Water aerobics and step aerobics are similar in that they both provide a good cardiovascular workout and can both be part of a healthy lifestyle plan to burn calories and lose weight. The way the moves are done and the environment in which they are done provide drastic differences.
American Sports and Fitness Association’s (ASFA) continuing education and certifications in Water Aerobics Instruction and Kickbox/Step Aerobics helps to broaden the knowledge of fitness professionals who have completed the personal training certification program or a group fitness program certification. The age and fitness levels of your clientele may determine which type of aerobics class you teach.
Water aerobics is done in a pool or other body of water. The water displaces your weight so that the high-impact aerobics moves now become low-impact with little to no stress on the joints. This makes water aerobics the perfect choice for senior athletes and/or individuals who are in physical therapy and recovering from an injury. The water is able to give you full range of mobility without strain. This is also a great option for people who are new to exercise or are uncomfortable doing a cardio machine or traditional fitness class. The water creates a natural resistance that not only helps burn calories, but tones the body, too.
Step aerobics is performed in a studio on a firm surface using an aerobic step. Step aerobics is more intense and higher impact. Your heartrate will get higher faster and will stay elevated longer. Form is very important to watch so that you don’t step off your aerobic step incorrectly and cause strain to your joints. The classes are fast paced and often coordinated to high-energy music to keep everyone motivated. If you use a vo2max chart, step aerobics will get you into that high intensity zone faster than water aerobics.
Both water aerobics and step aerobics are great forms of exercise and fun group fitness classes to enjoy as part of your fitness journey. If you are unsure which class is best for you, talk to a certified personal trainer (CPT) to help create a personalized fitness plan just for you.
Interested in expanding your fitness instruction offerings to your clients? Click below to check out all of the certifications ASFA offers!