The wonderful world of Water Exercise

Add variety to your fitness routine with this workout suited for every body.

Spoiler alert: you will get wet in Water Exercise class—but you won’t have to submerge in the water. In fact, no swimming skills are required to participate in these free-for-members group fitness classes.

Laura Schulist, a Group Exercise and ForeverWell manager at the Elk River YMCA says, “Water Exercise classes are good for everybody. The ‘liquid gym’ is a hard workout. All ages can do it. And you should try it!”

What to expect in Water Exercise classes

When you come to Water Exercise class, you spend your entire workout in the pool, in water that is about chest deep. Your instructor might be out of the pool, on the deck demonstrating the movements.

Most of the exercises are cardio movements—think walking, jogging, cross-country skiing and more. However, due to the resistance moving in the water provides, every move is also allowing you to build strength.

The equipment used in class varies by location, and the Y provides everything you use in class—whether it’s kickboards, water dumbbells or noodles.

Why give Water Exercise a try?

“Sometimes I feel like superwoman in the water,” says Laura. Water workouts allow you to:

Be gentle on your joints and rejuvenate your body. The low-impact protection water provides—class is great for those with joint issues, who are recovering from an injury or who are sore from a workout earlier in the week.

Work harder than you do on land. When working in the water, your heart rate doesn’t get as high as it does on land—which can allow you to get in a more intense workout that you might out of the pool.

Go with an intensity that works for you. Class allows you to control your intensity—your instructor provides modified versions for moves, and you can really pump it up or pace yourself.

Defy gravity. In the water, your body will float a bit, which can make it easier to do moves that are more challenging on land. For example, some people find it easy to jump while in the water, when jumping on land is difficult.

Release tension. Being in the pool is just plain fun. It’s a safe workout that all ages can enjoy.

If you’ve never tried Water Exercise before ...

For your first class, Laura suggests these tips:

  • Come to class a little early so you can talk with the instructor, and get used to the feeling of being in the water
  • Try to position yourself in the middle of class so that you can easily hear and see the instructor on the pool deck
  • Find a spot where the water is chest high
  • Wearing water shoes is encouraged, but not required—find more tips on what to wear to class

What are you waiting for? Jump into the fun and find a Water Exercise class