Water babies

Ty Johnson

Photo By David Robert

Ty Johnson, 33, has been teaching water aerobics for seven years in the Reno area. These days, she’s teaching a class called Aquasize Training for Two, which is a water aerobics class for pregnant women. To sign up for the class, call Sports West Athletic Club at 348-6666.

How did you get started teaching prenatal water aerobic classes?

I used to run the fitness department at the YMCA in Reno. We had a great program called the prenatal aquasize, and it was a great success, so when I started working at Sports West, and they didn’t have a program that was specifically designed for pregnant women, I thought I should create it because water aerobics is great for pregnant women.

Why is water aerobics great for pregnant women?

In the pool, it creates a constant pressure, so you have an all-around weight room, if that makes sense. What it does is it allows them to work out their abdominals without necessarily doing a crunch, because a lot of pregnant women can no longer do those types of exercise.


It also allows them to work out in a safe environment, where they can pretty much float. It lets the weight of the belly come up so they can relax their spines, and they can breathe and get a great workout with resistance and not just working against gravity. It works against the whole encompassing part of the water. Does that make sense?

I think it does. It kind of creates a pressure against your whole body so it’s not just like on pushups where you’re working your arms. In this, if you’re moving forward you’re using all your muscles against the water.

Right. The water is great for multi-joint action. It’s kind of a 360-degree resistance, opposed to just opposing gravity when you stand up out of the water.

What benefits are there to the mother doing this kind of exercise?

It allows them to have a much easier delivery.


Their muscles are going to be stronger. It also helps with improved circulation and muscle tone. It also helps with relaxing themselves during labor and delivery.


It creates a mindset for them, so they can relax and not get so tense from stress.

I presume since it’s exercise it helps with sleeping.

Oh definitely, yeah. It gives them a nice workout so they can sleep better at night.

Can you go through the whole pregnancy doing this?

There really is no limit with water aerobics. You can be any age, you can be any weight, you can be anything and still get a great workout. The water is going to help you float.

When and where are you teaching the class?

When is Tuesday and Thursday from 6:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Where is at Sports West.

How much does it cost?

It’s $120 for members and $180 for non-members. You don’t have to be a member to take the class. It’s about a six-week class. There’s no beginning and end to the six weeks, it’s whenever you sign up, that gives you six weeks of the class.

Does it get progressively more difficult?

It can if we have a couple of people who sign up again.