Class Review – Aqua Aerobics
I know the class review was last month’s thing, where I challenged myself to try as many new classes as I could, review them and work on the moves I struggled with but we are almost half way through May (how did that happen!!) and I have been so busy that I haven’t had chance to come up with a challenge for this month. In fact it will be challenge enough just to get back into the gym after a couple of accidental weeks off. I really enjoyed trying out the new classes and reviewing them so I thought I would continue it into this month.
I have been keen to try out an Aqua class for a while and luckily last week I had the opportunity to try one out.
Whilst on my sister’s hen do a few weeks ago, I met one of her friends who is really into fitness and is currently facing the challenge of finding exercise classes she can do whilst pregnant. Aqua Aerobics is one of the classes she can do, so she invited me to come along with her last Thursday.
I had been warned it would be quite hard but to be honest I wasn’t expecting to work up a sweat in a pool of water. We started off by getting in the pool which was waist deep and grabbing some aqua dumbbells. I had never seen this type of dumbbell before; they are not heavy but are great for resistance training in water as they float. If you haven’t seen them before they were a bit like this Speedo set pictured below (available from Amazon).
We then started our warm up, which consisted of jogging around the pool punching the dumbbells in the air. Jogging around in a pool of waist deep water is so much harder than it sounds, even harder when the instructor shouted at us to change direction as then you were met with the force of the water pushing against you. After jogging, skipping and sprinting around the pool for several minutes, the warm up was complete.
The instructor asked us to find a space and we started off by marching on the spot in the pool doing dumbbell raises and then squats whilst pushing the dumbbell underwater, which is really hard as they float so they are constantly pushing against you. We did these at a normal speed and then when the instructor blew the whistle we had to speed up and go as fast as we could. This was repeated several times and then we had to sprint through the water to the side of the pool, touch the wall and sprint back. By this point I had definitely worked up a sweat, the water was really warm and it was really hot in the pool, I couldn’t believe I was sweating in water!
We then moved onto some strength and stretching exercises. These involved holding the side of the pool, putting your feet up against the wall and pushing your whole body out into the water and repeating it. The part of the pool I was in was really shallow so I had a bit of trouble completing this move as my knees kept hitting the bottom of the pool. The next move was water crunches. For these we put our feet up onto the side of the pool, held onto the side, led back into the pool and then crunched our way back up out of the water towards our knees. That is really hard to explain so I don’t know if you can picture it but I guess it’s like sit ups but with your feet on the side of the pool. Again, when the whistle blew we had to speed up and go as fast as we could. We also did tricep extensions (raising the dumbbell above your head and then lowering it behind you towards your back. This was a bit annoying as every time I lifted the weights up they dripped all over my head.
The last part of the class was made up of jumping jacks and wide leg squats, still using the dumbbells which by this point felt about 10kg each! My arms were aching so much from carrying these dumbbells in the air the whole duration of the class.
After a few cool down stretches the class was over. I felt shattered! I genuinely had not expected this class to be the workout that it was, I thought it would be a bit of splashing about in the pool but actually at some points it did feel like quite hard work. I think the resistance of the water and the floating dumbbells made you work harder than if you were doing similar exercises outside of the pool.
I’m so glad I tried this class; it was really good fun and great to try a new type of workout. I am going back again this week as the instructor said after the class that he had done an easy class because there were so many new people, so I’m hoping this week will be a bit harder. I don’t think I will be making this a weekly class but it was definitely a bit of fun and I will try and go once or twice a month just to have a break from my usual workout routine.
Have you ever tried an aqua class? What do you think of them? Are you enjoying these types of posts? Would love to hear from you in the comments.