Summer is just around the corner, and that means it’s nearly time to hit the swimming pool. While you’re cooling off and splashing with the kids, why not take advantage of the water for a workout?
Exercising in the pool doesn’t mean you have to swim laps or join a water aerobics class. Many of the exercises you do on land can be done in the water, with the added benefit of more resistance from the water. A water workout also reduces the impact of certain exercises, making it an ideal workout for anyone with arthritis or joint pain.
Tone up in the pool with these exercises.
Ab bicycle. Rest your elbows on the edge of the pool or on a pool noodle and move your legs in a circular motion, as if riding a bicycle. Not only will you get a core workout, but your shoulders and legs will do extra work to keep you from floating away.
Leg lift. Again leaning back on the pool edge, raise your legs as high as you can, keeping your legs straight and together. The water adds resistance you wouldn’t have doing leg raises on land, and you’ll have to engage your whole body to maintain control of your body.
Suspended jumping jack. Stand at a point in the pool where the water is up to your waist. Do a jumping jack as you would on land, but when you jump your legs back to the center, keep your feet from touching the bottom of the pool. Take it up a notch and try to complete a whole jumping jack without touching the bottom.
Ski jumps. Standing with the water waist deep (or deeper), hop from side to side, keeping both feet together.
Squat jumps. Standing with feet wider than hip width apart, squat down as low as you can and explosively jump out of the water, returning to the squat position.
Side leg raises. Standing holding onto the edge of the pool, swing your legs from side to side one at a time, like a pendulum. Bring your legs as high as you can to work the outer thigh. The resistance of the water will make you work much harder to raise and lower your legs.
Water jogging. Running through deep water gives your body a serious challenge without the impact of running on land. Change it up with three variations. Start by running with your feet touching the bottom, then suspended with neither foot touching, and then slightly bouncing off the bottom with each step.
Bicep curl. Stand in the pool so the water is up to your shoulders. Using a pool weight, perform bicep curls with your arms under water. You’ll have to work hard in both directions, fighting against the water’s resistance.
Lateral arm raises. Holding a pool weight or even pool noodles in each hand, raise and lower your arms straight out from your sides. Be sure you’re standing in water that reaches your shoulders to keep the full range of motion under water.
Tricep dips. Standing with your back to the pool’s edge in waist-deep water, hold onto the edge with both hands. Using your triceps and bending your arms at the elbows, lift your body out of the water and then lower it back into the water. Be sure to keep your elbows tucked in close to your body to work your triceps.