From SoulCyle to Flywheel, spinning has become a nationwide obsession. But across the ocean, our European neighbors have adopted another type of fitness cycling—and it's underwater. Now this trendy workout has reached our shores, starting in New York with Aqua Studio. We asked InStyle.com's Jennifer Davis to don her finest Speedo and hit the pool and report back on the results. See how she fared below.
I’m spinning obsessed, so when I heard about a new form of my favorite exercise, I knew I had to test it out. Like other cycling studios, Aqua Studio promises a full-body workout that will torch up to 800 calories ($40 per class; aquastudiony.com for info). The class offers fitness benefits you can't get in land-based exercises, like cellulite reduction (count me in), no muscle soreness, and better sleep. With this in mind, I made my way to the TriBeCa studio to participate in the 45-minute splashfest. I was a bit apprehensive about getting into a one-piece around complete strangers, but those feelings quickly vanished as soon as I slipped on my rubber shoes ($2 for rental) and headed downstairs to the pool. It was a judgement-free zone, which put me at ease. "People come in who are all shapes and sizes," my young, super-fit instructor Luke Lombardo said. "It caters to everyone and that’s what I think is so amazing about it. It’s such an eclectic crowd." The workout was tough even without adding resistance—there is no flywheel or knob to up the intensity, the water does it for you, and I caught on to underwater pedaling quickly. "The water just has so many benefits," owner Esther Gauthier said after the class. "You get the massage of the water, so it drains your whole lymphatic system which is really a plus, and you build up endurance. It improves your entire system." While the jury is still out about the cellulite claim, I do have to say my body felt great after the class—a perk of the low-impact ride—and my endorphins kept pumping long after my session ended. "You feel energized," Luke said as he bounced out of the pool. I have to agree. I'm ready for more. But not too often. Once in a while will do.
Plus, if you're headed to a pool near you, check out our most flattering suits for your figure.