A new class is set to make a splash at Stratford's TSB Pool, with the introduction of Hydrorider Spin Bikes to the exercise class timetable.

The pool is the first in New Zealand to have imported the specialist bikes and have its fitness instructors trained in teaching aqua-based spin classes on them.

The Council-owned pool puchased 10 of the bikes from Australian-based business, Aquabuzz.

Aquabuzz founder and director, Russell Fine, was in Stratford with his wife, Ayelet, last week to train the Stratford Pool staff in the use of the bikes.

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Ayelet says she and Russell first came across the idea of aqua-based bikes while in Israel 16 years ago.

"We immediately saw the benefits of them, and decided to bring them in to Australia."

Russell went to Italy to train as a Hydrorider instructor and since then the couple have imported the bikes for pools and fitness clubs all over Australia.

"This is the first time we have had an order from New Zealand, and we are really excited be able to introduce people in New Zealand to the benefits of the bikes."

Holly Baker, the aquatic services team leader at the TSB Pool says the bikes are sure to be popular with their fitness classes at the pool.

"Your body has to work about seven per cent harder in water than in land when working out, but with the water temperature helping keep your body cooler, you recover faster. Water-based exercise also has a less stressful impact on your joints."

One of the classes in action.
One of the classes in action.

On Saturday, the pool offered free trial classes on the bikes, and they were booked out quickly, says Holly.

"People have certainly wanted to give it a go, and find out what the bikes offer. I think they are going to be popular with a wide range of people, from those who already do some exercise classes here, to some people who have never tried it before."

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Exercising in water comes with a lack of gravity she says, and buoyancy takes over.

"This is really helpful for people who suffer from joint, muscle or bone pain."

Holly says you don't need to be able to ride a bike or swim to take the class.

"The bikes are set up in a way that you don't need to put your head under water at all to ride them. I spent much of Friday trying them out and learning about them, and my hair stayed dry. As the bike is stationary on the pool floor, you don't have to worry about balancing and keeping wheels under control."

People need to wear aqua shoes or clean trainers for the class, she says, but no special equipment is required.

"We do recommend bringing a water bottle as you will need to stay hydrated."

Russell says the pool has bought the professional standard bikes, which can be set to differing levels of resistance for the individual user.

"So from beginners, or people looking for rehabilitative benefits, right through to people on a high-level fitness programme, the bikes will suit all."

Holly says interest in the classes is already high, and they are being offered three times a week currently.