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Southern Prairie YMCA adds aqua zumba

Published: Thursday, July 25, 2013 10:55 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, July 25, 2013 11:04 a.m. CDT

Southern Prairie YMCA staff is being proactive this summer with new changes.

A new class — aqua zumba — has been added to the aquatics schedule. The instructor for the class is Jennifer Frakes, who also teaches the land fitness zumba class.

Aqua zumba begins Aug. 1. It will be held from 7 to 7:45 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays through the month of August.

Lynn Irr, fitness director at the Y, as well as Frakes brought up the idea of aqua zumba after being introduced to the class at an instructors convention in Chicago last year.

“I fell in love immediately. It’s almost an art form… Everybody is so pumped,” said Frakes.

Adding diversity

Cody Hudson, the aquatics coordinator at the YMCA, feels the aqua zumba class is a fresh addition to the four core water classes in place currently.

“We have been interested in doing something different in the water,” said Hudson.

Water exercise is less harmful on joints, making aqua zumba an alternative for those who could not normally take the regular zumba class.

“I didn’t realize how beneficial water aerobics was in general. The after-burn is twice as long (compared to land classes),” said Frakes.

“You’ll still get a great workout, just without all the high impact. If they come, they will walk out feeling a lot better, maybe even realizing that they can go and try the land class,” stated Hudson.

A unique approach

Aqua zumba differs from other aqua classes in that the instructor teaches from the side of the pool instead of in the water.

Frakes explains,” When the music and tempo change, the movements change.”

The instructor must be on land to show these changing, full body movements.

It also gives the land zumba participants an opportunity to enjoy it in a different way.

According to Frakes, the new class “aquifies” the movements compared to the fast-paced land zumba. The moves for aqua zumba are half-time of the land zumba, but are bigger and bolder to keep the intensity.

Broadening the appeal

Hudson said, “The class is for anybody and everybody. Being in the water, I think that will help us reach a very broad group of people that can come enjoy this class.”

“I want everybody to enjoy it,” said Frakes, “The addictive music will draw different people to the class.”

“Our numbers have gone up tremendously. ” stated Hudson

Participants normally decrease in the summer, so having increasing numbers is that much better, according to Hudson. He believes that the aqua zumba class will attract more members who came back for the summer.

The fun does not stop with the addition of aqua zumba.

Hudson stated,” We hope to get some more classes started. If not new classes, it’s taking our older classes and really changing them up, giving them some new things to do to reach new people.”

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