By Gary Crayton III
You already know that a swimming pool can be a beautiful and relaxing retreat, but maybe you don’t know that a pool offers one of the best workouts available. That’s because water is denser than air, so you’re doing a resistance workout, which burns fat and increases metabolism. And, because water neutralizes gravity, you can swim almost every day without having to worry about injuries!
If you want to use your swimming pool to get a workout, here are some excellent workouts designed for beginners.
- Leg lifts
Thanks to the resistance of the water, leg lifts work all of the leg muscles. Stand in the water and lift one leg up to the side, and then back down. Repeat the exercise until your leg feels tired, then do the exercise on the other leg. Not only does this work your legs, but it also strengthens your core and improves balance.
- Standing water push-ups
Water push-ups are a great exercise to build chest, arm and shoulder strength without putting too much pressure on the joints. Stand beside the edge of the pool and put your hands a little wider than shoulder-width apart from each other on the side of the pool. Bend your arms and move toward the wall, then push yourself back. Repeat the exercise slowly until your arms get tired. Try not to push beyond your limits.
- Water bicycle
With your back to the wall, place your elbows on the side of the pool and “pedal” an imaginary bicycle with your legs. This not only burns fat but also strengthens your core, legs and shoulders.
If simply doing the bicycle is too easy for you, you can make it more difficult by sitting on a noodle while “cycling” through the pool. Your abs will work harder so you can keep your balance, and your legs will work even harder in order to move across the pool.
- Jumping jacks
Jumping jacks work both your upper and lower body muscles. You can also add resistance with arm and leg weights.
Stand in water up to your chest. Put your feet together and your arms at your side.
Jump and push your legs outward and, at the same time, move your arms over your head.
Jump again to return to the first position. Do one to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions of water jumping jacks.
- One-legged balance
This exercise strengthens your core and leg muscles, which are responsible for balance, but without the risk of falling! Your core has to work to keep you upright, which increases your static balance.
Standing in waist-high pool water, lift your left knee and put the center of a noodle under your left foot (the two ends should float upward). With your hands by your side, balance with your foot resting on the pool noodle for one minute. Then push your knee out to the side and balance for one more minute. Switch legs and repeat.
- Gary Crayton III is the CEO of Pool Troopers