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NEW YORK (CBSMiami) — Gyms are now riding the popularity wave of water-based exercise, but don’t think this class is for your grandparents. Mountain climbers, jogging in place, and squats are all high intensity exercises usually done on land but are now being brought to the water. It’s water aerobics taken to a new level.

Even Olympic swimmer Cullen Jones, who is taking the newest and most intense class called Speedo Water Extreme at Life Time Fitness gym in New York, says it’s like boot camp in the water.

“I think when people see it they’ll be excited to try it.”

More gyms around the country are offering water exercise classes, getting people in the pool and pumped up for a challenging workout.

“The level of intensity, the tools we’re using, the toys you get to play with, makes it different,” said class participant Assia Winfield.

Instructors say water exercises aren’t just good for your joints but it also helps restore sore muscles.

“When you bring it into the pool you can still have the intensity without the same level of compressive forces to the joints so you can do it more frequently and not feel as beat up,” explained Life Time Fitness’ Rob Glick.

There are also yoga classes, but it’s anything but tranquil. These workouts make a splash even on someone like Eric Betz who works out six days a week.

“It was actually really, really tough and challenging for an athlete like myself,” said Betz.

There’s a class that uses yoga boards but is called Tsunami. It’s meant to supplement traditional land based workouts, while still working key muscle groups.

“I don’t have to say connect to your core, because if you don’t connect to your core, you’re going in the water,” said Glick.

Seems like a lot of people are having fun diving into these new water routines.

The Life Fitness Gym says its aqua classes are up in enrollment 10-percent year over year with more classes in development and the aquatic exercise association reports the number of certified aquatic fitness professionals has jumped by over 50-percent since 2009.


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