Some aquatics facilities have purchased exercise equipment to draw more interest into their programs. One of the offerings is an underwater treadmill. Once considered a device just for therapy, it has caught on with facilities looking to offer a little variety and an easier workout for patrons’ joints.
Exercise cycles also have made their way into the pool. Nancy Arnold says she sometimes uses this to work three tri-athletes at one time: one running, one swimming and another biking in the pool. These bikes have no wheels, which allows users to fall back from time to time and submerge under the water while holding the seat with their hands and peddling. This is a great method to cool off, says the aquatics director at the Princeton Club in Madison, Wis.
But while bikes can often be too pricy for many facilities, more affordable options are on the market such as resistance gloves, barbells and bars that attach to the pool that allow for sit-ups and pull-ups.
John Spannuth, president/CEO of U.S. Water Fitness Association in Boynton Beach, Fla., recommends water exercise shoes to protect feet from the contact on the hard pool floor.
The most affordable option, and consequently most popular, is the noodle. Aquatic fitness classes can function with even the most basic of equipment.