The Best Water Workouts
(BlackDoctor.org) — When the weather gets hot, the coolest place to be is in the pool. And when it comes to working out, pool workouts can be one of the best ways to burn fat fast, tone muscles and improve endurance.
Aquatic exercise can also help relieve symptoms of fibromyalgia, a disease that African American women are more likely to suffer from than white women. Working out in the pool is also great for overweight people or those suffering from arthritis because the buoyancy in water takes the pressure off of bones and joints.
Because you get these great benefits in shallow water, you don’t even need to know how to swim (though, of course, swimming is yet another outstanding exercise). What’s even better about working out in the pool is that it doesn’t have to feel like work.
Here are some great exercises to help you dive into fitness:
Quite possibly the simplest and most effective water workout, water jogging burns 17 calories per minute which is about 10 calories more per minute than jogging on land. Jog for intervals of three minutes at a time alternating with toning exercises.
Slightly bend your knees while standing with your feet hip-width apart. With your feet planted firmly to the floor of the pool, squeeze your glutes as you lift up and return to the start position.
This fun workout targets the butt, legs, back and abs. Grab a beach ball and hold it close to your chest while floating on your back with legs extended and feet touching. Rock from side to side with your head above water. If you’re really comfortable in the water, use your shoulder and hip to propel you into the water to make a full revolution then change sides.
The water gives you a unique opportunity to defy gravity and use it to your benefit. Face the side walls of the pool and climb the wall while sweeping your arms back and forward. Do the Spiderman four times before alternating leading legs. Do as many reps as you can fit into 30 seconds.
Grab your beach ball again for this upper body and core workout. Hold the beach ball with arms stretched out in front of you. Float facedown or with your head above water. Draw the ball down towards your thighs as fast as you can. To return to the start position, bend your elbows before extending your arms straight out. Keep your body as stiff as possible during this exercise to get the maximum benefit. Do as many reps as you can in 30 seconds or until you need to take a breath, whichever comes first.
For the more advanced swimmer, up downs take you to the deep end of the pool. Dive to the bottom of the deep end and once you reach the bottom, propel yourself back up to the surface. Once you catch your breath, repeat this 10 times. Try to do 5 sets of 10 repetitions.
Fly backs not only work the upper chest, arms and back, they also improve posture. Start this workout in the lunge position with one knee bent at a 90 degree angle in front of you and the other leg extended behind you. Reach arms straight out in front of you with your palms touching and your fingers extended. Open your arms out to your sides and then return to the starting position. Do four sets of 8 reps and switch starting leg with each rep.
Water workouts can be fun and offer fantastic results. To get the most of your water workout, follow these tips:
• Wear a comfortable bathing suit that keeps everything in place. For women, that may mean replacing your current bikini or strappy swimsuit with one that is better suited for working out. Look for support in the breast area, thick supportive straps that don’t fall down constantly and a nylon or spandex material.
• Yes, you do need to bring water to the pool. You can get just as dehydrated in the pool as you can on land.
• Stay in your comfort zone. If any exercise makes you feel uncomfortable don’t do it. Working out in the water should be a fun experience, not a scary one.