We know our eagerly-awaited Rooftop Infinity Pool and Lounge has been stealing the headlines since it opened in December, but we’re very pleased to announce the launch of new water-based fitness sessions in our substantially refurbished Exercise Pool area.
The Fitness team has been working with our Fitness Consultant, Dean Hodgkin, to choreograph a selection of classes we hope you’ll find fun, as well as delivering results:
HIIT THE WATER – A fun, fat burning class deploying the current hot trend of high intensity interval training.
CARDIO WAVES – Targeting your heart and lungs with land exercises creatively transferred to the pool, for a super calorie burn.
FLOW – Blending elements of yoga, Pilates and tai chi to produce a unique whole-body workout.
AQUAFLEX – Using water woggles and aqua mitts to tone your target areas both above and below the waterline.
The Exercise Pool area is dedicated to aqua fitness and the newly installed LED lighting will take your aqua class to another level. We think you’ll be inspired by the light show, designed in part by UK LED Lighting who were behind the light show for the Rio Olympics’ opening ceremony! The 10 tailor-made LED concentric rings around the pool are up to two metres in diameter and each ring pulses individually, enabling it to be choreographed with the music in the aquacise sessions, promising to bring even more energy and excitement to the classes.
When the LED lights aren’t pulsating in time to music, they offer adjustable mood lighting to bring the sense of an awakening sunrise and relaxing sunset into the pool area, which is further complemented by the bespoke lighting installation called Leaf. With a seven metre drop the cascade of matt gold aluminium discs appears to tumble from above, reminiscent of the dappled light of the sun filtered through the canopy of a tree. Below the Leaf pendant a pretty, tiled bubble pool creates the effect of a babbling brook, incorporating the calming theme of nature harmoniously amongst the high-tech facilities.
The popular underwater fixed aqua-gym equipment has been rejuvenated and reinstalled, making Ragdale Hall’s Exercise Pool area unique in the UK.
But what are the benefits of exercising in water?
Dean explains the four main benefits: “Buoyancy is the degree to which your body floats upward when immersed in water, and has the positive effect of reducing impact and thus lessening the stress on skeletal joints. However, it also reduces the body’s stability, requiring fixation of the abdominal muscles, wide, stable leg stances or movement of the upper body limbs to retain stability.
Resistance provided by the water requires the exertion of greater force to overcome it, potentially increasing the intensity of the water based workout. In addition, the constant resistance alters the way in which muscles contract, eccentric contractions are virtually eliminated and replaced by dual concentric muscle work (Ed’s note – we don’t fully understand the ‘science bit’, but think this must be a good thing!)
Propulsion: to move the body in a backwards direction when immersed in water requires the movement of the upper and/or lower limbs in the opposite direction. The stronger the propulsive movement, the greater the distance of travelling that will be achieved. To remain stationary when performing upper body exercises requires a wide leg base and the strong fixation of abdominal muscles. To remain stationary during lower body work will require an opposite propulsive movement of the upper limbs or alternatively, sculling movements (those used by synchronised swimmers) can be used.
Hydrostatic pressure is the constant pressure exerted equally around the body and this improves the circulation of the blood and reduces the risk of blood pooling.”
What we think he’s saying is that underwater exercise is supportive (particularly allowing you to exercise around an injury), provides a whole body toning effect and is a great calorie burner due to the total body effort involved. And it’s fun!