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features

Pool fitness: Group exercise in the pool

Swimming laps isn't for everyone, so why limit your pool to one activity? Steph Eaves speaks to the providers of some of the most exciting water-based exercise concepts on the market, who explain how you can make a splash with your members

By Steph Eaves, Health Club Management and Sports Management | Published in Health Club Management 2018 issue 7
FloatFit by AquaPhysical
FloatFit by AquaPhysical

Gym members are typically more engaged when operators deliver new, popular and innovative group fitness programmes," says AquaPhysical co-founder Leila Francis Coleman. "Pool-based classes can transform a swimming pool into the 'new gym', attracting a broader demographic, including high-spending millennials."

There have been some exciting new developments in the market – from workouts on floating boards to improve strength and balance, to HIIT classes in the water that get the heart pumping. These classes bring members out of the gym and into the pool for a new challenge and a fun experience.

There are many reasons to work out in the pool. Balancing on a board works the core and the smaller, stabilising muscles that often go unused in other workouts, explains Francis Coleman. In-water classes, meanwhile, utilise the natural resistance provided by the water, without the use of weights.

Classes have the added benefit of introducing people to the pool environment in a fun, supportive way.

Paul Taaffe, director of Swimsanity, says: "Classes also encourage people who don't swim often to enter the pool and start improving the key skills needed for swimming".

Finally, at a time when people are constantly looking for something new and different, pool-based classes provide just this. "These classes keep regular and new participants excited, interested and keen to share with their friends," agrees Francis Coleman.

So where to start? If you're ready to make waves, read on for a round-up of the classes and products available.

Waterform

Sandrine Gueho
Sandrine Gueho

What is it?
Waterform has created eight aqua fitness concepts that include equipment, training and programmes?: Bodyslim, Boxing, Cycling, Jump, Power, Training, Vitality and Workout. A new Waterkid concept has also been developed for children from seven to 13 years old.

Why will members love it?
Classes are designed to be fun and effective, allowing members to work their whole body and not get bored.

The classes suit participants of any fitness level and products manufactured by Waterform can be used to increase water resistance, making cardio and strength workouts more intense.

Sandrine Gueho, business development manager, says: "France is the most mature market for aqua fitness and Waterform has been the market leader there for over 20 years.

"We're water specialists – aqua classes are very different from fitness classes and we know how to get the best benefits from the water for members.

"Using its programmes, Waterform works in partnership with operators to make pools into profit centres.

Sandrine Gueho: "France is the most mature market for aqua fit. We've been market leader for 20 years"

Waterform
Waterform

FloatFit by AquaPhysical

Leila Francis
Leila Francis

What is it?
FloatFit is a 30-minute group exercise class. A mix of HIIT and yoga-style movements on water using a floating exercise mat – the AquaBase.

What's to love?
FloatFit classes are designed to be fun, effective and challenging. Participants typically burn up to 400 calories per class. The programmes focus on flexibility, coordination and balance, continually challenging the core to stay balanced. Cardiovascular fitness is supported by raising heart rate through a HIIT structure.

Classes also help to locate imbalances in the body and improve muscular strength. The programmes work and strengthen intricate stabilising muscles that are often unused in other workouts.

Leila Francis Coleman, AquaPhysical co-founder, says: "FloatFit offers the opportunity to make a swimming pool the new gym. Clubs can create a brand new, highly profitable income stream by introducing FloatFit classes, which attract a broad demographic into the pool environment, including members from the high-spending millennial market.

"Standing out from the competition is vitally important in today’s fitness market. FloatFit is the perfect way to gain competitive advantage and drive interest. Classes often draw crowds of onlookers wanting to know what the new class is and how to take part themselves."

Leila Francis: "Make the pool the new gym, with its own highly profitable income stream"

FloatFit by AquaPhysical
FloatFit by AquaPhysical

Aqua Zumba

Dave Sibley
Dave Sibley

What is it?
Aqua Zumba is a water-based workout that blends high-energy Zumba moves with aqua fitness. The workout combines contagious Latin-inspired world rhythms but adapts them for the pool, using the water’s resistance to create a safe and effective low-impact programme.

