Exercise helps you build strong muscles and joints, maintain bone strength, and control your weight. One of the upsides to exercising in water is that it is much easier on the joints. The buoyancy of the water absorbs some of your weight, enabling you to move around freely. If are interested in starting a water fitness routine, here are some easy exercises you can do to improve your health.
When kids first learn how to swim, they often perform wall kicks to get used to the water and basic concepts of swimming. It’s also an exercise that builds strength in the legs, hips, and abdominal muscles. Place your left hand face-down over the edge of the pool and your right hand about 12 to 18 inches directly below it — with your fingers pointing downward. Push your legs out into the water and start kicking with them. With your legs slightly parted, kick as hard as you can for a half minute, generating the largest waves you can.
For a good all-around workout, it’s best to throw in some upper body movements. Pushups work your chest, shoulders, and triceps. This time, place both hands across the corner edge of the pool while leaning over it at an angle. Keep your hands about 12 inches apart. Inhale as you lower your chest down between your hands, then exhale as you push yourself back up. Hold that latter position for three seconds, and then complete another repetition. Perform as many pushups as you can, then relax. If you need to make the exercise easier, do the pushups on the inside wall of the pool.
This exercise builds both strength and flexibility in your hips, knees, and ankles. Stand in the water facing the wall of the pool. Take 20 steps to your left, bringing your right leg toward your left one to complete each movement. When finished, take 20 steps to your right, moving your left leg over toward your right, to complete each step. Repeat the exercise one more time in each direction, then stop.
Standing Knee Lift
Place your back against the wall of the pool while standing erect. Bend your right knee and lift it up until it’s slightly above hip level. Slowly extend your leg out in front of you, then bring it back until your knee is bent again and above hip level. Perform 10 repetitions of this exercise with your right leg, then do 10 with your left leg. Work your way up to three sets of this exercise or 30 extensions with each leg.
The Water Walk
While the water will help absorb the impact on your knees and ankles, it has 12 times the resistance of air. Needless to say, walking in water can be taxing. Start with a trip across the pool and back, then increase your laps as you build endurance. Complete your laps in waist-high water when starting out. Then, as you build up your stamina, challenge yourself to walk in deeper water.
Try using these easy exercises to warm up before swimming or as a stand-alone workout routine. Most importantly, see for yourself how these exercises can enhance your strength and stamina and improve your quality of life. If you are in the market for a home pool or upgrade, check out Aqua Rec’s. We have 40 years of industry experience and would be happy to serve you.