What Are the Different Types of Water Fitness Classes?

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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 30 January 2020
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Whatever a person's fitness level, there is sure to be water fitness classes designed to give a challenging and fun workout. Water fitness classes use the natural resistance of water to provide strength training, while relying on the natural buoyancy of water to reduce impact. Swimming classes, water aerobics, and even water Zumba® can be fun water fitness classes that produce great results.

Swimming is a great total body workout, and can be customized for those looking to build speed, strength and endurance. Water fitness classes that involve swimming are typically done in small groups, with swimmers trading off in open lanes if necessary. Swimming classes may include a warm-up section, followed by swimming laps using various strokes and kicks. In a fitness-based swimming class, emphasis may be placed on correct form, and alternating swimming styles to ensure that all major muscle groups are used. Depending on the aims of the class, swimming can provide workout geared toward cardiovascular exercise or strength training, or may blend elements of both.


Some of the most popular types of water fitness classes use aerobic exercise to provide a good cardio and strength workout. Water aerobics classes modify traditional aerobic moves, such as running or jumping jacks, to be performed in the water. The resistance of the water weight allows for greater strength training, and makes the body work a little harder to accomplish the moves. Some water aerobics classes also use strength-training equipment, such as weights, to increase the resistance level.

Water aerobics classes can be a good choice for people recovering from injuries or suffering from joint pain or arthritis. While the resistance of the water works to strengthen muscles, water fitness classes involve less joint impact, and help increase range of motion while in the water. Gyms frequently offer special water fitness classes with aerobics for members that are recovering from injuries and surgery, or for older members suffering from osteoporosis, rheumatism, or arthritis.

If jumping jacks and running laps under water doesn't appeal, consider water fitness classes that focus on dancing. Water Zumba® is a popular type of class that incorporates Latin dance moves, flexibility, and strength training with the resistance of the water. The use of exhilarating music and fun, easy-to-follow dance steps can make the minutes fly by while providing an excellent toning and calorie-burning workout. Water ballet classes are good for those seeking to increase flexibility by incorporating stretching and classical dance movements into a water-based workout.


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