Why will members love it?
Often known as 'the pool party', Aqua Zumba is designed to be fun. Aside from the entertainment factor, many people find working out in water very therapeutic, as it creates natural resistance, which helps tone the muscles and build cardio fitness and strength.

There's less impact on the joints than in a land-based Zumba class, so members can really let loose during Aqua Zumba. This also makes it suitable for people of any fitness level.

Dave Sibley, managing director of Zumba Europe, India & Russia, says: "For gyms with swimming pools, Aqua Zumba is one of the most compelling offerings to have, because it offers members something entirely different from their existing standard studio classes.

"Zumba has an established heritage of providing instructors who deliver world-leading fitness experiences.

"The combination of signature Zumba moves to a catalogue of high-energy Latin-inspired tracks within a water-based environment is very attractive – in fact, Aqua Zumba is probably the most fun you can have in the pool!"

Dave Sibley: "Aqua Zumba is probably the most fun you can have in the pool"

Aqua Zumba
Aqua Zumba

Swimsanity

Paul Taaffe
Paul Taaffe

What is it?
Swimsanity is a high intensity aquatic workout incorporating swim drill movements, as well as familiar gym exercises, while remaining suitable for all abilities and fitness levels.

Why will members love it?
Aqua aerobics classes are seen by many as a female-only or for older members. Swimsanity breaks this perception.

By focusing on popular HIIT principles, it attracts male and female participants of all ages and all levels of fitness.

The Swimsanity workout uses Swimsanity hand paddles that increase the resistance in the water, allowing traditional resistance training exercises to be taken into the pool.

Paul Taaffe, Swimsanity director, says:
"Our team has over 20 years' experience in sports science and swim coaching – our product isn't a gimmick. The class is a fresh, exciting and effective workout that appeals to all genders and a multitude of fitness levels. Swimsanity is also low-cost for clubs and attracts new members."

Paul Taaffe: "The Swimsanity team has 20 years' experience in sports science"

Swimsanity
Swimsanity

Fit Paddling

Ilaria Samarelli
Ilaria Samarelli

What is it?
Fit Paddling combines traditional exercises with paddling. All exercises are done on a floating Fitness Board.

In addition to Fit Paddling Classic, other programmes have been developed for the Fitness Board, including pilates, yoga, functional, weight lifting, pre-ski and, most recently, Fit Paddling Boxe.

Fit Paddling Boxe is done with the Fit Paddling punching ball accesory, which is positioned on the board with a quick release attachment system. It's a fun and explosive workout – participants practice kicks and punches while balancing on the board, bringing boxing training to a totally new level.

What's to love?
The workout involves all muscles during every exercise, improving strength and endurance, plus balance, coordination and posture. Because exercises take place on water they're all low impact.
The board is designed to give the user optimum control, which means members won't be constantly falling into the water.

Ilaria Samarelli, Fit Paddling trainer, says: "The Fitness Board is often compared to air mattresses, but we want people to understand they're not the same. "The Fitness Board is designed to respond to progressive instability, which means it can be used by people of most weights, from children to adults – even those weighing over 100 kg.

The board is stable and doesn't bang against the water, but moves with it."

Ilaria Samarelli: "The Fitness Board can be used without being anchored"

Fit Paddling
Fit Paddling

WATERFORM

What are the costs
Instructor training:
from £200 per coach
Programming: between £88 and £175 per month for each individual club location Small equipment: starts from £28 and big pieces from £570. Costs depend on the quantities and on the adopted solution.

What do operators get?
Training and certification, at Waterform's training centre in France, or on-site.

New class programmes every three months, including online training and playlists.

Waterform also offers equipment, which can be used to add resistance and make workouts more effective.

Locations
Waterform works with more than 1,600 facilities, which are mainly located in France, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Dubaï, Canada and now in the UK.

Waterform
Waterform

Aquaphysical

What are the costs?
Club packages start from £4,520. The Platinum Club Package is the most popular at £6,300.

