Where to go for a water workout

Where to go for a water workout
Aqua Spin class at a pool at the Singapore Polo Club. Pedalling on bikes partially submerged in water increases resistance, giving a good workout.

SINGAPORE - Perched on stationary bikes, 12 people pedal furiously to the beat of pumping music. So far so normal. Except they are all clad in swimsuits and half-submerged in water.

Welcome to the aqua spin class, a water workout on exercise bikes placed in swimming pools. Participants bank on water resistance - a little cup at the bottom of each pedal collects water that the user pushes against while cycling - and its lower impact on joints to keep fit.

The activity, established in Europe about 10 years ago and now making waves in the United States, started in Singapore last year with home-grown fitness company Aqua Spin.

Managing directors Yannick Dedigama, 26, and Alicia Antonuccio, 23, run six classes a week, with about 12 students a class. Ms Antonuccio, who is French, started attending aqua-spinning classes when a knee injury kept her from high-impact exercise such as biking and running.

She and Mr Dedigama, who is from Switzerland, have been based in Singapore for the past three years.

Both were working in the finance and design industries before starting Aqua Spin.

"The activity works out all the muscles of the body," says Ms Antonuccio.

For example, a sprint-cycling session shapes the legs and calves. Another move, where participants hook their feet to the bike's handles and do crunches from the saddle, tones the core and tummy.

Meanwhile, a backwards bench-press, done by resting your hands on the saddle, works the triceps and arms.

The pair will teach aqua spin classes at the Young Women's Christian Association from January.

Another sports school, Aqua 4 Fitness, will introduce the same pool cycling classes early next year.

They are among a growing array of newfangled water workouts, including aqua zumba and aqua gym, that are making a splash here. At least five companies now run such classes.

For example, LifeSparks Studio offers classes in aqua zumba, where participants work out to Latin beats in a pool based on a dance-based fitness programme created by a Colombian dancer.

The classes started in July at Fairway Club in Jurong, with about 10 participants a week, says founder Charlotte Ng, 32.

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