Pubblicato in Aqua Fitness

Aqua Fitness: what is it and when was it born?

By Aqua Fitness (Water aerobics or Waterobics) we mean a group of aerobic exercises performed in a pool. Practiced mainly in a vertical position, with water that comes up to your waist or shoulders, Aqua Fitness is a type of training dedicated to duration or resistance, that:

  • leads to burning tons of fat and calories, working on the body’s ability to perform a generalized muscle exercise, under aerobic conditions, for a protracted time.
  • helps to increase your heart rate and breathing, triggering the typical benefits of a cardiovascular workout without causing excessive stress on the muscles and joints.

There are different forms of aerobics now performed in water; to name a few: Aqua Zumba, Yoga water, water jogging and, of course, Acquapole® Fitness. But even if today ‘s Aqua Fitness, is a well-known and ever-expanding phenomenon, until only 30 years ago the only form of exercise in water was swimming.

In fact, how Aqua Fitness was truly born, is not certain.

We know that since the time of the Assyrians Babylonians, Egyptians, the Greeks and the ancient Romans, water was ascribed healing powers. It was also noted that healthy values such as aesthetics and even socializing were associated with movement in water. Never, however, sports or racing, except that of swimming.

It was only in the 50s that the American fitness guru Jack Lalenne (a decade after the choreographic Hollywood swimmer Esther Williams), developed a first set of exercises to be performed in water, to relieve the pressure exerted by the force of gravity.

In Italy, however, the history of water gymnastics recognized actress Eleonora Vallone credited with being among the first to disclose, during the 80s, a form of aquatic discipline known as GymNuoto (in Italy) and GymSwim (Abroad). This is a collection of over 3000 exercises that the actress tested and taught, after she found water them to be the solution to physical and psychological problems as a result of a serious accident.

The exercises, which are performed in low or deep water, are inspired by the practice of various disciplines, such as athletics, jogging, boxing, gymnastics, dance, stretching, etc. All exercises are performed with a musical background chosen according to the program to follow.

And in America? How did things progress?

After the experiments by Lalenne, there was still no news on working out in water, also because, in the 80s, everyone went crazy for Jane Fonda Aerobics: the famous Hollywood actress who had made this discipline not only a lifestyle accessible to all but also a gold mine for gyms around the world.

In fact, thanks to her lessons, people of all ages and types, including those who had never practiced sport, came to train in the gym in groups; for weight loss, for vanity, for fun … without, however, a real competitive purpose.

The passion for Jane Fonda’s aerobics rocketed until about the mid-90s, when they started to show the first signals of fatigue ….

It was, then, that those aerobic exercises began migrating from the gym to water; where the impact on the joints and spine were clearly lower and where it would have been enough to keep the water level below the navel to easily reproduce the typical movements of an aerobics class and even bring those who could not swim to the pool.

That, presumably, was the beginning of Aqua gym or Water aerobics.

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