What do operators get?
Instructor training – face-to-face or online. Training is internationally accredited and trainees can earn up to 10 CPD points, depending on the accrediting country.
New programmes are released quarterly with monthly updates. Customers also get marketing support.

Locations
FloatFit classes are currently in more than 40 clubs in the UK with an additional 100+ locations around the world. AquaPhysical's customers include: YMCA, GLL, DW Fitness First, Fusion Lifestyle, Holmes Place, Center Parcs, David Lloyd Leisure, Royal Navy and US Army.

Aquaphysical
Aquaphysical

Aqua zumba

What are the costs?
Instructor training: approximately £230 per instructor.
Instructors must already have the basic Zumba qualification – a Zumba B1.

There are no additional costs for operators.

What do operators get?
Aqua Zumba training is a one-day intensive course where instructors are taught the key Aqua Zumba moves, combinations and techniques. They are given a music and choreography collection to get started, and a digital instructor training manual to refer back to.

Locations
Aqua Zumba is offered in several hundred gyms and leisure centres around the UK, including: Virgin Active, DW Fitness First, Bannatyne Health Clubs, Nuffield Health, Everyone Active and David Lloyd Leisure.

Aqua Zumba
Aqua Zumba

Swimsanity

What are the costs?
£245/year for one instructor to be trained and licensed. (Includes all equipment)
£395/year for two instructors to be trained and licensed (includes all equipment)
Additional instructors at the same club are £99 each.

What do operators get?
Operators get instructor training, a license, hand paddles, t-shirts, marketing material, website listing and continuous support.

During a one-day course, instructors learn a system of creating effective aquatic workouts, which can include many different drills.

Locations
Swimsanity is offered in five London locations: Bannatyne Russell Square, Chelsea Health Club and Spa, Kensington Leisure Centre, Circle Spa Tower Bridge and
Energy Base Bloomsbury.

Two in Ireland: Breaffy and Ealu Leisure Centres and two venues in the US and Canada.

Swimsanity
Swimsanity

FIT paddling

What are the costs?
Fitness Board: €390-€720 per board.
Instructor training: €150 per participant.
Buy eight boards to receive a free training course for one person.

What do operators get?
Training can be carried out on-site or through an e-learning platform.Certified participants are placed on an Official Fit Paddling Register, while an online portal for instructors contains choreography, planning and programming resources, which are regularly updated.

Locations
Fit Paddling boards are currently used in many leisure centres in Italy, Taiwan and Kuwait. Fit Paddling also has a US distributor and the boards are used in Florida, Colombia and the Dominican Republic.

FIT paddling
FIT paddling
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/437239_576180.jpg
Swimming laps isn't for everyone, so why limit your pool to one activity? We take a look at the most exciting water-based group exercise concepts on the market...
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
06-07 Jul 2019
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Diary dates

features

Pool fitness: Group exercise in the pool

Swimming laps isn't for everyone, so why limit your pool to one activity? Steph Eaves speaks to the providers of some of the most exciting water-based exercise concepts on the market, who explain how you can make a splash with your members

By Steph Eaves, Health Club Management and Sports Management | Published in Health Club Management 2018 issue 7
FloatFit by AquaPhysical
FloatFit by AquaPhysical

Gym members are typically more engaged when operators deliver new, popular and innovative group fitness programmes," says AquaPhysical co-founder Leila Francis Coleman. "Pool-based classes can transform a swimming pool into the 'new gym', attracting a broader demographic, including high-spending millennials."

There have been some exciting new developments in the market – from workouts on floating boards to improve strength and balance, to HIIT classes in the water that get the heart pumping. These classes bring members out of the gym and into the pool for a new challenge and a fun experience.

There are many reasons to work out in the pool. Balancing on a board works the core and the smaller, stabilising muscles that often go unused in other workouts, explains Francis Coleman. In-water classes, meanwhile, utilise the natural resistance provided by the water, without the use of weights.

Classes have the added benefit of introducing people to the pool environment in a fun, supportive way.

