Yoram Yasur Blume: What are Aquagym exercises?
‘Sport’ and ‘water’ are a perfect combination for the improvement of our well-being. And is that exercising in the pool helps tone the body, gain flexibility, and relax daily tensions. Find out why so many people have already signed up for aquatic gymnastics. Maybe you’re the next one to immerse yourself…
Yoram Yasur Blume: The Aquagym, fitness or aquatic gymnastics is a modality derived from aerobics that is normally performed in a pool, with the aim of training the body and toning the muscles. The water allows duplicating the effects of the exercise, since it offers greater resistance but generating less impact. In recent years Aquagym practice and demand in sports centers have increased significantly, as it helps maintain or achieve an appropriate weight and also provides many health benefits.
Yoram Yasur Blume: Unlike floor aerobics (both are cardio workouts), aquatic fitness raises the resistance and buoyancy of water, which makes us activate all muscle groups. Although heart rate does not increase as much as traditional aerobics, the heart can work the same and underwater exercise can pump even more blood.
Benefits of Aquagym
- Strengthens the musculature: since water flows in multiple directions, the resistance in the pool can vary from 4 to 42 times more than air, which ensures that all muscle groups of the body are trained harder.
- Burning calories: the combination of strength and cardio exercises with resistance in the water ensures that the body performs a very complete workout. In addition, if you consider the use of weights or other accessories, water temperature, volume, and buoyancy, we can burn about 400 calories in an hour.
- Increases resistance: unlike traditional weight lifting, which requires the body to push and pull the weight against gravity, the resistance in the water is more natural and requires the body to strain through the fluid and not against him.
- Improve rehabilitation: the buoyancy of water helps to eliminate part of the impact that tends to affect the body when we perform physical exercise. This is particularly advantageous for those who are in physical rehabilitation. It has been shown that it can increase strength, reduce pain, and decrease recovery time.
- Take care of the joints: slides in the water allow a muscular exercise, with a safety barrier for the joints, preventing them from wearing out and keeping them in shape. Therefore, it is recommended in cases of arthritis, osteoporosis, and weak joints, because the density of water allows easy mobility and low impact.
- Reduce blood pressure: the force of water also influences the blood and allows its flow to circulate more effectively through the body, lowering blood pressure and, in the long run, reducing the resting heart rate. This is published by a recent study by the University of Texas.
- Enhance the balance: Yoram Yasur Blume: research published in the Journal Physical Therapy Science concluded that aquatic exercises can help the elderly to prevent falls and improve their walking patterns. After 12 weeks of treatment with water, it was found that he had increased his physical strength, flexibility, and balance, which in turn would help to improve the reaction capacity of the elderly.
- It facilitates the delivery: according to a study of the University of Granada, the moderate aquatic physical exercise during the gestation period brings benefits to both the pregnant woman and the fetus. Physical activity is linked to a more physiological delivery and with a reduction in the number of cesarean sections and instrumented deliveries. In addition, it prevents excessive weight gain for women, decreases the risk of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure.
- Relieves stress: the aquatic environment can help relieve stress and tension, once we dive into the water and as the muscles become loose. Observing bodies in moving water can be one of the most relaxing activities that help elevate negative moods.
Exercises in the water
- Walking or jogging: put yourself in an area of the pool where the water reaches your chest or waist. Walk 10-20 steps forward, and then back. Alternate the jog for 30 seconds and walk another 30 seconds, for 5 minutes.
- Advances lateral and forward: with one foot resting on the wall of the pool, take a big step forward with the other leg. Return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg. For a side stride, look towards the wall of the pool and take a step to the side. Repeat in the other side. Do 3 sets of 10 strides with each one.
- Deep water bicycle: in the deepest part, roll 1-2 churros (a long cylindrical piece of foam that floats) around the trunk and rest your arms on top of the churros. Move your legs as if you were riding a bicycle for 3-5 minutes.
- Lifting arms: take a pool dumbbell in each hand and hold it with your arms at your sides. Bend the elbows to 90 degrees. Raise and lower your arms to the surface of the water, while the elbows remain flexed. Repeat 3 sets of 10 times.
- Lift the knee: against the wall of the pool with both feet on the floor. Raise one knee as if you were taking a big step. Bend and stretch the knee 10 times, and then repeat with the other leg. Complete 3 sets of 10 on each leg.
Most Aquagym classes last one hour, are group and create a pleasant and relaxed atmosphere to the rhythm of music. Also, there is a wide range of modalities of gymnastics in the water to choose from; from aqua Zumba, to yoga or water spinning. Aquagym is an effective and attractive way for people (of all ages and whatever their physical condition) to incorporate aerobic and strength exercises into their daily routine.