Summer is the best time to lose those extra kilos, however, not many folks like sweating it out in the heat. No wonder aqua workouts are catching up among fitness enthusiasts in the city. Here’s a look at some fat-burning aqua workouts you can practise …
Aqua Tai chi or Aquachi
The slow and gentle moves of Tai Chi are replicated in water. So, you’ll be waving your hands in the clouds, doing the crane, but in water. Aquachi has been created by combining Tai Chi concepts with Shiatsu and Watsu techniques and is performed standing in shoulder-height water, with deep breathing and slow, broad movements of the arms, legs, and torso.
Done mostly vertically and without swimming, typically in waist-deep water, aqua aerobics is a type of resistance training. The focus here is on aerobic endurance, resistance training, and creating an enjoyable atmosphere with music. A normal aqua aerobic session would include regular exercises like straight-leg kicks and high-knee jumps, together with pool-specific moves like power laps of the pool, sprints or static running. “This offers resistance in all directions, compared to land exercises where you work only against gravity. It also helps the enhancement of strength and endurance,” says Tanmaya Arya Shetty, an aqua aerobics trainer.
This is beautifully done by two people working together in sync. It is very meditative and lot of fun. You walk together in embrace or sometimes open hold position. There are lifts and jumps and you have to find balance. Working out as a team with your partner in water is invigorating and can be fun.
Aqua yoga or Yoqua
This is the most comprehensive set of adaptations of classic yoga asanas in water. Aqua Kriya Yoga is a style of water instruction that brings the benefits of yoga to people who are not able to practise on a yoga mat due to physical limitations, injury, or disease. The kriya emphasises on breath, props and alignment. This form makes complete use of the properties of water for fitness and well-being.
Aqua Pilates or Aqualates
This is a body-conditioning programme that relies on strengthening the ‘core postural muscles’ of the back and stomach. It is done by performing a series of exercises based on small movements. Equipment like noodles, thera band, fitness sticks are used for this.
How they work
These are usually done in neck-deep water. You can burn eight times more calories than floor exercises as the body works against the resistance of water. “Movements are naturally balanced and muscles that are tight are stretched with buoyancy when in water, whereas lax muscles are strengthened with the resistance of water,” fitness expert Kiran Sawhney.
What makes them fun
Even after a rigorous session, you do not come out feeling sweaty and tired. On the contrary, you are fresh. The hydrostatic pressure i.e. the force of the water against the body, acts like a massage, thereby helping the return of blood to heart more efficiently. Thus the respiratory system works better. It also decreases any swelling in the body.
– They are enjoyable
– You don’t have to be a swimmer to participate
– Don’t have to wet your hair to do these
– Gives participant the feeling of weightlessness
– Provides natural massage and muscular tension release
– Option of choosing your own level of intensity