Paul Taaffe, director of Swimsanity, says: "Classes also encourage people who don't swim often to enter the pool and start improving the key skills needed for swimming".

Finally, at a time when people are constantly looking for something new and different, pool-based classes provide just this. "These classes keep regular and new participants excited, interested and keen to share with their friends," agrees Francis Coleman.

So where to start? If you're ready to make waves, read on for a round-up of the classes and products available.

Waterform

Sandrine Gueho
Sandrine Gueho

What is it?
Waterform has created eight aqua fitness concepts that include equipment, training and programmes?: Bodyslim, Boxing, Cycling, Jump, Power, Training, Vitality and Workout. A new Waterkid concept has also been developed for children from seven to 13 years old.

Why will members love it?
Classes are designed to be fun and effective, allowing members to work their whole body and not get bored.

The classes suit participants of any fitness level and products manufactured by Waterform can be used to increase water resistance, making cardio and strength workouts more intense.

Sandrine Gueho, business development manager, says: "France is the most mature market for aqua fitness and Waterform has been the market leader there for over 20 years.

"We're water specialists – aqua classes are very different from fitness classes and we know how to get the best benefits from the water for members.

"Using its programmes, Waterform works in partnership with operators to make pools into profit centres.

Sandrine Gueho: "France is the most mature market for aqua fit. We've been market leader for 20 years"

Waterform
Waterform

FloatFit by AquaPhysical

Leila Francis
Leila Francis

What is it?
FloatFit is a 30-minute group exercise class. A mix of HIIT and yoga-style movements on water using a floating exercise mat – the AquaBase.

What's to love?
FloatFit classes are designed to be fun, effective and challenging. Participants typically burn up to 400 calories per class. The programmes focus on flexibility, coordination and balance, continually challenging the core to stay balanced. Cardiovascular fitness is supported by raising heart rate through a HIIT structure.

Classes also help to locate imbalances in the body and improve muscular strength. The programmes work and strengthen intricate stabilising muscles that are often unused in other workouts.

Leila Francis Coleman, AquaPhysical co-founder, says: "FloatFit offers the opportunity to make a swimming pool the new gym. Clubs can create a brand new, highly profitable income stream by introducing FloatFit classes, which attract a broad demographic into the pool environment, including members from the high-spending millennial market.

"Standing out from the competition is vitally important in today’s fitness market. FloatFit is the perfect way to gain competitive advantage and drive interest. Classes often draw crowds of onlookers wanting to know what the new class is and how to take part themselves."

Leila Francis: "Make the pool the new gym, with its own highly profitable income stream"

FloatFit by AquaPhysical
FloatFit by AquaPhysical

Aqua Zumba

Dave Sibley
Dave Sibley

What is it?
Aqua Zumba is a water-based workout that blends high-energy Zumba moves with aqua fitness. The workout combines contagious Latin-inspired world rhythms but adapts them for the pool, using the water’s resistance to create a safe and effective low-impact programme.

Why will members love it?
Often known as 'the pool party', Aqua Zumba is designed to be fun. Aside from the entertainment factor, many people find working out in water very therapeutic, as it creates natural resistance, which helps tone the muscles and build cardio fitness and strength.

There's less impact on the joints than in a land-based Zumba class, so members can really let loose during Aqua Zumba. This also makes it suitable for people of any fitness level.

Dave Sibley, managing director of Zumba Europe, India & Russia, says: "For gyms with swimming pools, Aqua Zumba is one of the most compelling offerings to have, because it offers members something entirely different from their existing standard studio classes.

"Zumba has an established heritage of providing instructors who deliver world-leading fitness experiences.

"The combination of signature Zumba moves to a catalogue of high-energy Latin-inspired tracks within a water-based environment is very attractive – in fact, Aqua Zumba is probably the most fun you can have in the pool!"

Dave Sibley: "Aqua Zumba is probably the most fun you can have in the pool"

Aqua Zumba
Aqua Zumba

Swimsanity

Paul Taaffe
Paul Taaffe

What is it?
Swimsanity is a high intensity aquatic workout incorporating swim drill movements, as well as familiar gym exercises, while remaining suitable for all abilities and fitness levels.

