Workouts You Can Do in Your Swimming Pool from Workouts You Can Do in Your Swimming Pool
Workouts You Can Do in Your Swimming Pool
Aquatic exercises are usually used for rehabilitation and for alleviating symptoms of arthritis and other muscle aches. But water can also be a very effective fitness tool. It provides resistance, so you can build muscle, while supporting your body weight at the same time and easing certain exercises on the joints and bones. This significantly decreases the chances for getting injured, especially if the person is obese or in poor physical shape. Water is 784 times denser than air, which means that every kick and slide is a full-body workout. Your core, hips, glutes and arms feel it the most.
Bicycle or underwater cycling
Riding a bike on dry land is a great cardio, abs and legs exercise. Add water and it becomes extra challenging for your core, shoulders, and legs because you have to work them harder to prevent floating away. Try underwater cycling. Aqua spinning classes have been around in Europe for years, first introduced as a rehab exercise. Aqua cycles have no wheels, gears, or knobs. They are attached to the pool floor and use waist-high water for resistance. As you can imagine, the faster you pedal, the harder it gets. You have to get very strong core engagement as the back and the core stabilize.
The technique of the exercise is the same, do a normal bicep curl. The water will take care of the rest. Its resistance will have your muscles working harder when you’re moving your arms up and down. Use, if you can, special pool weights because the fins will adjust the water resistance, isolating certain muscle groups.
Lateral raises can be very effective for developing the deltoids. The exercises can be modified in many ways to adjust it to one’s particular skills and needs. Use pool weights or kettlebells. Do the same movements as if you were at the gym – raise and lower the weights from your sides. To make the aqua exercise more effective, keep the full range of motion.
The ball lever exercise in water targets you upper body – back, triceps, abs and shoulders. Maintaining balance while holding a ball under water is not an easy task. Your arms should be stretched straight – don’t bend them at any point – as you float. Legs should be extended behind you. Keep your feet together. Push the ball underneath you as fast as you can through the water towards your thighs. It’s not supposed to feel easy. Do as many reps as you can for 30 seconds.
Whether it is scissor or flutter kicks, move your legs underwater. For the former, facing up, extend your legs in a V shape, bring them quickly together with one ankle on top of the other, then switch quickly. Your quads and inner thighs should feel the burn. Your abs are also targeted because they will work to keep you from floating or sinking. The latter exercise seems like a lot of fun for kids because you’re splashing. Hold on to something and kick your legs briskly behind you. Try to move them faster, not higher.
Planks are fitness instructors’ favorite core exercise. There is no reason why you should not try it under water, especially if you don’t have a lot of upper body strength. The water will move, push and pull you in all directions. That only makes the plank more challenging to the core. Hold a water log – your hands should be out of the water – while your legs are extended behind you. Hold that position for a minute or two without moving too much.
This is like a Standing straight-leg lift for a perfect bikini beach body. Hold on to the edge of the pool and slide your legs from side to side. Bring them as high as you can. Your outer thighs will be burning. Pushing against the water resistance in both directions makes the exercise harder. Hook a kettlebells or another pool weight around your ankle if you want to make the workouts even more challenging.
It’s like jump squats on dry land – squat down and quickly jump out of the water. Try to get really low before you jump to make the exercise harder. Pretend you’re going to sit in a chair in order to keep your knees above your heels as opposed to your toes. You can also do regular squats under the water. Keep your arms to your sides and raise them to shoulder level.
This exercise targets your triceps. You can move up and down on the ladder (pictured), or try another easier version. Start by holding on to the edge of the pool with both hands. Similarly to the dry-land version, lift your body up out of the water and then lower it. Keep your core engaged as you slowly lower yourself towards the pool floor by bending your elbows. The movement should not come from your hips, only your arms. The water will support your body so the exercise is a bit easier.
Back to basics – running. You can get in shape just by walking. Jogging through water can be strenuous. The deeper the water, the harder it will be. As you run, you’re creating currents in the water which will engage your core muscles to help you stay stable. To make sure it’s the core that keeps you straight, your ears, shoulders and hips should form one vertical line. You can run straight or in zigzag. Start with short intervals.
Practice maintaining your balance underwater. Standing on one leg will challenge your core like few other exercises. The water should be up to your waist. Life one knee and place it on a pool noodle. Keep your hands down. Balance yourself in that position for at least a minute. Switch legs.