rotating rings. Before the training can begin, the course leader, Bärbel Diedrichs, first has to adjust the water bikes to the height of the course participants. She then throws the bikes into one of the pools at Twistringen’s water park. Her class, which this morning is made up of only women, is already waiting in the water. Participants take control of the bikes in the water and line up in two rows.
“Advancing in the water with the device is a bit cumbersome at first,” emphasizes one participant. However, with a little practice, it can be quickly set up. “Bicycles are made especially for water,” explains the monitor. Suction cups are attached to the feet, which, once they have reached a point, attach to the pelvic floor. Sometimes a bike wobbles a bit, participants report. “Until now, however, no bike has fallen during the exercises,” emphasizes Bärbel Diedrichs and laughs.
The water sports equipment looks like a conventional ergometer. Instead of plastic, however, they are made entirely of stainless steel. They have paddles on the pedals that you can use to increase or decrease the resistance. To ensure that no one gets injured, training is only possible with water shoes or thick stopper socks.
Highly effective cardio training
Sometimes sitting, then standing again; Sometimes forwards, sometimes backwards: so-called aqua cycling – riding a bicycle on water – is good for coordination, very effective cardio training and strengthens the muscles of the abdomen, legs and buttocks. “Stay seated and scoop up the water,” Bärbel Diedrichs calls the group. Because to additionally train the upper body, arm exercises are also included.
Participants sit in water up to their navel, the upper body being above the surface of the water in most exercises. “Can we go deeper again?” asks one participant. She is referring to an exercise where the upper body is more in the water. Because this morning it’s still a bit cool and the water is so pleasantly warm in contrast to the air temperature, she explains.
So the next instruction from Bärbel Diedrichs is: “We go down with the upper body and always stay on the saddle.” The water in the training pool foams up as the participants really get going with the gear. From above, the silver-colored water bikes can only be guessed at. The ten contestants pedal in a fast-paced summer song pop race. The music from the Bluetooth box does not stop.
The city administration has again this year adjusted the opening hours of the swimming parks to the pre-Corona period. So the pool is open again at lunch time. Due to the lifting of restrictions, guests can once again use all pool attractions with no restrictions.
After 45 minutes everyone is pretty exhausted but happy. “You always come home in a good mood,” says one participant. Those who move underwater benefit from the “weightless” buoyancy and at the same time place high demands on the muscles and tendons due to the high resistance. The nice thing about this is that you have to use more energy for each movement than you would in the open air, but you barely notice it because you’re floating almost weightlessly at the same time.
suitable for everyone
“That’s also the best: the water bike is suitable for everyone, from young to old,” says the course leader. Since underwater movements happen naturally with the brakes on, it’s not as easy to pull yourself up or hit something. The risk of suffering from any of the usual sports injuries is thus significantly reduced. Water training is also recommended for participants who have recently had surgery or have knee problems. “Of course always in consultation with the family doctor,” emphasizes Bärbel Diedrichs.
TV Heiligenloh’s offer ranges from aqua cycling and aqua jogging to aqua power fitness. “The following applies to all our courses: anyone can participate,” says the trainer. No prior knowledge is required for the course. “If a participant has problems with their knees, for example, we always offer alternative ways of doing the exercises,” emphasizes Bärbel Diedrichs. There’s even an extra water jogging course for men. Upon request, TV Heiligenloh also offers offers for companies and other clubs.
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