Why will members love it?
Aqua aerobics classes are seen by many as a female-only or for older members. Swimsanity breaks this perception.

By focusing on popular HIIT principles, it attracts male and female participants of all ages and all levels of fitness.

The Swimsanity workout uses Swimsanity hand paddles that increase the resistance in the water, allowing traditional resistance training exercises to be taken into the pool.

Paul Taaffe, Swimsanity director, says:
"Our team has over 20 years' experience in sports science and swim coaching – our product isn't a gimmick. The class is a fresh, exciting and effective workout that appeals to all genders and a multitude of fitness levels. Swimsanity is also low-cost for clubs and attracts new members."

Paul Taaffe: "The Swimsanity team has 20 years' experience in sports science"

Swimsanity
Swimsanity

Fit Paddling

Ilaria Samarelli
Ilaria Samarelli

What is it?
Fit Paddling combines traditional exercises with paddling. All exercises are done on a floating Fitness Board.

In addition to Fit Paddling Classic, other programmes have been developed for the Fitness Board, including pilates, yoga, functional, weight lifting, pre-ski and, most recently, Fit Paddling Boxe.

Fit Paddling Boxe is done with the Fit Paddling punching ball accesory, which is positioned on the board with a quick release attachment system. It's a fun and explosive workout – participants practice kicks and punches while balancing on the board, bringing boxing training to a totally new level.

What's to love?
The workout involves all muscles during every exercise, improving strength and endurance, plus balance, coordination and posture. Because exercises take place on water they're all low impact.
The board is designed to give the user optimum control, which means members won't be constantly falling into the water.

Ilaria Samarelli, Fit Paddling trainer, says: "The Fitness Board is often compared to air mattresses, but we want people to understand they're not the same. "The Fitness Board is designed to respond to progressive instability, which means it can be used by people of most weights, from children to adults – even those weighing over 100 kg.

The board is stable and doesn't bang against the water, but moves with it."

Ilaria Samarelli: "The Fitness Board can be used without being anchored"

Fit Paddling
Fit Paddling

WATERFORM

What are the costs
Instructor training:
from £200 per coach
Programming: between £88 and £175 per month for each individual club location Small equipment: starts from £28 and big pieces from £570. Costs depend on the quantities and on the adopted solution.

What do operators get?
Training and certification, at Waterform's training centre in France, or on-site.

New class programmes every three months, including online training and playlists.

Waterform also offers equipment, which can be used to add resistance and make workouts more effective.

Locations
Waterform works with more than 1,600 facilities, which are mainly located in France, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Dubaï, Canada and now in the UK.

Waterform
Waterform

Aquaphysical

What are the costs?
Club packages start from £4,520. The Platinum Club Package is the most popular at £6,300.

What do operators get?
Instructor training – face-to-face or online. Training is internationally accredited and trainees can earn up to 10 CPD points, depending on the accrediting country.
New programmes are released quarterly with monthly updates. Customers also get marketing support.

Locations
FloatFit classes are currently in more than 40 clubs in the UK with an additional 100+ locations around the world. AquaPhysical's customers include: YMCA, GLL, DW Fitness First, Fusion Lifestyle, Holmes Place, Center Parcs, David Lloyd Leisure, Royal Navy and US Army.

Aquaphysical
Aquaphysical

Aqua zumba

What are the costs?
Instructor training: approximately £230 per instructor.
Instructors must already have the basic Zumba qualification – a Zumba B1.

There are no additional costs for operators.

What do operators get?
Aqua Zumba training is a one-day intensive course where instructors are taught the key Aqua Zumba moves, combinations and techniques. They are given a music and choreography collection to get started, and a digital instructor training manual to refer back to.

Locations
Aqua Zumba is offered in several hundred gyms and leisure centres around the UK, including: Virgin Active, DW Fitness First, Bannatyne Health Clubs, Nuffield Health, Everyone Active and David Lloyd Leisure.

