About a year ago, the company I work for decided to take a risk and invest in something cutting edge in fitness that not too many people (at least around here) had heard of… Aqua Spinning. Yes, one of our fitness directors proposed this idea to throw bikes in the water and have a really unique workout experience unlike any other.
Fast forward to today, and I’m teaching weekly Hydrorider classes and they are a total splash! So why Aqua Spin? There are plenty of benefits to aqua exercise programs for every fitness level and every demographic. Whether you’re using it as cross training for the endurance athlete (ahem… yours truly), or rehabbing a knee or hip injury – Aqua Spinning can be a super fun and effective workout to add to your routine.
High-calorie burn: Aqua Spin offers a different kind of caloric burn for your body because of the resistance within the water. Not only does the water provide hydrostatic support, it also provides a pressure which increases blood circulation and calorie burn effects! Think about it, when you’re surrounded by water, every movement you do has resistance and with Aqua Spinning, the harder you push, the harder the workout is so you have complete control over the level of intensity you want to bring.
Impact-free exercise: For me, as a runner, having impact-free forms of crosstraining is extremely important within my workout routine so 2-3 Aqua Spin classes a week are great ways for me to get in a great workout, while not putting extra stress on my joints. I frequently see people take my classes who are coming back from Physical Therapy or getting back into a workout routine from a knee or hip injury and they find Aqua Spinning to be an excellent complement to their rehab. Again, the hydrostatic support of movement in water is extremely effective for strengthening muscles, while supporting the body weight and allowing for the appropriate amount of “stress” to be conditioning.
Less soreness/DOMS: Have you ever had an amazing workout one day and then been so sore you can barely move the next? Oh yea, those leg workouts where you have to hold on for dear life when you try to sit to use the restroom, or your arms are so tender from pumping it that you look like a T-Rex trying to wash your hair? With Aqua Spinning (and aqua fitness in general, really), this delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is reduced and many people do not even experience that same level of tenderness afterward. This is because working in the water prevents your muscles from those micro-traumas and micro-tears that cause such pain, so your body is getting a similar benefit without the same stresses on your muscle and tissues.
This was absolutely critical for my when I was training for our 50-Mile ultra-marathon during the first half of 2017… I would put in 25-41 miles over a weekend, take Monday off as a rest day, and use my Tuesday Aqua Spinning class as a recovery workout (combined with a couple solid rounds in the cold plunge afterward). I know this contributed to my success and injury prevention during that training schedule…
Improved circulation and cardiovascular efficiency: Woah… big words. Improved circulation In water workouts and Aqua Spin, your heart rate will be reduced by 10-17% which means your workouts are more efficient and you can usually endure through longer workouts than you may be able to otherwise. This benefits your activities in the pool and out by increasing that cardio endurance and building stamina. Dr. Martin Juneau, director of prevention at the Montreal Heart Institute suggested that the pressure of the water on your legs and lower body makes it easier for the blood to return to your heart more effectively, which increases the capacity of your circulation!
Finally – it’s just fun! There’s something about Aqua Spinning that it just fun no matter what! There are plenty of days where I don’t want to get out of bed and do it, but once I’m in the water, splashing around and spinning, I can’t help but have a smile on my face and laugh my way through the workout… And at the end of the day, when you can have a really great time during your workout, it will feel less like work!
Come check it out sometime, my classes are at Haven on the Lake, a beautiful wellness retreat in the heart of Columbia, Maryland.