Aquagym: History of the Sport
There are many recreational sports in the world that we know and how each one came to exist, but when it comes to dancing in the water, people get confused. Is it aquagym or aquajogging? And how to do it properly without hurting yourself?
For starters, we can safely say that the benefits of water were already known since ancient times as therapeutic methods of healing the body. However, in the 1980s, a famous Italian actress, Eleonora Vallone, suffered significant consequences from a car accident and could only heal by doing her rehabilitation in the water with this method, the aquagym.
This is when the word of the benefits of exercising in water, aquagym, started spreading, and the first school for aqua fitness teachers in Rome was established. This is the origin of aquagym.
Aquagym Fitness: How to Do It & Why Try It?
Although there are many forms of aquagym fitness and aqua jogging, they all come down to doing repetitive movements in the water, sometimes accompanied by music depending on where you train.
People can do these aquagym fitness movements with or without equipment, and a wide range of materials can be used to control the intensity of the classes. People usually start without using anything but their body weight in water. Then as they progress, they can use various pieces of equipment that will add some resistance and boost their stamina.
The Great Thing about Aquagym Pool Fitness
Although we will talk more about the benefits of aquagym, it is worth mentioning that the most remarkable thing about aquagym and why it can be used as rehab for the body is the fact that it is done in an environment with very little gravity.
Namely, as opposed to running on land or doing any type of exercise on land, there is a lot of straining on the joints. However, with less gravity in the water, the body weighs less, and there is less impact on the joints. Additionally, the density of the water adds resistance to each movement which in turn forces you to make a more significant effort when moving each part.
The aquagym exercising is consisted of repeating low-impact movements under the water. This forces the body to work twice as hard as making the same moves on land. It is because of this movement that many benefits arise.
As many experts say, strength-resistance work with a moderate load is ideal for building muscle and strengthening the joints without the strain induced by exercising on land. This is why aquagym is highly recommended for joint damage and is suitable for people of all ages and stages of life, including older and injured. Such repetitive movements of exercising to music are also proven to have cardiovascular benefits too.
Who Can Practice Aquajogging?
With no weight to bear, aquagym fitness is an extremely popular form of exercising that enables respiratory improvement and enhances flexibility in the joints. It is possible that when running on land, people hurt their knees which is practically impossible with aquagym. This also improves and corrects postural balance, so those with sedentary jobs can stretch their spine without the risk of damaging their backs.
However, not all aquagym fitness classes are made the same. Many are organized with healthy, uninjured people in mind. So, the intensity may be more vigorous, and the types of movements may get too though too quickly.
This is why, if you would like to use aquagym fitness as a rehabilitation exercise after an injury, you have to consult with the trainers that organize the classes. They may be able to accommodate the level of activity as per your current fitness level.
Older adults will feel confident and safe doing the aquagym classes, which will further motivate them to make progress. This is because aquajogging takes place in the water, and there is no risk of falling. These people will be encouraged to continue attending aquagym while forming relationships with their peers, creating bonds of friendship, and improving at a psychological level.
Basically, anyone can do the aquagym exercising if the level of movement is suitable to their current fitness level.
Aquagym Fitness High-intensity Swim Workouts
The aquagym workouts are the perfect way to stay fit without impacting the joints too much. This activity will improve your form on land, too, as it teaches you how to hold the right balance with no weight to bear.
Aquajogging With a Flotation Belt
There is a form of Aquajogging that involves wearing a flotation device around your waist that ensures you are safe in the water. This form of jogging, also called deep-water jogging, is done by moving your arms and legs in a running motion in the deep end of the pool.
Thanks to the flotation device around your waist, you will not be touching the floor of the pool with your feet and will be making slow forward progress. This replicates an excellent running action without the negative impact on your back or joints. In this motion, the hip flexors are strengthened in a full range of motion which is especially beneficial for people who spend their day in a sitting position.
Aquagym Technique Tips
If you are making the aquajogging motion, the first thing to make sure of is to keep your feet away from the bottom of the pool when you are jogging.
Maintain an upright posture with shoulders directly above hips. The main conclusion from watching people aquajogging on an underwater camera is that, no matter how much you think you’re leaning back, you’re still leaning forward. This is probably because the belts give you more buoyancy at the back than at the front.