Aqua Zumba
Aqua Zumba

Swimsanity

What are the costs?
£245/year for one instructor to be trained and licensed. (Includes all equipment)
£395/year for two instructors to be trained and licensed (includes all equipment)
Additional instructors at the same club are £99 each.

What do operators get?
Operators get instructor training, a license, hand paddles, t-shirts, marketing material, website listing and continuous support.

During a one-day course, instructors learn a system of creating effective aquatic workouts, which can include many different drills.

Locations
Swimsanity is offered in five London locations: Bannatyne Russell Square, Chelsea Health Club and Spa, Kensington Leisure Centre, Circle Spa Tower Bridge and
Energy Base Bloomsbury.

Two in Ireland: Breaffy and Ealu Leisure Centres and two venues in the US and Canada.

Swimsanity
Swimsanity

FIT paddling

What are the costs?
Fitness Board: €390-€720 per board.
Instructor training: €150 per participant.
Buy eight boards to receive a free training course for one person.

What do operators get?
Training can be carried out on-site or through an e-learning platform.Certified participants are placed on an Official Fit Paddling Register, while an online portal for instructors contains choreography, planning and programming resources, which are regularly updated.

Locations
Fit Paddling boards are currently used in many leisure centres in Italy, Taiwan and Kuwait. Fit Paddling also has a US distributor and the boards are used in Florida, Colombia and the Dominican Republic.

FIT paddling
FIT paddling
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/437239_576180.jpg
Swimming laps isn't for everyone, so why limit your pool to one activity? We take a look at the most exciting water-based group exercise concepts on the market...
Latest News
Women's fashion magazine Stylist has entered the fitness market by opening a female-only boutique studio ...
Latest News
Creating opportunities for older people to get physically active represents a major driver for growth ...
Latest News
Australian fitness franchise F45 has secured deals to open sites in emerging markets across the ...
Latest News
The Bannatyne Group has completed a £750,000 redevelopment of its latest acquisition, the historic Cookridge ...
Latest News
Corporate fitness sales specialist Gympass has secured additional financial backing believed to be around US$300m ...
Latest News
Three-time National Basketball Association (NBA) Champion Draymond Green has opened his first Blink Fitness gym ...
Latest News
Ukactive has set out on a membership consultation, asking for views on how the not-for-profit ...
Latest News
Northumbria University (NU) has set out to uncover in detail the important role that structured ...
Latest News
A majority of mothers do not exercise because it makes them feel guilty about not ...
Latest News
Fitness giant Les Mills has launched three new studio spaces at its iconic Auckland City ...
Latest News
Wellness industry technology platform Mindbody has appointed Phil Coxon as managing director of Mindbody Europe. ...
Job search
POST YOUR JOB
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Variety and flexibility for the customer is the key to retention, says MoveGB
What really drives customer retention in 2019? Is it proactive customer care? Frequency of attendance? Added value provision? Community building? Across the industry, debate on this topic never stops. And neither does market change.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Myzone vs. wrist trackers
According to ACSM’s Health and Fitness Journal, wearables trumped the top spot for trends in 2019. However, the question between Myzone or wrist trackers still stands.
Opinion
promotion
Member retention is a growing problem for long-established gym chains, who are battling the growing budget and boutique gym market.
Opinion: Are you trying to beat budget gyms at their own game?
Company profiles
Company profile: Vital Tech
Vital Dome is the company’s patented and proprietary technology. Vital Tech has full control over ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Pavigym
PAVIGYM is the premier innovator of flooring and interactive solutions for the global fitness industry....
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions Ltd: Flooring
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Member access schemes
Move GB: Member access schemes
Governing body
EMD UK: Governing body
Management software
GymSales: Management software
Professional services
Deloitte UK: Professional services
Property & Tenders
Will to Win
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
26-27 Jun 2019
Villa Park, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
06-07 Jul 2019
Monte-Carlo, Monaco
Diary dates
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STA-Swimming Teachers Association
STA-Swimming Teachers Association