Head to the pool today and try one of these great workouts.
Whether you’re in your backyard pool, at the gym, or on the lake, it’s easy to take advantage of the water and get some exercise. No more sunbathing on the deck, floating on a raft, or sitting on the side. It’s time to get in the water and move! Water provides the perfect environment for low-impact, full-body exercise that burns calories, increases strength, and gets you in shape. It’s easy on your joints, cool in the heat, and more exciting than a boring run on the treadmill.
If you need a few ideas of water workouts, keep reading.
It goes without saying that the most obvious water workout is swimming. This full-body workout targets your core, arms, legs, back, and glutes. It’s simple to adjust the intensity by swimming faster or slower or for longer or shorter periods of time. While swimming is mainly cardio exercise (it gets your heart rate elevated), it also improves flexibility and increases strength, as it forces you to work against the resistance of water.
Swim laps back and forth in the pool or set a distance in open water, being mindful of currents and depth. Take your pick of the breaststroke, freestyle, backstroke, or sidestroke.
Before, after, or instead of swimming, you can tread water. A basic skill everyone should know for water safety purposes, treading water is also a simple way to exercise while in H2O. All that treading water entails is moving your arms and legs to keep your body afloat and your head above water. Extend your arms to the sides and move them back and forth or circle them around, pushing the palms of your hands against the water. At the same time, flutter, frog kick, or circle each leg underneath you as you push the water down with your feet.
I think goals should never be easy. They should force you to work, even if they are uncomfortable at the time.- Michael Phelps
Work your core, shoulders, and legs with the bicycle. Rest your elbows against the side of the pool or put a noodle under your armpits and around your back. Then move your legs as if you’re pedaling a bike. If you’re using a noodle, you can actually cycle around the pool.
Engage your arms and back muscles by sitting on a pool noodle between your legs, continuing the bicycle movements and using your arms to sweep back and forth, propelling you forward or backward. Stop pedaling and just use your arms for a more effective arm workout.
Lift, Kick, and WaveWork your legs, glutes, abs, and back with leg lifts, flutter kicks, and by making waves. With your back and arms resting on the side of the pool and your legs extended down into the water, lift your legs up in front of you. Keep your legs straight and together. You’ll feel the burn as you push against the water’s resistance.
Now, turn around and hold onto the side of the pool, a noodle, or a tube; straighten your legs behind you; and flutter kick your legs back and forth. With your legs out of the water you’ll make more of a splash, but if they’re underwater you’ll get more of a workout.
Make some waves by holding onto the side of the pool, extending your legs straight behind you, and moving your lower body like a dolphin. The kids will like the waves and you’ll get quite a workout in a short amount of time.
Ski, Jump, and Jog
Pretend you’re cross-country skiing or exercising on a Nordic Track in the water. Move your legs forward and back while swinging your arms forward and back on opposite sides. As your left leg goes forward, your right arm should thrust forward, and visa versa. Increase the intensity by moving to deeper waters.
Frog jumps and squat jumps give your legs an exceptional workout. Squat down into a plié or a squat position and then jump up out of the water as high as you can. Deeper water makes this more challenging.
The simple movements of walking or jogging are intensified as you move against the water. Go back and forth in the pool, moving to deeper water for a better workout.