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I Tried It: Acquapole

An Italian water workout lands in San Diego


Photo by Jenny Siegwart

You Try It!

Memberships from $19/month

6845 University Avenue, Rolando

Imight have zero rhythm, zero coordination, and zero shame, but I still love moving and sweating. So when I heard about the new Acquapole fitness class at the Kroc Center in Rolando, I didn’t hesitate. Splashing around in the pool in summer? Oh, heck yeah.

As you might guess from “acqua,” this fitness class was created in Italy in 2010, where it has become quite popular. It’s been making waves (see what I did there?) in America for the last few years and recently arrived in San Diego, exclusively at the Kroc Center. Next, you might notice the word “pole.” Yes, there is a pole involved, but if you’re expecting some sweet pole-dancing action (like maybe I did), you might be disappointed.

Here’s the setup: there are around ten tall metal poles set up in the outdoor recreation pool. The heavy bases have suction cups that keep them stuck to the pool floor, but they can easily be rolled away later. The poles are mainly there to stabilize you while you’re doing some intense and varied aerobic-style moves that work as strength training thanks to the water’s resistance. Most of the exercises are fairly basic; for example, holding the pole with your arms while moving your legs and vice versa. But there is also some pretty fun stuff. Picture doing the “human flag,” or holding the pole while you run horizontally around it, à la Curly from The Three Stooges.

The coup de grâce is the exceptionally perky instructor, Terri, who not only teaches the water aerobics class just before the Acquapole class, but is then able to approximate every move on dry land, using a pole, a chair, and a whole lot of imagination. Much respect to you, girl.

The class isn’t just fun, but really challenging. My whole body is sore the next day to prove it. If you’re going to try it, make sure you bring a hat and some sunscreen, because an hour in the pool will leave you straight-up Cajun style.

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