Marietta Mehanni

H2O Gymstick

Written by Marietta

November 26, 2013



The Aqua Gymstick is a adaptation of the Gymstick, originally created in Finland and now a viable aqua fitness device. Using rubberised bands in either water or land fitness classes is not a new concept, but what is truly unique about the Aqua Gymstick, is it’s attachment to a bar. So now, stationary, propulsive and travelling exercises can utilise all the resistance created by the bands. Another clever feature of the Aqua Gymstick is the ability to ‘roll’ up the bands, thus creating greater tension in the bands. This is ideal for catering for different strength and fitness levels, especially in a group exercise format.

“Aqua Gymstick provides a great overall workout. My physio has confirmed that I have greater mobility and strength since doing AQUA Gymstick on a regular basis.”
Denise – Aqua Gymstick participant

“I cannot rave about Aqua Gymstick enough! The Aqua Gymstick IS what’s getting me into shape after baby #3. I can exercise relaxing my tense shoulders and knowing my posture is fabulous. You know you’ve had a fantastic workout when you hop out of the pool feeling like you look like Elle MacPherson”
Regular Deep Water Aqua evening and early morning participant

    The benefits of using the Aqua Gymstick

  • Higher intensity workout
  • Increased recruitment of muscles fibres– especially in the upper body
  • Increased challenges for balance and coordination training
  • Requires greater recruitment of core muscles
  • Can use the stick to create turbulence in addition to the resistance in the bands to add further challenges
  • Excellent tool for rehabilitation
  • Can be used effectively in shallow pools, where some other aquatic tools can be awkward to use e.g. dumbbells and noodles
  • Easy to use and instruct


Workout instructions

The Aqua Gymstick is very simple and easy to use. To increase the resistance of the bands roll the stick so that the bands wrap around the end of the stick. To decrease the resistance, unravel the bands from around the stick. Always try to maintain tension in the bands when performing or creating new exercises. Some exercises require the bands to be tighter e.g. holding the stick at the hips and performing a jumping jack with bicep curl. Movements like a scissor with the stick rotating forward with alternate arm extension, require the bands to be at their full length to get the maximum rotation and benefit from the turbulence created by the stick. Avoid rolling the bands over the soft foam grip in the centre of the stick. Also, do not stretch the bands over four times their original length (length of the bands in the beginning of the movement after adjusting the resistance), as this may compromise and possibly damage the bands.


After use, rinse the tool with clean water and leave it in an upright position to allow the water to drain out of the stick. Allow it to dry in a place where it is not exposed to hot air or direct sunlight. When the fabric loops and the soft foam grip are totally dry place the tool in an Aqua bag or any other bag made of similar material. In the event of damage to the bands, these can be replaced. If different resistance bands are necessary, these can also be purchased.

Resistance in the bands come in 3 colours and strengths.

Green/Light 1-22lb

Blue/Medium 1-33lb

Black/Strong 1-44lb

How to structure a Gymstick H20 Class

The class introduction

An introduction to a Gymstick H20 class is necessary, especially with clients who have never used the Aqua Gymstick. Several tips need to be communicated to the client so that their first experience with the Aqua Gymstick is successful. Firstly – how to position the adjustable bands around the feet. Place the bands around the arch of each foot. Secure the bands by using the adjustable buckle. Check that the buckle is in the same position on each foot to ensure that the tension is equal in both bands. Aqua shoes are highly recommended for foot protection and to ensure that the adjustable straps remain secured.

Hand grips on the stick also need to be explained prior to the commencement of the workout. Demonstrate the difference between under and over hand grips, and how to roll the stick so that the bands are tighter for greater resistance.


  • A trio is 3 exercises performed twice within a 5 minute block
  • The purpose of the Trio is to focus on fatiguing one muscle group while incorporating balance and coordination to add further challenge to the body
  • Each exercise is performed for  30 seconds, with a 10 second break between the first, second and third exercise and a 20 second break between the two halves of the Trio. This provides the instructor the opportunity to communicate hoe to execute the next exercise.
  • Each Trio is separated by a 40 second break to prepare for the next Trio.
  • Within the Trio, the first exercise is called the Primary exercise. The second exercise is called Progression 1 and the third Progression 2.



“Deep water aerobics and Gymstick have helped me get rid of my sciatic pain that I have endured for 2 years. They have also helped me lose over 5 kilos and tone my muscles without aggravating my back. If you have exhausted all avenues and still haven’t achieved the results you wanted, I highly recommend that you give them a try.”
Regular Deep Water Aqua evening participant

“Just wanted to let you know how impressed I am with the Gymsticks. I got the chance to use one this morning and thinking that this wasn’t for me but decided to give it a go. I found having my feet in the stirrups made me feel the benefit of using my legs more and I was doing a lot move different movements than the dumbbells. What’s more fantastic for me is that recently I have only been able to use one dumbbell because my left hand and thumb has become so arthritic, holding and pushing the dumbbell in the water really hurt and I was feeling frustrated. Now, operating the Gymstick is going to be wonderful and will enable me to use both hands.”
Liz, regular participant in Deep Water Aqua 9.30 group

“I have been attending Power Aqua and aqua aerobic classes for 12 years, initially in Geelong, when we lived in Victoria, and lately in Hobart. The use of the dumbbells gives the necessary resistance work that it is essential for bone health, but after using the heaviest ones (with the most resistance and buoyancy) for some time, there is little opportunity to progress further.
Since Jo introduced me to the Gymstick I purchased one. It is a marvellous extension to resistance work. It is possible to commence use at a low level and to work up to a greater resistance – similar to the resistance straps in use at the physiotherapists.

    Benefits include:

  • The use of the aqua sticks involves resistance in the legs
  • The torso and abdominal – core muscles get a greater workout
  • The use is incremental in degree of difficulty

I can attest that I rarely get puffed even in an excellent workout with dumbbells, but I always increase my heart rate and am puffed and hot following a workout with the stick.”
Elizabeth Williams – Aqua Gymstick participant

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