Swimming pool exercises
Kill two birds with one stone: Exercise in your swimming pool and keep cool.
If you have a swimming pool in your backyard, you are one step ahead of those who do not. As much as you love splashing around in the water, relaxing, kicking back, you could actually be taking advantage of your water hole.
You can do aquatic swimming pool exercises, which will benefit your health and, of course, your body. You can strengthen and tone and do it outdoors, in the sunshine, while keeping cool. How much more accommodating does it get? You can lose weight without breaking a sweat: Do it in the water instead of in some sweaty gym. Exercising in your pool is an excellent option, and many of these exercises can also be done in the surf at the beach, where the sand offers additional workout opportunities for those people whose joints and stamina can take it.
Imagine burning calories even though what you are doing feels like play. Treading water uses up 11 calories a minute, which is comparable to running six miles per hour. Uh, which would you rather do? Hmmm.
Water or aqua aerobics and other swimming pool exercises are easier on your back and joints than regular aerobics. The water displaces up to 85 percent of your weight, depending on the depth of the water. The natural resistance that occurs when you are in water will help you burn calories fast, including up to 600 calories in a 45 minute session if you work hard. Water creates resistance, which makes you engage more muscle fibers and requires a larger range of motion.
Try the K Tread. Jump in your pool, tread water, and make small circles with your hands that are cupped. Lift your right leg in front of you, at hip level, and point the toes of your left foot toward the bottom of the pool. Hold this position for five seconds. Switch your legs and do the same motions on the other side. This targets your hamstrings, back, arms, chest, butt and abs.
Move on to the next maneuver, which is the otter roll. This will work out your legs, back, butt and abs. You need a beach ball for this one. Hold the ball close to your chest while floating on your back. Your feet are together and your legs are extended. Roll to the left, over the ball, using your entire body, to make a full revolution. Return to your starting position. Roll in the other direction. If nothing else, this should be weirdly fun.
Walk laps in your pool and then do water squats. These are an excellent type of swimming pool exercise. Stand with your feet a foot apart, bend your knees and push your hips backward, as if you were sitting down. Do not let your knees extend past your toes and do not arch your back. Do this in waist high water. Squats are great for your buttock and legs, the front of your thighs, your hamstrings and glutes.
Grab a kick board, lie on it and kick away. The scissor motion that you are doing with your leg benefits your rear end, hamstrings and indirectly tones your abdominal muscles.
Who says you cannot do pulls up? Women often struggle with this particular swimming pool exercise but not necessarily so when doing it in water. Grab the side of the pull and lower your body as far as you can. Keep your knees bent. Now pull yourself up as high as you can, which will be determined by your particular range of motion.
A good exercise for your chest muscles can be done in the water. Standing in neck high water, extend your arms out to the side, with your palms facing upwards. Bring your hands together in front of you, clap your hands, and then return your hands to the starting position.
If you need to work on your abs, here is a good one for you. Stand with your back to the side of the pool and place your elbows on the rim of the pool for support. Slowly bring both of your legs, which should not be bent and are extended, up to the water level and hold this position to the count of 10. Keep your back straight.
Swimming and water aerobics are excellent forms of swimming pool exercises for anyone, but are particularly beneficial to the older set, who suffer from achy, stiff joints. Water is a lot more forgiving on your joints than a gym floor.