Across the country, gyms are getting on board with water-based exercise classes, converting more and more traditional fitness routines to be done in, on or around the water.
According to the Aquatic Exercise Association, the number of certified aquatic fitness professionals has grown more than 50 percent since 2009.
Life Time Fitness told CBS Miami that aquatic exercise class enrollment has seen a steady growth of about 10 percent every year as new concepts are developed.
Besides the novelty of a new location and a new challenge, some instructors attribute the growing popularity to the restorative power of water on aching joints and sore muscles.
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“When you bring it into the pool you can still have the intensity without the same level of compressive forces to the joints, so you can do it more frequently and not feel as beat up,” said Rob Glick of Life Time Fitness.
High-intensity exercises such as climbers, squats and jogging in place are taking traditional water aerobics to a new level that is appealing to all ages.
A new fitness routine called Speedo Water Extreme brings a boot camp feel to aquatic exercise, attracting the attention of elite athletes such as Olympic swimmer Cullen Jones. “I think when people see it they’ll be excited to try it,” Jones said.
Other classes, such as yoga, have been adapted to water through the use of floating boards, adding an extra balancing challenge. “I don’t have to say connect to your core,” said Glick, “because if you don’t connect to your core, you’re going in the water.”
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