When the lovely Lucy and Rachel from the Privee Project invited me down to the launch of Aquaphysical on the hottest day in the UK for 9 years I jumped at the chance, obviously.
I mean, exercising on big inflatable boards in the Serpentine Lido with the potential for ‘accidentally’ falling into the refreshing water sounds pretty good right? Also, it gave me a good push to fit in a fartlek cycle training session (ie cycling through London from Hackney to Knightsbridge in rush hour. Shout out to the 2 taxis that nearly ended me. Nice one).
All I knew about Aquaphysical before the event was a few images on Instagram which showed what looked like floating mattresses in a swimming pool with people standing on top of them. When I turned up at the lido it was actually way cooler than that.
The Aquabase boards are inflatable rectangles with surfaces that grip your feet as you move so there’s minimal slipping. They’re just wide enough to make you unstable without feeling like you’re going to fall off every millisecond. And unless you’re over 7 feet tall they’re more than long enough for you to lie flat on them. They’re attached to bungee cords in rows so they move around enough to work you but they don’t drift off like I’ve seen in some SUP yoga classes.
Except it turns out that I wasn’t signed up for one of the yoga classes, I was doing a hiit class. On a floating board. Yep, looks like that refreshing dip might come a little sooner than I thought….
Chatting nervously with some of the other girls before the session none of us really knew what to expect and one of them even said that the earlier hiit class didn’t actually look too bad and that they seemed to be moving quite slowly.
With that in mind we swam out to our boards and my instant impression was that it’s much harder to balance than it looks. We were taken through the steps of how to go from lying on our fronts to standing up before we got stuck into reps of squats, press ups, lunges (by far the hardest move), broken-down burpees and jumps. We had a 1 minute break in the middle where we jumped into the water to cool down and tread water to give our bodies a rest.
From the second I got onto the board I could feel my core working to keep me upright as well as every part of my legs as I wobbled my way through the exercises. So while it’s not as high impact as some workouts the isometric (where your muscles are under tension but not moving – like a plank) work is hardcore. Therefore it would be great for people who for any reason can’t do high impact exercises or for people who need to strengthen lower body joints. The constant instability makes all of your leg muscles work together to keep you upright, there’s no space for lazy muscles!
The idea behind Aquaphysical is to sell the Aquabases and concept in to leisure centres and gyms with pools so watch out for it coming to a pool near you! You can check them out here: www.aquaphysical.com
Disclaimer: I was invited along to this launch event for free but all opinions are my own.