The swimming pool. Isn’t it the most popular place in the summer? Splashing in is not just fun, it also is one of the best ways to get in shape. In addition to being refreshing, aquatic activity helps strengthen the muscles and heart, soften the joints, and to relax!
Everyone agrees that there is nothing nicer than spending time in the water. Why?
Water makes you float. When you’re in water up to your neck, you only bear 10% of your weight. When you’re in the water that’s waist-deep, you bear just 50% of your weight. Your joints undergo very little stress in the water, so the risk of injury is almost non-existent, and you have less risk of being stiff after a water workout than after a workout on land.
Water offers more resistance than air because of its high density. This resistance helps greatly increase your cardiovascular endurance and tone your muscles. Your pool becomes a giant exercise machine – and your personal exercise machine!
Here are some water exercises that are easy to do, and that will make you the best you can be. Remember to protect yourself with a waterproof sunscreen, and dress quickly after you’re out of the water!
Start by warming up for a few minutes. Walk around the water, going around your pool. With each round, carry out of the following movements:
- Push your arms above your head.
- Draw large circles with your arms, backward and forwards.
- Walk on your toes, swinging your arms.
- Walk, raising the knees very high.
Five Aquatic Exercises to Tone your Muscles
- To tone the front of the thighs: Stand with your right side near the pool wall and place your right hand on the rim. Extend the left leg in front of you and draw 15 large circles to the right; then, 15 large circles to the left. Repeat this exercise with your right leg.
- To tone the back of the thighs: Stand with your right side near the pool wall. Place your right hand on the edge and lift your left knee before you. Now straighten the leg and push the left foot behind you, without leaning forward. Repeat 15 times. Turn in the opposite direction and repeat 15 times with right leg.
- To tone the back: Stand with one foot in front of the other. Extend arms in front of you, palms facing the bottom of the pool. Keep arms straight and push them towards the bottom and then vigorously behind you, without leaning forward. Repeat 15 times. Reverse the position of your legs and repeat 15 more times.
- To tone the arms and chest: Stand facing the pool wall, and press you’re your hands shoulder-width against the wall. Back up your feet and stand on your toes. Do 15 push-ups, stretching and folding your arms.
- To tone abs: Press your back against the wall of the pool and your arms on each side, on the edge. Lift both knees; then, make circular movements with the legs as if riding a bike. Pedal for one minute. Take a short break and ride again for another minute.
Five Water Exercises to Tone your Heart
The Cheerleader: Go, Go, Go! Place one foot near the other, and your arms straight alongside the body. Now, do a jumping jack, raising your arms on either side, just below the water’s surface. Make another jump, bringing your feet together and your arms alongside the body. Continue for two minutes.
The marathon: Walk, run as fast as possible across one wall of the pool to another; if it’s around pool, make it a circular route. Keep your elbows bent to let your arms swing naturally. Release first the toes and the sole of the foot and then the heel on the floor of the pool. Continue for two minutes.
Skier: Start by jumping on the spot and imagining a line across the pool. Keep your hands on hips and your knees slightly bent. As in a downhill skiing, make jumps on each side of the line for two minutes.
The twist: Jump on the spot and rotate the lower body to the right while directing the left arm. Jump again while rotating to the left arm while directing to the right, and so on for two minutes.
The Cancan: Imagine you’re on stage at the Moulin Rouge! Stand with your hands on your hips. Jump on the right leg and swing the left leg in front of you. Then jump onto the left leg and swing your right leg in front of you. Continue for two minutes.
If you’re a fan of swimming, you can replace these with two minutes of swimming, like breaststroke, front crawl, backstroke or butterfly stroke.
A Complete Workout in Just 25 Minutes!
Practice these exercises, alternating one of the five of the first group, and an exercise of the second group. To vary your workout and make it more efficient, change the order of the exercises regularly and finish your workout with some stretching. Invite your family, your friends or your neighbors to join you – enjoy your pool as often as possible!