Life, Marseille


More complete, less tiring but as effective as RPM, Aquabike is accessible to all, regardless of age and physical condition.
This sport, like all aquasports (aquagym, aquayoga, aquazumba…) is very popular in France.

My mother started to practice it regularly about a year ago and she finally found a sport that she enjoys.
I was curious to attend a class with her and we had the opportunity last time I was in Marseille at “Silhouette et Bicyclette”, the centre where she exercises weekly.

Aquabike 1

Image credit: Silhouette et Bicyclette – Illustrator: Roxy Lapassade

I’ve always hated bicycling but I was sure that I was going to love aquabiking.
First, because it’s much easier to “go uphill” in the water than on the ground.
And second, because I knew that my forearms wouldn’t become red and itchy, an unpleasant feeling that always happens to me and that I think is due to the combination of rubber and vibrations (but I’m not too sure). Anyway, it has been my excuse for many years and declined many tours saying that I was allergic to bicycle.

And I was right… I absolutely loved my first class! I didn’t see the time pass thanks to the great atmosphere and the catchy soundtrack. Yet, I can tell you that we worked hard!
At the end of the class I was red as a tomato, but I also felt light as a feather.
I can’t wait to attend a new class!

Here is what you need to know about aquabike if you consider giving it a try:

Outfit and material:

You don’t need to spend a fortune in outfit and material before starting aquabike.
I drew up a non-exhaustive list of what you will need or not:

Choose a swimwear that feels comfortable and provides good support. Personally, I prefer to wear a one piece swimwear when I’m in a pool but a two pieces is totally acceptable.

Before your first class, ask the centre if you’ll need to wear a pair of swimming shoes as it depends of the type of bicycles. If the answer is positive and you’re doing a trial class and therefore don’t want to invest in a pair that you might not use again (although I bet you will 😉 ), your centre might be able to loan you one.

-Swim cap:
If you tie your hair in a bun, you won’t wet them or just a little. I don’t like swim cap so I never wear one if I don’t have to but if you want to be sure that your hair will remain dry, it’s the only option.

-Bottle of water:
It’s not a necessity but I was very thirty during the class and would have liked to have brought a bottle of water.

Depending of the centre you go, also check if you need to take a towel or if it’s provided.

Aquabike 2

Image credit: Silhouette et Bicyclette – Illustrator: Roxy Lapassade


The class duration is generally 45 minutes.

The session is structured around different musics to include warm up, accelerations, exercises on and off the bike and stretching. You won’t believe how many exercises you can do with a bicycle!
All these exercises aim to give a full body workout. Indeed during a class, you work on your legs, thighs, waist, buttocks and arms!
Aquabike is also excellent for cardio training thanks to the alternation of acceleration and recovery phases.

The instructor can be outside or inside the pool. At “Silhouette et Bicyclette”, the instructor is in the water with us and I like this way of coaching because it allows her/him to correct more easily our position when required.

Aquabike 3

Image credit: Silhouette et Bicyclette – Illustrator: Roxy Lapassade


The practice of aquabike offers many physical benefits that will convince the most reluctancts who think that it only is a trend:

-You can burn up to 800kcal during a class, depending of the intensity of your workout. The water support makes your efforts easier but the water resistance makes them more effective! I call that a win-win situation!

-You tone your body and loose weight.

-You don’t feel any muscle soreness in the days after, the proof that the saying “No pain no gain” isn’t always true.

-You don’t damage your joints, as the case may be with land sports.

-You stimulate your blood circulation, which will help reduce cellulite and prevents varicose veins.

But don’t forget that you need to exercise regularly to see some results!

Don’t wait more and start looking at your nearest Aquabike centre!

Silhouette & Bicyclette
Centre Paramédical Les Joncs
19 boulevard des Joncs
13008 Marseille (in French only)

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