Clench your hands in a fist so that you won’t “cheat” by swimming with your hands for forwarding propulsion. Also, make sure that you are pulling your toes up towards your shins, just like when running on land.
You need to exaggerate the knee movement of running by imagining that you are stepping over a barrel and rolling it behind you. Aim to get the knee high up to jump over the imaginary barrel, and also push it back fully with the trail leg.
Pick the Slowest Lane
Aquajogging should not be rushed because the motion of each movement is essential. Aquagym, in general, regardless of running or exercising, is not intended to make you move fast like swimming is, for example. It is there to teach your body the right movements without the risk of injuring yourself.
The aquagym trainer will guide you through the process and give you all the technical advice you need, so you only need to focus on working hard and getting your heart rate, and breathing rate elevated.
Aquajogging Swim Partners
A training partner for the aquajogging or the aquagym sessions can be a great way to stay motivated and make the time pass quickly. On its own, aquajogging can be pretty dull.
You can also improve your focus and performance by exercising in intervals and taking short recoveries.
Aquagym Example Sessions
Sessions of classes for aquagym can be particularly helpful if you are just starting out and would like to have your training organized. Below we have some aquajogging sessions that you can carry out in the pool from day one.
Pool Session 1 (30min total, 14min intense)
– 7 min easy warmup
– 9 x 1min hard (30sec recovery)
– 13 x 30sec hard (20sec recovery)
– 7 min easy warm down
Pool Session 2 (52min total, 22min intense)
– 10 min warmup
– 3 x 3 min hard (90sec recovery)
– 2 min easy
– 4 x 2 min hard (60sec recovery)
– 2 min easy
– 5 x 1 min hard (30sec recovery)
– 10 min warm down
If you still need some variety of aquagym exercises, here’s an excellent example of a great water aerobics session.
The Benefits of Aquagym
The benefits of aquagym and aquajogging are numerous. Experts often state that the biggest one comes from the fact that this type of exercising is suitable for absolutely anyone. However, here we have additional proven benefits that aquagym lovers report.
Increasing your body’s general flexibility isn’t an easy task when trying to accomplish it with mainstream stretches. However, with aquagym, it happens naturally because the water adds a lot of resistance to any movement that you make.
Practically, it pushes and pulls your joints and body parts around in directions they aren’t used to moving. This way, slowly, over time, you are making your body get used to those movements and increase flexibility in the joints.
This is almost like a light form of stretching or even yoga.
Aquagym Fitness Builds Muscle Strength
Any form of resistance adds muscle mass. When you engage in regular water aerobics, you strengthen your muscles just like with weight lifting, cycling, and resistance training.
However, those other exercises come with their own set of risks, while aquagym is entirely safe and doesn’t put strenuous amounts of effort onto your joints or back, unlike lifting weights.
Did you know that the water adds between 4 and 42 times the amount of resistance that normal air produces?
This means you will seriously improve your stamina and body mass just by regularly practicing aquagym or aquajogging without needing the equipment or the gym membership.
Aquajogging is a Form of Meditation
Aquagym is known to increase the mind’s ability to respond better to stress. People get anxiety relief as well because exercising in any form tends to reduce cortisol in the body and helps put you in a better mood in general. The reason why aquagym is unique is that aqua classes put you in a better mental state. It is already known that water has a soothing effect on the mind, putting it at ease and helping it better prepare for any stressful situation during the day.
Exercise of any kind, aqua class or on land, makes it possible for the brain to release certain neurochemicals known as endorphins. These chemicals help you feel happier and relieve stress, depression, and anxiety, and as a group, it is called serotonin.
By aquajogging, you are boosting your serotonin to produce a sense of joy, happiness, and relaxation. Feelings that effectively counteract the sadness and grief which can cause depression and anxiety in the long run.
Aqua Fitness Builds Endurance
Physical endurance is something that people need to build early on in their lives to live a
better-quality life after. Water aerobics and swimming, in general, are great ways of building and increasing physical endurance because these are all forms of resistance training. And resistance training challenges your muscles to withstand pressure and grow stronger.
