Hydrospinning: A New Exercise Craze for 2017?
28th November 2016. For some people, an exercise regimen is all about the same kind of activity, week in and out, without much variation. The bikers, the runners, the spinners and the weightlifters ? all of them have their reasons for focusing on one activity. For others, focusing like this is a one-way road to boredom. Because staying interested in your fitness is so important, it makes sense to do what keeps you engaged. If you balance out your activities to work towards whole body wellness, your body doesn't care if it gets its cardio from one exercise or another. No matter what kind of approach you take to your fitness, you'll want to stop and take notice of the next up and coming exercise activity. Imagine the high-intensity workout that exercise bikes and spin classes combined with the high-resistance of swimming. How can you do that, though? With hydrospinning ? also known as aqua cycling ? you can experience a workout more intense than most on land! By combining cycling and the water of a pool, you can burn calories and get your blood pumping quickly. Classes just an hour long offer a serious challenge. So how does putting a bicycle into a pool actually work?
What exactly is "pool biking" or hydrospinning?
For hydrospinning, you won't be completely submerged. Instead, you'll be using a pool that has about four feet of water and a stationary bike. Originally developed in Italy, hydrospinning found its first use as a tool for physical therapy. Exercise in the water is "low impact," which means that it is relatively gentle on your joints. Consider in contrast the shock that pounds through the body every time your feet hit the pavement during a run. By using cycling pedals in the water, those with limited motion post-injury could work out more effectively. Soon, though, the appeal spread beyond applications for physical therapy. Some began to recognise the potential for a truly beneficial exercise. What's the big difference? Think about what it's like when you pedal on land, especially on a real bike. As you move the pedal, you give it inertia ? if you take your foot off, it will continue to move for a time. This makes pedalling at speed easier and takes some of the strain off your muscles. In the water, though, the water instantly absorbs all that inertia. To properly pedal during an aqua cycling class, you must complete the entire revolution. It might not seem like much, but the resistance of the water makes a big difference. Participants describe it as challenging due to the need to re-learn coordination due to the inertial difference. That's part of what makes it so much fun, though ? and why it has real, tangible benefits for its participants.
The benefits of cycling under the water
Besides being an unusual combination of exercise activities, aqua cycling is also an excellent fitness pursuit in its own right. Consider some of the benefits. First and foremost, of course, is the effect on the heart: like cycling and swimming, hydrospinning will elevate your heart rate. The added water resistance makes it easier to push yourself into the zone where you'll burn more calories. Losing weight is just one of the major benefits. A vigorous hour long aqua cycling class has the potential to burn hundreds of calories. If losing weight is your goal, the support of the water could be just the thing you need. Hydrospinning will improve your coordination, too. We mentioned that the pedalling motion is different underwater. As you might imagine, it's also much more challenging to move your legs at the right tempo. At first, just focusing on how to complete the movement each cycle can take all your effort. The more time you spend on an aqua cycle, though, the better you'll be at it ? and the more your overall coordination is likely to improve on land as well. Added flexibility is another potential benefit; it makes sense when you consider its prior therapeutic use. With the pool lowering the impact of movement on your joints, you can work on your range of motion, especially in your legs. Those suffering from knee problems will find this an easier workout than real cycling. When you want to limber up because you feel stiff, hopping on an aqua cycle can shake out the cobwebs too. Finally, it can quickly become a more "full body" workout. Some hydrospinning classes take its participants through a range of different motions in the water. Rather than just pedalling, other muscle groups, like your core, get a workout too. Crunches and even swimming strokes can become a part of the routine, adding challenge, burning more calories, and improving your fitness more.
Who can benefit the most from this exercise?
If hydrospinning is going to become the next big thing, with whom will it be popular? Therein lies another part of its appeal. Because its intensity can vary so widely, it's a perfect exercise for a huge variety of people. For example, if its history as a physical therapy tool doesn't make it obvious, aqua cycling is ideal for people suffering from pain. The water acts as a supporting cushion for the body, helping to reduce pain while still developing the muscles. Therefore, it could easily find popularity among those suffering from chronic pain. It may also find use among athletes for two reasons. First is, of course, the low impact and pain relieving aspects of the exercise. Second, it has great potential as a tool for high-intensity interval training. It's easy to go slow and steady, but it's also just as easy to spin hard underwater and skyrocket your heart rate. Senior citizens can benefit for these same reasons. Water aerobics classes are already popular in many places around the globe. However, not every older individual wants such a slow workout ? we all crave excitement and fun from time to time! That's where hydrospinning can really shine. It can be a simple but highly effective form of exercise for those who need low impact options the most. Likewise, osteoporosis sufferers might turn to aqua cycling as well due to its bone-strengthening potential.
Why it's poised to make a splash
It's not hard to see that aqua cycling is an exercise that can have a real, positive impact on our fitness and physical ability. Why is it poised to finally break out, though? There are a few reasons. First, its popularity is already spreading widely. No longer is it simply an "exercise craze" happening in some places around Europe. Hydrospinning studios are even opening in New York City these days. There's a clear demand for the exciting new take on exercise the activity provides. As more people have a chance to try it out, word of how fun and refreshing it is should spread. Also, other exercise "fads" from recent years are beginning to see their own popularity fade. The dancing fitness craze known as Zumba is no longer adding as many new participants as it once was. Others, like CrossFit, don't provide as many opportunities for those who are less physically able to exercise. In 2017, hopefully, we will see more individuals recognising the benefits of bringing hydrospinning to a wider audience. Based on the potential for improvements in fitness and even one's general wellness when cycling underwater, it seems like it's only a matter of time before it enters the mainstream.
Keep an eye on this fascinating activity
Though you may not have access to a nearby hydrospinning class just yet, stay tuned! As awareness of this exercise grows ? and hopefully, its popularity along with it ? it should continue to spread around the world. Soon enough, you'll likely get your chance to see just how much it is an exciting fitness challenge. Whether you like the idea of a hardcore but low impact workout, or you just like to try new things, aqua cycling is worth your attention. In the meantime, you can still work on improving your fitness in the pool or with a conventional spin machine. Both options provide plenty of physical benefits of their own while being in the same "low impact" category as hydro spinning. Is 2017 the year everyone jumps back in the pool to hit the pedals? We'll soon find out. Follow @SportNessUK