Image by: Mark Mitchell
By Avril Reyes
Sitting by the pool is tons of fun over the summer, but why not turn your relaxing experiences into productive ones at the same time? Next time you jump in the pool to cool down you can work in some easy water exercises that pack a big punch.
Working out in the water creates a natural resistance similar to weight training with little risk of injury or unnecessary pressure on the body, so it’s an awesome spot to put some of your moves to work. Here are some to try.
#1) Tread Water With Leg Lifts
Head to the deep end of the pool and tread water with your arms. Point both of your toes and lift one straight out in front of you while pointing the other straight down. Alternate every five seconds or so. To keep your legs straight (and get your workout in), keep your glutes, abs, quads engaged the whole time.
#2) Ab Twist
Get in the water and lean against the wall with your arms outside of the water holding you up on the edge of the pool. Keep your torso straight, and extend your legs straight out. You’ll then move your legs side to side as far as you can go while keeping them glued together. Keep your abs and core engaged the whole time.
While you’re still in this position you can move on to doing the bicycle. This is generally what it sounds like and similar to how it’s done on land, but essentially you bicycle your legs alternating as you go. This ends up being a good workout because you have to stay engaged and focused so that you don’t drift away from the wall.
#3) Jumping Jacks
It is actually possible to do jumping jacks in the pool without touching the bottom. It sounds challenging because it is, but it’s a great way to get your heart rate up and start scorching some calories in there. This requires both keeping balance so you remain upright and also pushing against the resistance of the water to get the movement in.
#4) Kick Sequence
Holding onto the edge of the pool with your legs out behind you puts you in the perfect position to do any kind of kick you want. The above water kind can be a full body workout but is best avoided if there are other people around who might not be interested in your splash or wake. You can still do a variety of kicks under the water and get the benefit of the resistance under there.
Alternate up and down kicks with frog kicks to work different muscle sections and tone up your midsection and legs.
#5) Plie Squat Jump
In the shallow end you can use the floor to work off as well as the water. Set up a plie squat by keeping your heels together but your toes and knees turned out. Keep your rear tucked under as you squat down, and then use your power to jump straight up out of the water.
Land back in the pile squat position when you come back down and repeat. To get the most out of the workout don’t rest when you hit the squat but instead move right into the exploding jump again. The deeper you can get back down into the water the more it will work your leg muscles and add challenge to the move.
Doing pushups from inside the pool can work great in the shallow section, just stand near the wall and use it as the starting point as opposed to the ground. This is a good alternative to doing a modified push up where the knees are on the ground, and much less stress on the body. Experiment with standing at different areas of water levels to make the pushup more or less difficult.
#7) Knee Tuck
From a standing position you can do a knee tuck jump that works both the legs and the core. Your and have to engage during the exercise because you need to remain upright and balanced while you do it. The jump will be low impact thanks to the water supporting your body weight. Keep your arms out in front of you and clasp your wrists so that you don’t flail your arms around and take the work away fro your abs.
Have you incorporated a water workout into your fitness plans? Let us know if you try out any of these moves or have more to add. We hear a beach ball can be a great fitness tool in the pool too!