Aqua cycling fuses the benefits of cycling and the positive effects of water on the body. A human weighs only 1/5th of the original weight in water thus ensuring better and efficient exercising. Weightlessness combined with hydrodynamic resistance of the water allows painless and easy pedaling. This eliminates stress or fatigue on the joints and also relieves pressure from the joints. Aqua cycling is an easy workout not just for athletes but for non-athletes and beginners too. Aqua has gained immense popularity among the Europeans and is now slowly getting popular in the United States. Aqua cycling protects the bone structure, joints and muscles unlike normal cycling wherein wear and tear may not be ruled out.
Aqua cycling initially started as therapy for rehabilitation and is used to recuperate from injuries, diabetes, muscular atrophy, orthopedic impairments, venous disorders, rheumatic disorders, neurological disorders, etc. The cycles used for this activity are stationary hydrobikes. Aqua cycles have no wheels, knobs or gears. The cycles rest on the floor of the pool and the waist-high water works as resistance. Common problems like random jolts and sudden jerks that happen in open air cycling can be completely prevented in aqua cycling. Aqua cycles are made from special steel so that they don’t rust underwater.
Aqua cycling workout
The bike that is used for aqua cycling allows a person to perform a wide range of exercises in water. The bike is equipped to adjust the resistance. This bike allows you to workout in water regardless of fitness level. The cyclist’s arms and abs are constantly moving and working out. A 45 minute session comprises a combination of workouts such as:
- Exercises behind or out of the bike
- Cool down
Aqua cycling benefits
- Aqua cycling is a holistic workout that you feel light and relaxed and does not leave you with sore muscles as in ordinary cycling.
- No muscle soreness as there is no micro-trauma to the muscle tissue and connective tissue.
- Aqua cycling does not affect the joints like in regular cycling. Aqua cycling takes the impact off the joints. It can be termed as impact-free form of exercise as the water supports the body weight thus making it stress free for the joints.
- This form of cycling forces the cyclist to use the core muscles effectively thus strengthening the core muscles.
- Cycling gets tough when a person is floating in water therefore the person engages the leg in backward and forward movement rather than upward and downward movement. This strengthens the limbs rather than weakening it.
- The water pressure massages the muscles and helps the body heal. Aqua cycling becomes an active massage and drains off cellulite effectively.
- The continuous movement helps a person burn close to 800 calories in an hour. The support and pressure provided by the water speeds up blood circulation thus eliminating fat from the body. Weight loss is facilitated.
- Improves blood flow, the hydrostatic pressure of the water when combined with cycling movements improves the blood flow and circulation in the body.
- Improved cardiovascular endurance - while working out in water the heartbeat is lesser than on land. The heart rate is reduced by 10-15 beats per minute. This increases the intensity of the workout thereby improving the endurance of the person.
- Aqua cycling increases the breathing capacity of a person; while working out in water the breathing capacity of the person improves.
- Promotes overall flexibility of the body; the buoyancy of water allows the joints to be moved in a wider range thus making the joints more flexible.
- Bone mass is maintained.
It might not be easy in the initial classes to keep rhythm. Your muscles have to work against the water resistance to keep the pace. Besides since the aqua bikes are not bolted to the ground, they might sway or keel over. Often it is a bit difficult to hear the instructor over the water splashes.
Aqua cycling is ideal for those who are overweight, pregnant or recovering from athletic injury. This aqua exercise seems like a mix between relaxing yoga and strenuous cycling. Spandex shorts, sports bras or bikinis with firm tops are ideal. Secure your hair neatly.