Aqua fitness training is a more specialist mode of exercise because it requires the manipulation of resistance and buoyancy to create work and rest, rather than manipulating gravity as when exercising outside of water.
Because of the buoyancy provided by water and the low or non-impact on the body's joints, this makes it a perfect exercise discipline for people with joint issues or those rehabilitating from injury or a variety of orthopaedic surgeries. Hydrotherapy was a central part of regaining my mobility following severe leg, hip and lower back injuries sustained in a road traffic accident.
Aqua fitness is hard work! Don't be fooled by slow speeds or the apparent calm on the surface. The resistance of movement performed at an average speed in water is estimated to be about 12-15 times that of air. Generally, larger, slower movements are recommended to take advantage of action/reaction and inertia. It may be more difficult, or less common, to get the heart rate elevated, but rest assured, you will be working hard.
A comprehensive water fitness training programme would incorporate all elements of a general training session, including cardiovascular, muscular endurance/resistance and interval training, plus of course a warm-up and cool down at either end. The main training exercises are regressed or progressed as appropriate, with equipment such as belts, boards and handheld devices often used to vary intensity, provide variety or to provide buoyancy support. As with any workout, you can make it as hard as you want. With up-tempo, motivating music, the time flies by.
You do not have to be a swimmer or particularly confident in the water to participate in and get the most from an aqua fitness session. All sessions can be structured to ensure participants stay in comfortable contact with the pool floor at all times.
Challenge yourself, surprise yourself. Come give it a go or book a training session.