice who from the very beginning was telling us to keep our knees bent. That way not only every aqua bike move starts to make total sense, but that’s also when your muscles start working properly.
On the aqua bike, there is no way to increase or decrease the resistance the way one does on a stationery bike in an indoor cycling studio. What you have is your bike, your body, water and special shoes to keep your feet on the pedals. The class instructor will show you four different speed patterns that you will be encouraged to use throughout the workout when the instructor says so. And if he says - now go super fast (that’s speed 4) - you try and go super fast. That’s how you make your body exercise even better and get the best of your aqua spin class session.
What I really liked about the class is that the set of exercises on the aqua bike is quite diverse and is not limited to the actual spinning only. We did push-ups and planks and other moves that engaged not only lower body but also our back and arms. After the class (we all got a little carried away and it lasted longer than it was supposed to) I felt like I had an intense full body workout without actually feeling like I was totally killing myself during the class (water is a great distraction and exercises are so different that you complete it before you notice how hard it really was).
My verdict: Aquafit spin class in a pool is definitely a fun thing to try. You are guaranteed to have this cool novelty feeling and have a new look at your workout routine.
Some (hopefully) useful tips
- Sports swimwear is the best but pretty much any swimwear will do - you are in a swimming pool after all! Just make sure that whatever you wear does not restrict your movement.
- Get flip-flops, hairband and water with you (you can’t take the water bottle with you as there’s no bottle holder at the bike however you can leave it on the side of the pool and there will be a few breaks during the class when you can go take a sip)
- LA fitness provide towels - you will definitely need one or two after the class! During the exercise though you can forget about the mini-towel to wipe your sweaty face - simply cause there is water everywhere and your towel will soak in water if you take it with you.
- Take a pad lock! LA Fitness where the class took place has lockers that you can use if you have your own padlock.
- Enjoy! Aquafit class is fun as much as it is effective - so no need to be dreading it as yet another exercise - you are very likely to truly enjoy it! :)
Oh, and in case you think that exercising in a pool is for old ladies, while our class was mostly female, the girls were young, fit and keen to have a fun effective exercise!
If you need yet one more reason to try it, Aquafit has special offers for the first timers! Check them out and book your experience here: http://www.aquafitproltd.co.