Underwater cycling or aqua cycling is an underwater workout that is starting to make an appearance in Europe and North America. Underwater cycling brings the stationary bike into the pool. Before making a splash in recreation centers around the world, it was used as a form of physical therapy for injured athletes. Most people know classic cycling from their fitness studio: several stationary bicycles are arranged in a circle. In the front sits the trainer who gives instructions against the background of motivational music. The participants simulate cycling up and down mountains and valleys, and cycle seated or standing. This sport is however not suitable for everyone because it puts a lot of strain on the joints. If you ‘shift’ the bicycle into the water, everything looks quite different. The motion sequences are especially gentle because of the effect of the water and are even more fun. Special water bikes have been developed for this that weigh a little more and don’t rust.
The natural movements in water protect the joints and relieve the spine. Falls, impacts and sudden movements are prevented. This makes underwater cycling highly suitable for rehabilitation and gentle muscle building after injury and for those with spinal disk problems.
Water is the elixir of life, and the underwater massage has a positive effect on the skin, tissue and muscles. The skin is supplied with blood and tightened, and it encourages the purging of the tissue. The water pressure also adds a bit of a massage feeling to the legs that can reach deeper muscles, which is believed to help lose more calories.
The body stays cool even while working out because you are submerged in water. You still get the cardiovascular and fat burning benefits from cycling but it also helps those people with bone or joint ailments and lessen inflammation. Aquacycling improves the performance of your heart and circulation and has an invigorating effect on the spine, core, legs and butt. This is effective endurance training for increasing physical and mental well-being. An underwater cycling workout is challenging but doesn’t feel as hard as a regular cycling class.
Underwater cycling is still very new in many areas (and we’re not aware of any underwater cycling classes in our local San Jose area as of yet), but keep an eye out. It could be coming to your city soon!