Aquatic fitness equipment is designed to make working out in the pool more productive for the body, and to offer additional benefits to the muscles. Working out in the pool can be a great way to increase cardiovascular, aerobic endurance, as well as to increase muscular strength. Aquatic fitness equipment may be used at a pool in the home, at a fitness center, or at a rehabilitation center.
Some of the most common aquatic fitness equipment has to do with aqua jogging. Aqua jogging is a popular aerobic activity where one "jogs" back and forth across the pool, with or without putting the feet on the bottom of the pool, but moving the body in a similar fashion. This exercise is often used in rehabilitation of injuries as well, because it does not place any impact on the joints and bones. Instead, the water offers resistance to the muscles and the heart rate increases.
Some aqua jogging equipment includes aqua jogging shoes, which are small, light, non-slip shoes; other types of shoes make the feet slightly more buoyant, which might make it easier to jog. A flotation belt is another piece of aquatic fitness equipment; while not intended to be a life-saving device, this does make the wearer slightly more buoyant in the water, which can help to prevent fatigue. Waterproof ankle weights may make the exercise more challenging, but be sure to stay in a shallow area if wearing weights in the pool.
Hand weights are another type of aquatic fitness equipment. These are referred to as water weights when used in the pool, and are typically designed to float. The resistance from pulling the weights underwater, then preventing them from coming back up, is what exercises the muscles. Though it will likely not be possible to develop large muscles from the use of water weights, they can help to increase strength overall.
Other aquatic fitness equipment may require a larger pool, and is more often found at gyms and rehabilitation centers. A common example would be water chairs, which may or may not have wheels like a wheelchair; these allow disabled people to spend time in the water and get some exercise. Water treadmills and stair steppers exist as well, which must be installed in the pool. In addition, pull-up bars mounted to the side of the pool offer people the opportunity to do pull-ups in the water, which are easier than doing regular pull-ups because the water helps provide buoyancy.