As your muscles get bigger and stronger, they can also work out for longer and endure anything you put them through in your life.
Stronger and well-trained muscles directly lead to increased endurance.
Plus, did you know that the heart is a muscle too? The more you exercise in the right way, the more you strengthen it and make it durable. Aquagym in any form, including aquajogging, are forms of light cardiovascular exercise, especially when you move at a quick pace.
Also, the stronger your heart is, the stronger your lungs get. More blood and oxygen can be pumped into your body and muscles so you are in better shape overall.
Aquajogging is a Low-impact Activity
Running on land has a much more significant impact on your body, bones, and joints. Compared to aqua training of any kind, aquagym training has virtually no risks of injuries induced from an exercise given that you are staying safe in the water and using a flotation device.
You see, exercising on dry land like running, step-ups, burpees, and other such movements can put a lot of unnecessary stress along with the benefits of doing them. Plus, the recovery time is much longer, unlike with aquagym and aquajogging.
It is especially heavy on the body when the person exercising on land is already overweight but needs to start with some form of training to lose weight. So, starting with aquagym fitness aerobics of any kind is the most beneficial thing for your body.
Another bonus of aqua training is that it can be especially helpful for those suffering from osteoporosis as well as arthritis. These diseases already tear and damage your joints a lot, causing a lack of mobility and flexibility, so, by exercising on land, people can even increase these damages further. Although any form of exercising is good, in this situation, it can do more harm than good.
This is why in such cases, aquajogging and any form of aquagym are heavily favored because those can help alleviate the stress put on joints and can help relieve the pain too. Hydrotherapy is an excellent form of therapy for people suffering from joint problems such as arthritis.
Excellent form of Cardio Workouts
Cardio on land cannot be done without putting a lot of stress on your body. However, aquagym fitness aerobics in water consisting of quick and strenuous movements can bring a lot of benefits to cardio without the downsides.
By making your heart pump faster, you help it become more resilient, so you are in better shape overall.
The same goes for the lungs. These are strained by strenuous water workouts, which decreases the chances of heart and arterial disease. Swim classes also relieve high blood pressure and lengthen the odds of suffering from heart attacks.
You will notice how after regularly training the aquagym fitness, you can walk, run, or do any other exercises without getting winded and experiencing shortness of breath.
Did you know that the buoyancy of water affects your blood flow and induces your blood to flow freely and circulate throughout your body much easier?
This is all possible with aquagym fitness training. You will lower your blood pressure and also your resting heart rate.
Aquagym Gets You in a Better Shape
Just like with any exercise, aquajogging is a fantastic way of burning calories. Resistance training and cardiovascular exercises are all included in swimming as proprietary elements, requiring an immense amount of energy produced and burnt.
Therefore, on average, just 1 hour of water aerobics can help you burn anywhere from 400 to 600 calories. The more you keep your heart rate elevated and the more resistance you are using, the more calories you will be burning.
Helps Your Body Stay Cool
The final reason why water aerobics makes for a really great form of exercise is that it cools you down. Exercising in general increases your body temperature, makes you sweat, and makes you feel uncomfortable due to the heat. Well, that is definitely not true when you exercise in cool water because you’re in a substance that naturally cools you down.
Aquagym Final Word
Aquagym, with all its proprietary elements like aerobics or deep water jogging, is a great way of increasing flexibility, improve fitness overall, and decrease the chances of cardiovascular diseases. It is also a fantastic way to build muscle and get your joints and other aspects of your physical health into prime condition. As a bonus to all of that, water is proven to help people relax and relieve anxiety. So, find the nearest pool and start aquagym-ing today!
Of course, if you have any questions or you would like to share your experience with aquagym, feel free to comment down below. You never know who you might help with your experience.
And, in the meantime, I’d love to connect with you on my Facebook and Instagram accounts for more cool reviews and recommendations.
P.S. If you’re looking for other exciting stuff to do on the water, check out SUP Yoga
Another excellent way of staying active in the water!
And on that note, here’s a gear checklist for the most comfortable yoga experience:
Especially if you are starting out just now, yoga poses can get very slippery and you might need an extra hand on flexibility – for that, we suggest getting: