Too hot for HIIT? Not when you’re in the pool! What could be better than getting your high-intensity cardio out of the way by doing it in the water. Did we mention you’d be balancing on a wobbly floating board? We sent our health and fitness writer Larissa Yu along to an AquaPhysical FloatFit HIIT class.
Imagine your regular, non-stop-breathless, high-intensity HIIT class at the gym. Now imagine doing that whilst balancing on what looks like a giant boogie board in the pool. Yikes. I’m uncoordinated enough doing cardio on land so this should be interesting.
How was it? Each 40-minute, high-intensity, low impact class starts and ends with some light stretching and yoga-based moves to warm-up and cool-down – but make no mistake, this is an intense cardio workout. The slower start is great though as it helps you find your balance on the AquaBase board. These tough rigid boards feel like hard boards but are actually inflatable so very light and easy to manoeuvre. They use the natural resistance of water, and your ability maintain your balance (or not!), to stimulate core muscle tone and strength.
The class itself consists of fast-paced 10, 20 and 30-second sets of classic HIIT bodyweight exercises – think burpees, squats, bicycle crunches, planks, push-ups and more – all done on the AquaBase. There are short rest periods in between but the pace is intended to torch calories. Our instructor kept things interesting with a fun challenge section at the end where we took turns doing exercises whilst our neighbours tried to create waves and knock us into the water – cue much giggling and hilarious falling-off moments! Once you get the hang out it, balancing isn’t as hard as you think it will be as they boards are pretty large and stable.
The verdict: A fun, social and effective full-body summer workout – great for doing with a group of friends or for work team-bonding. You honestly don’t realise how hard you’re working as it’s so much fun, with the bonus of being able to take a quick dip mid-class to cool off and keep on going. I expected my core/abs to be sore the next day but it was actually my thighs and knees – you don’t realise at the time, but to maintain balance you’ll find yourself holding an almost-constant squat position. With the great facilities at the pool, you could easily do a class then stay all day to sun-bake, swim and chill – that’s where you’ll find me this summer!
Who: FloatFit HIIT Location: Every Sunday 10am at Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool: 1c Mrs Macquaries Rd, Sydney NSW 2000. A short walk downhill from the front entrance of the Art Gallery of NSW. AquaPhysical also have regular classes at other locations across Sydney including Camperdown’s Victoria Park Pool, Baulkham Hills’ Waves Fitness & Aquatic Centre, Liverpool’s Whitlam Leisure Centre, Lidcombe’s Auburn Ruth Everuss Aquatic Centre, the Drummoyne Swimming Centre and Cabarita Swimming Centre. Keep an eye on their website and Instagram too for pop-up locations. Book: Email or phone/SMS 0418 236 778 (specify which class, time and venue by choosing here first). You’ll receive an SMS confirmation 48 hours prior and they will usually make a call the night before if the weather is not looking good. Prices: $20 (plus $6.50 pool entry fee) for a 40-minute class. You can stay at the pool all day, there are lockers and hot showers available plus a cafe on-site offering delicious food, Campos coffee and Rabbit Hole organic teas. What to wear: For class, I suggest you wear swimmers (not quick-dry active wear) as you will definitely get wet even if you don’t fall in! And make sure it’s a secure one-piece – this is a physical class with lots of movement and a bikini just won’t cut it. BYO towel. Showers have basic soap dispensers, but I suggest bringing your own shampoo, bodywash & a hair dryer (if needed).(Main image: @paulmcmahonphoto)
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