Aqua Cycling: A Fun, Soothing Underwater Workout

By Lisa Boone
Los Angeles Times

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) In the Aqua Cycling class at the “Motion Plus Aquatic & Therapy Center,” the session takes place in 4 feet of water on about eight bikes that are attached to the bottom of a therapy pool with suction cups.


I love spinning but it doesn’t always love me back.

So when I decided to try aqua cyling, an underwater spin class at the Motion Plus Aquatic & Therapy Center in Lawndale, it was more about giving my knees a break than getting my heart rate up.

The workout, originally designed as a therapy class for patients, is described as “a fine line between fitness and rehab” by instructor Criselda Esguerra, who is also a physical therapy aid at the center.

“It is low impact so anyone can do it,” says Esguerra. “And while it is a cycling class, I don’t focus on spinning alone but upper body, back and core work as well as breathing and stretching.”

Class takes place in 4 feet of water on about eight bikes that are attached to the bottom of the therapy pool with suction cups.

Pedaling against the water inside the heated pool left me feeling relaxed and sleepy; not exhausted or sore. That might explain why Esguerra’s most popular classes are in the evening. “The class is popular with insomniacs,” Esguerra says. Another reason why aqua cycling is growing in popularity? Simple: It’s fun.

This is a humble physical therapy office, not a boutique gym. The class was a mix of women of various ages and sizes and abilities.

Some were recovering from injury; others were taking the class to balance out other high-intensity workouts. One woman next to me, devoted to HIT classes, said the class had improved her flexibility, enabling her to do squats for the first time in years.

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