Reebok Sports Club in Canary Wharf provides some attractive alternatives to traditional spin classes, including Rave Cycle, Groove Cycle, and most intriguingly, Aqua Bike.
No extra equipment is required for Aqua Bike except appropriate swimwear and an open mind, so you can leave your wetsuit and goggles at home!
You are provided with special cycle shoes and a bike to stick to the bottom of the pool with suction pads to ensure that even participants as clumsy as this one don’t unintentionally dismount and float off for an early swim.
Being 6ft 1ins, my legs and part of my torso were submerged in the water, which forced me to work harder to get the pedals spinning and pushed blood back up to the top of half of my body.
Aqua Bike instructor Rossano guided us through a number of climbs and sprints on the bike which proved challenging, particularly as balance and coordination are vital if you want to maintain momentum.
But it is not simply a matter of spinning your pedals furiously in the water. We were required to do a series of strokes with our arms in a standing position, putting our core muscles into action.
I’ve never been one for doing wheelies on a bike, so releasing my grip on the handlebars to do swimming strokes in the water required plenty of faith in my under-worked core muscles and a good sense of balance.
That was of hardest challenges of the class for this former rower, who has never been blessed with a low centre of gravity, unlike some of class’s more nimble participants.
Our bikes proved multi-functional, too, as we were instructed to dismount before using the handlebars and seats for a series of bicep, tricep, chest and core workouts, all while trying to stay afloat.
This was an added bonus to the class that I hadn’t envisaged. When you think of a spin class, you expect a leg-dominated workout, so a dash of core was a welcome and beneficial surprise.
If you have tried spin, you’ll be familiar with the screaming sensation in your quads after a tough 60-minute session.
But the water’s soothing effect helped to limit the impact of the workout and prevent those aches and pains.
The class, which can help you burn up to 800 calories, is suitable for all levels. Friday’s class was composed largely of young and middle-aged women, but it is aimed at both sexes.
It is particularly suitable for those who suffer from aches and pains or who are on the road to recovery from injury.
For those looking to try something new, Aqua Bike will certainly put a smile on your face, as well as giving you a thorough workout while limiting the strain on your joints.
Why not make a splash and give it a go?
Aqua Bike is set to start regularly at Reebok Sports Club in May. To find out more, click here
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BIOGRAPHY: Daniel Sturridge
BIOGRAPHY: Kepa Arrizabalaga