When the mercury rises and the thought of another sweaty workout sounds none too appealing, take a dive instead. You don’t have to be a senior citizen or a Michael Phelps to reap the benefits of aquatic exercise. And, you don’t have to even swim laps!
Many of the same moves you do on land can be done in the cool comfort of the pool if you get a little creative. And, thanks to the natural resistance of the water, you’ll burn more calories!
The water offers a great low-impact alternative for those who are injured or pregnant. It also protects the joints and helps prevent overuse injuries (hello, runners). And, frankly, it just feels good!
So when the weather heats up, jump on in! The water’s fine with these eight water exercises.
8 Water Exercises to Do in the Pool That Aren’t Swimming Laps
Start your workout by jogging. Use the same good form you would on the road. To make it harder, zig-zag as you run in one direction and then run through the current on the return trip. Jog back and forth for five minutes.
Head to the deep end; see how long you can tread water. Aim for five minutes or take the lifeguard challenge and tread water for two minutes with your hands tucked in your armpits.
When you can take no more, head to the side of the pool for push-ups. Place palms flat on the pool deck, engage your abs and push down to raise your body out of the water. Keep elbows in tight, not splayed out to the sides and perform two sets of 15.
Hold on for flutter kicks. Extend legs and stretch out flat across the surface of the water. Kick for 30 seconds at a moderate pace, speed up for the next 15 seconds and then kick as fast as you can for the last 15 seconds. Repeat the drill five times.
Stand tall in shoulder height water and grasp the edge of the pool for a barre-style workout. Extend one leg back, point toes and lift the leg up to work the glutes. Next, lift your leg out to the side and then cross it back in front of the standing leg to work those adductors. Alternate legs for three sets of fifteen.
Grab a noodle (or rest your elbows on the side of the pool). Now, perform bicycles for two minutes.
Hook your knees over the edge of the pool and lower yourself back onto the water. Cross hands in front of your chest, engage abs and sit up. If you are looking for a challenge, place your hands behind your head to create drag and lower completely down under the water and then sit up. Do one or two sets of 10.
End with water savasana. Float motionless in the water with limbs splayed, eyes closed and surrender to the moment. Use a noodle or two if necessary.
Hello, cross-trainers! Swimming and these water exercises are a great workout to add to the mix, right? —Karen