Stationary cycling is one of the oldest aerobic exercises, with various forms existing today. From spin classes to using home cycling workout machines, stationary cycling already has numerous benefits that not only increase your heart strength, but leg strength and flexibility as well.
There’s now a new form of stationary cycling growing in popularity over the last few years, and this one doesn’t take place in your ordinary settings. In fact, you’ll need your swimsuit for this one.
Aqua cycling combines pool aerobics and exercise with stationary cycling. With aqua cycling, the participant rides a bicycle-like machine that is affixed to the bottom of the pool, with the saddle portion and handlebars sitting just on top of the water.
This unlikely merging of exercise styles is catching on quickly, and not for the novelty. Aqua cycling has some distinct benefits that can improve the user in several different ways.
Below, we’ll cover the core benefits that aqua cycling provides.
Incredibly Low Impact
Cycling is already one of the most low-impact exercises in existence, which is why it's’ such a popular choice for those rehabbing, or for older people who aren’t as limber as they used to be. Cycling underwater is even more low-impact.
The water in the pool allows your lower body to move without taking any impact, while encouraging a more fluid motion. This all but eliminates the standard strains and aches you get when exercising on a hard surface. Those who are rehabbing after surgery or injury can substantially benefits from aqua cycling.
Being in the water provides a calming, soothing, and generally more comfortable feel during your workout. While the water is usually heated for most facilities, the environment is still cooler than when inside a gym or indoor area, so you’ll sweat less, and not feel as drained afterwards.
Burns More Calories
While the water is more comfortable and provides fluid movement, the resistance of the water will have you working harder than you would on dry land. This can make the simple motion of pedaling require a lot more work, vastly improving the efficiency of your workout in the same amount of time.
The low-impact, high-resistance of the water will naturally improve your muscle elasticity over time, making you a lot more flexible. Many users of aqua cycling have noticed huge gains in their overall flexibility that weren’t reachable with standard stretching routines.
Aqua cycling is bound to catch on as more people realize the benefits. Many large cities already offer sessions and classes, whether it’s at a gym, or even a physical therapy office. For those that want to do it in their own pool, there are retail models available for order online. Either way, you’re in for a great workout.
Have you ever done aqua cycling before? Let us know in the comments below!