You’ve flowed through multi-sensory yoga. You’ve jump roped your way out of jet lag. If you’re like us, you probably think you’ve tried every fitness fix under the sun.  And you may have heard about studios in NYC that are offering in-pool spin classes, but would you try aqua-cycling yourself? 

AQUA Studio is a boutique fitness studio that promises to be unlike any spin class you’ve ever taken in your life. Founded by Paris native Esther Gauthier, the European-inspired studio’s classes – “AQUA cycling” – focus on lymphatic drainage and improved circulation along with the kind of calorie burn and cardio benefits you’d expect out of a cycling class. Their secret weapon is a pool filled with 85-degree salt water and – yes – a swarm of spin bikes.

Here’s the deal: the bikes are fully submerged in four feet of heated salt water, which means that the bottom half of you is, too. Upon first glance, these look like bare-bones bikes. But wait – where’s the resistance knob? And where’s the flywheel? Nope, no way to “tap it up” in this class. You choose a resistance level, then for 45 minutes, you pedal against the resistance of the water. According to AQUA, this helps you lengthen and tone your legs in a super low-impact but high-intensity way.

We have to admit, the idea of pulling out our swimsuit in the middle of December sounded less than appealing (don’t worry, workout shorts and a sports bra will work just fine), but AQUA was a welcome change from our usual fitness routine. Besides being unique, it somehow felt way more chic than the workouts we’re used to (gotta love that French flair!). Plus, if you’re anything like us, staying bundled up 24/7 during the winter months can get you out of touch with your body and the way it looks and feels. There’s something about baring it all and literally diving in with a group of like-minded women (classes are gender-specific) that makes “AQUA cycling” an unexpectedly body-positive, fem-powered fitness experience.

What do you think, readers – would you or wouldn’t you take your spin class for a swim? Is this the most unique fitness experience you’ve heard of, or have you taken an out-of-the-ordinary class lately that we’ve got to know about? Tell us in the comments…

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