Aqua Fitness – Floatfit
Aqua workouts are not new but this one is. Speedo India in association with Aquaphysical is now giving fitness enthusiasts, FloatFit, a new way to stay fit.
“You are invited to join the water based fitness revolution FloatFit” said an invite in my mail box. What intrigued me was the picture that accompanied the mail where I saw two people exercising on a mat floating on the water. So I made my way to the venue and was surprised that was indeed a workout done on a board – that floats in water! In fact this felt like a yoga mat but this was on water and the exercises done largely mimic yogic postures too.
FloatFit essentially is a classic bodyweight workout on an oversized float in the middle of a swimming pool. The float here is called an AquaBase board that has a textured surface to help you with grip. The 30 minute workout that is typically done on the board includes well know exercises like press-ups and squats as well as high intensity and yoga inspired moves. The idea of doing it on the water is simple. The instability of balancing on water makes your core work harder and the water resistance will help intensify muscle toning. Incidentally, AquaBase is the world’s first fitness float and can be used both for group exercise classes or one-to-one training. Every 30 minute FloatFit class has specific sections to ensure the participant has a full body workout. Here are the steps to do the workout:
- Familiarise and Balance
The first section of the FloatFit Class is all about finding your feet, building confidence and most importantly, warming up. Starting sat down in the centre of the AquaBase, set movements are designed to bring participants onto their knees and standing up. Exercises are completed at every level, e.g. Leg Raises (lying on the AquaBase on your back), Superman Abs with Tuck (on hands and knees) and Rockers (standing up). Eyes can be closed for an additional challenge.
Circuit exercises including Squats, Side Squats and Hip Thrusts.
Circuit exercises including Press Ups, Planks and Shoulder Press.
Circuit exercises including Superman, Back Extension and Swimmers.
Circuit exercises including Flutter Kicks, Star Abs and Mountain Climbers.
- Partner Exercise
FloatFit Class participants are split into Team 1 and Team 2 in the following order: 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2.
Team 1 holds a Plank, V-Sit or Squat whilst Team 2 attempts to make them fall off the AquaBase with rocking their AquaBase from side to side as hard as possible. The Teams switch after 30 seconds. This is usually when most people fall in!
- Cool Down and Stretch
Incorporating yoga style movements into a Cool Down and Stretch, you will see Upward Dogs, Side Bends and Chest Stretches.
- (Extra) – Photoshoot
Ask the FloatFit Instructor to take photos and videos on your phone after the class.
FloatFit Classes offer a full body workout by using carefully selected exercises to work each area of the body in a fun, challenging and effective way. Most people do not feel the effects of the class until the next day. “There are so many benefits to FloatFit and working out on water – from balance and coordination to increased levels of fitness, flexibility and strength. It is amazing for your posture with having to work the core to maintain your centre of gravity. Benefits of barefoot training have also been proven. Not only are the benefits physical, but there are mental benefits too. Concentrating your mind to balance on the AquaBase, alongside the laughing with the person falling off next to you works wonders for your mental wellbeing,” says Leila Francis, Creator & Founder, Aquaphysical. Ace swimmer Nisha Millet who also did the workout and says “I think the mat helps but unlike on land as the water is always moving, you need to continually tighten your core to activate your muscles. And this is good as it forces you to push your body a little more than you normally do. The extra element of difficulty comes from the fact that you need to balance yourself so you do not fall. The great thing about the AquaBase board is that it is not hard and it feels like a tube that children use. Even if you fall you won’t get hurt as it is not heavy like a surf board. I saw a person who could not swim do this quite comfortably so it really helps if you want to do something different and being a non-swimmer you can still do something with water. There are a lot of variations you can do and you can use your body resistance effectively too.”
Do it Right
FloatFit Classes are fun, effective and challenging. They are designed to give different levels of difficulty to suit your personal level of fitness. “You can set yourself a challenge or take a less intense workout it is up to you. I have been in classes with all types of people from men in their 20’s to women in their 80’s. If you return to FloatFit Classes week after week you will amazed at your progress,” avers Francis. Murali De Singh, Business Head at Speedo India says, “water workouts no longer just mean lane swimming; with the help of training aids and HIIT exercises, fitness enthusiasts can achieve more in the water than ever before. The Floatfit® classes by AquaPhysical are a low impact, exciting and fun way of exercising in water. It provides a complete body workout incorporating strength, stretch core, balance, alignment, bodyweight and barefoot training all at once.” It is recommended that you wear gym clothes that can be immersed in water without damage. Water can make clothes stick to you, so it is important that you feel comfortable and can move easily in what you are wearing. For most, working out in style is also an important factor in feeling good and staying motivated. Do not forget to bring a change of clothes with you to change into after the class. Athlete Dhanani Gowda who experienced the class explains, “it is basically all the core exercises that you do in the gym that is done on the water on the boat and helps improves fitness. We did a 30 minute workout that started with warm up routine to stabilize the core and we also did squats and burpees.” I think if you are not used to exercising, it will be a challenge so it is better to get a briefing on land. In spite of the fact that I have a stable body, I found it hard to balance initially. The idea is to not fall into the water so pre training will help. However this is a good fun workout and something different as well even though I had some aching muscles at the end of it.” So if you are looking to challenge yourself to be fitter, hop on to an AquaBase – a cool way to beat the hot summer too.
Stay in the centre of the AquaBase and maintain a low centre of gravity to stay balanced.
Build confidence by challenging yourself.
Do not take part if you are not water confident.