Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi.
Working out is more fun when you’re splashing around in your gym or community pool. Aquatic exercises can burn fat and they’re healing, too, easing symptoms for arthritis and fibromyalgia sufferers. Dive into a new workout regimen with 8 moves that’ll get or keep you fit. Water is one of the best fitness tools there is. Here are some of the ways aquatic workouts help:
They provide resistance, which strengthens muscles and boosts cardio intensity. Water supports some of your weight, making workouts easier on joints and reducing the chances for an injury, especially if you’re overweight and out-of-shape.
Pool Exercise 1: Spiderman
Climb the pool wall like Spiderman climbs buildings! This exercise helps you defy gravity in a way that just isn’t possible on land. It also provides a unique challenge to your core and back muscles.
How to do it: Stand in water at the side of the pool. Stabilize your upper body by sweeping your hands back and forth as you run your legs up the side of the pool and back down to the pool floor. Do four Spiderman exercises, alternating the leading leg each time you reach the end of one jogging circuit.
Pool Exercise 2: Pool Plank
Planks are a proven core-strengthener on land. But if you don’t have a strong upper body it’s hard to hold it long enough to give abdominal muscles a good workout. All that changes in a pool. Plus, planks boost your endurance.
How to do it: Stand on the pool floor. Hold a “noodle” ( also called a “water log,” a long cylindrical piece of foam that floats) vertically in both hands. Press it straight down into the water and lean forward until your body is on an even incline. (Your head stays out of the water.) Try to keep yourself stable for 1 to 2 minutes.
Pool Exercise 3: Chaos Cardio
This exercise takes jogging to a new level. By creating several currents in the pool and then running through them, you’ll strengthen all your core stabilizing muscles.
How to do it: Run in a zigzag pattern from one end of the pool to the other, then run straight through all the currents you’ve just created. Do 3-minute intervals, alternating with something less cardio-intensive, such as Pool Plank or One-Legged Balance (below).
Pool Exercise 4: One-Legged Balance
This strengthens your leg and core muscles, the ones responsible for balance, without the risk of falling and hurting yourself.
How to do it: Standing in waist-high water, lift your left knee up and place the middle of a noodle under your left foot. (Its sides will float up into a U-shape.) Keep your hands by your side and balance with your left foot on the noodle for one minute.
Then move your left knee out to the side and balance for another minute. Switch legs and repeat with the right knee lifted and the right foot resting on the noodle.
For an extra challenge, lift both arms up over your head as you balance.
Pool Exercise 5: Fly-Backs
In the water, as on land, fly-backs work the muscles in the upper chest, back and arms. They also improve posture.
How to do it: Start in a lunge position with your right knee bent and your left leg extended straight behind you in the pool. Reach your arms straight out in front of you at chest height — palms touching, fingers extended and thumbs up.
Open your arms straight out to the sides in the water, then return them to the starting position to complete one rep.
Do four sets of 8 to 15 reps, switching the forward leg for each set. To boost your cardio workout and the number of calories burned, do your reps while walking or jogging across the pool.
If you’re in the pool with your kids, have them jog in circles around you to create currents that will further challenge your balance.
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