New wave of water
workouts attract the young and fit
Send a link to a friend
[June 09, 2014]
By Dorene Internicola
NEW YORK (Reuters) - While
older, overweight or injured exercisers have always
valued the cushioning effects of water workouts, a new
wave of trendy, lively and high intensity group fitness
classes is luring the young, the hip and the able-bodied
into the pool.
Aqua Zumba, boot camp, and synchronized swimming are among the
classes experts say put every muscle through a range of motion even
the fittest can’t approach on dry land.
Lori Rose Benson of the YMCA of Greater New York said seniors
populate daytime pool classes, but the evening attracts a younger,
Synchronized swimming, a class of elaborate strokes and stunts set
to music, has become a favorite among Brooklyn hipsters, she said.
Aqua Zumba, also called “pool party,” is popular with the younger
crowd throughout the city.
“Really, it depends on the time of day,” Benson said. “Aquatic
exercise can have all the benefits of a really tough cardiovascular
workout. It’s what you put into it.”
Three times a week at an Equinox fitness center in New York City,
swim coach Ellis Peters leads Aqua Boot Camp, an hour-long interval
workout he said takes aim at every major muscle group.
“I try to use every inch of the 25-yard (23-meter) pool,” Peters
said of the class, which employs flotation devices in a
fast-changing sequence of running, jumping jacks and core exercises.
“We usually don’t do any one thing more than a minute,” said Peters.
Moving through water is powerful, he added, because the resistance,
or drag coefficient, is 12 times what it is in air and works on the
body in all directions.
“I can’t imagine a machine on land that would be able to duplicate
the omni-dimensional resistance of the water,” he said. “It doesn’t
Rhode Island-based Karen Kent said she plunged into pool workouts
after asthma began to hamper her running style.
“I couldn’t run much in my 20s,” said Kent, an aquatic expert who
wrote the water exercise chapter for the American College of Sports
Medicine’s group fitness handbook.
[to top of second column]
She said even the most able-bodied like turning to water to relieve
pressure and extend their range of motion.
“Even really strong athletes want to come to water to stretch
muscles back out,” she said. “Water offers another piece of fitness
you can’t get on the ground.”
The level of exertion feels less in the water, she added, so the
right instructor can really ramp it up with deep water running and
Kent said the pool temperature for water workouts should be around
83 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (28 to 29 Celsius), with air temperature
about two degrees higher. That's because unlike swimmers, who are
comfortable in the high 70s (mid 20s), the exercisers' heads are
above the water line.
“Swimming laps is different from doing exercise,” she said. “Every
workout has something else to offer and a well-rounded athlete
should do all of it.”
(Editing by Patricia Reaney and Gunna Dickson)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.