Woman exercising in pool

The great thing about swimming at the YMCA is that no matter the temperature outside, you can exercise in one of our 11 indoor pools. From the peak of summer to the dead of winter —we’ve got a temperate pool with your name on it and a variety of aqua group exercise classes to help you stay active.

Our H2O cardio group fitness classes are open and welcoming to members of all ages and ability levels. Water eases pressure on your joints, making these classes especially appealing to active older adults or those with injuries. However, instructors like Colleen Cussick at the Downtown Nashville YMCA want you to know that doesn’t mean the class is easy. In fact, water's resistance makes a lot of "land" formats even more challenging.

“[Water classes] are a really great way to incorporate high-intensity cardio and give yourself a different way of strengthening your body and getting your heart rate up,” Colleen says.

Let's get splashing! Here are four group exercise classes in our indoor pools that all members should try at least once.


Have you heard? GlideFIT is one of the best-kept secrets at the Y. GlideFIT uses weighted "fitness mats"—they resemble paddle-boards—on top of the water to improve your balance and strength with a series of core-engaging moves. You might lose your footing and fall in the pool—but everyone does! Due to limited board numbers, please reserve your space in the class 24 hours in advance by calling ahead or stopping by the Welcome Center.


The YMCA has a master Hydrorider trainer right here in Middle Tennessee—Colleen! For this reason, our underwater cycling classes are some of the best in the country. Hydrorider bikes are specially-designed stationary bikes that sit on the pool floor. With a series of sprints, hills and climbs just as you’d find in an above-ground cycling class, Hydrorider will get your heart racing as you pedal against the water’s resistance. You may also use foam water weights in this class to strengthen your arm muscles.

Mery on Hydrorider bike

Aqua Dance Blast

This H2O cardio class is a member favorite. Shimmy and shake your way to better health in chest-deep water with fun, popular music. You may use your body weight to dance, or grab a pair of foam water weights to push yourself further. Aqua Dance Blast is a great way for members to find new friends at the Y, and all dance levels (including those who claim they can’t dance!) are invited to experience this rejuvenating workout.

H2O Yoga

Lengthen, stretch, and recharge with this unique fitness experience. Also known as Aqua Yoga, this group exercise class is relaxing and perfect for beginners. Work your way through gentle yoga postures that improve balance and core strength as the water relieves pressure from your joints. It is an especially helpful class for those looking to prevent falls. Find your own basic yoga flow as the instructor leads from the pool deck. You can use your body weight, or incorporate a noodle or foam water weights to make the exercises more dynamic.

When you're ready to get started, grab your swimsuit—we'll provide the pool. Find a class at ymcamidtn.org/programs/health-and-fitness/group-exercise and learn more about what to expect in the video below.