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New trend has fitness buffs diving into water workouts - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

New trend has fitness buffs diving into water workouts

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HARRISON, N.Y. -

Mountain climbers, jogging in place, squats: High-intensity exercises usually done on land are now being brought to the water.

When people hear "water aerobics," many think of little grandmas in the pool.

"Oh, yeah. I'm going to tell you that's how the concept started and now it's boot camp!" Olympic Swimmer Cullen Jones said with a laugh.

Jones is taking the newest and most intense class at Life Time Fitness-- speedo water extreme.

"I think when people see it, they'll be excited to try it," Jones said.

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 Assia Winfield, a participant.

Instructors say water exercises aren't just good for your joints, they help 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," said Rob Glick of Life Time Fitness.

There are also yoga classes that are 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," he said.

This class 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," Glick said.

And people are having fun diving into the new routines.

The gym says its aqua classes are up in enrollment 10 percent year over year with more classes in development. The Aquatic Exercise Association reports the number of certified aquatic fitness professionals has jumped by over 50 percent since 2009.

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