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Monday, December 16, 2013

The Mermaid S'Wets With the Boys

The winter has gotten off to an early and cold start here in NYC.  I have been busy at work (which is normal for this time of year) and the pool at Equinox was closed around Thanksgiving for cleaning and maintenance.   I have also been baking up a storm and may have actually consumed my weight in butter over the past two weeks (well, not really, but I perfected a couple of holiday cookie recipes).  I feel like I am living in my giant purple down puffer coat (happy and warm, but looking vaguely like Barney the dinosaur as I trundle around in the ice and snow).  Luckily, I tried a great new class about a week ago -- S'Wet, taught by the fabulous Jenni Lynn.

Jenni teaches a Sunday morning water exercise class at Equinox on Lexington and 63rd.  It is kind of a hybrid of aerobics, interval training, stretching and toning, with some yoga and pilates elements in the mix.  I really enjoyed the class, so I talked to Jenni about the blog and she invited me to try her S'Wet class, which meets at various locations, including the JCC, NY Health and Racquet Club,  Equinox and Asphalt Green Battery Park City.  I tried the Saturday afternoon class at Yorkshire Towers (305 East 86th Street, just east of Second Avenue).

I have mentioned that I grew up on the East Side.  One of my grade school friends lived in Yorkshire Towers, and I have vivid memories of swimming in the pool there as a kid.  The decor is a little bit updated, but the pool is still great -- big and nicely heated.  There are locker facilities and a sauna in the adjacent gym.

In the year or so that I have been doing water exercise, the Saturday S'Wet class was a first for me.  I was the only woman in the class!  Lucky Mermaid, working out with these nice blokes -- including Jenni's lovely and supportive boyfriend.  The Wednesday night class at Yorkshire Towers apparently has more of a mix of men and women.

S'Wet is a mix of high intensity interval training and plyometrics.  We started by running back and forth from the shallow end of the pool to the deep end.  I have been doing deep water running for awhile, but this is the first time I tried running in the deep end without a flotation belt.  I didn't sink, but I also had a little trouble propelling myself forward in the deep water (ironically, I have no problem moving in Deep Water Running class when I am supposed to be running in place).  We did a variety of exercises in the shallow and deep water using kickboards and buoyancy bells.  My favorite deep water exercise involved stretching my arms out (with the bells) and swinging my legs back and forth like the pendulum on a clock.  The class was challenging -- I found it a little hard to keep up (but not because I was the only girl!).

We finished the class with some aqua boxing using my favorite new water toy -- Aqquatix Combat Gloves.  Great for working out some stress.

You put your hand through the hole and grab onto the bar at the bottom of the glove.  It's a little hard to visualize, but you can check out Jenni's S'Wet page on Facebook for lots of great photos of the class.  

The class was challenging (so much so that I woke up at 5 a.m. the next morning because every muscle in my body was a bit sore -- good pain).  I will definitely try it again.  Jenni is an energetic and positive teacher (and a champion of water fitness) and the class was lots of fun.   You can contact Jenni through her website for information about class fees (for some of the clubs, the class is open to members; you can pay by the class at Yorkshire Towers and Asphalt Green).


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