After a long winter of exercising inside your home or at the gym, you may want to change scenery. Incorporating pool workouts is the perfect way to mix up your routine. Buoyancy is an upward force provided by water that offsets some of the weight from your body. Exercising in water can decrease the load on your joints, allow you to perform exercises that may be more difficult on land, and may be appropriate acutely after surgery or an injury. If you never planned an aquatic workout or implemented a pool day into your exercise routine, it may be difficult to know where to start. Here are 5 of our recommended pool exercises.
Water Walking: Water walking is a great aerobic exercise. Walking in water is more difficult due to the increased resistance from the water. Find a pool with water that is about waist-high and a lane that is long enough to walk back and forth. Start by walking straight with your core tight for 20-30 minutes. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week (30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercises 5 days per week or 20 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise 3 days per week).
Flutter Kicks: Flutter kicks are another fantastic aerobic exercise. Find a pool lane that will provide enough room for you to swim laps. Hold onto a kickboard with your arms straight and then start kicking your legs to progress forward. Make sure your whole body is parallel with the ground and keep your back straight. Follow the same recommendations as mentioned previously.
High Knees: Start by standing in an area away from other people. Engage your core as you bring up one knee to hip height. Simultaneously lift your opposite arm of the leg in the air and then place your arm and leg back in the starting position. Perform the task on the other side and move back and forth 5 times for 30 seconds each. The goal is to feel tired and burn at the front of your thighs at the end of the exercise. To progress increase the time of each set to 45 seconds.
Arm Raises: Start by standing in an area away from other people. Raise both arms in front of you to about shoulder height then lower. Next, raise both at your sides to about shoulder height then lower. Perform this exercise for 3 sets of 20 repetitions alternating between raising in the front and to your side. The goal is to feel tired and have a burn on your shoulder and upper arm at the end of the 3 sets. To progress try lifting an “aquatic dumbbell” for added resistance.
Single Leg Standing: Standing on one leg is an important balance exercise. For many people, this exercise may be too difficult or intimidating to perform outside of the pool. However, the consequences of stumbling or falling in a pool are considerably less than on land. The pool allows you to test your balance capability and work on any deficits with much less fear. Perform 5 sets for 30 seconds on each leg. To progress try closing your eyes or moving your head left and right or up and down.
Heading to a pool for the first time may feel daunting, especially with no guidance. Live Your Life offers personal training services that will come meet you at your desired time and location including the pool for a one-on-one session. All our customized personal training programs are under the supervision of a Doctor of Physical Therapy. If you want to mix the pool into your workout routine, contact us for a free consultation to learn how our services can benefit you!
“Physical Activity Guidelines Resources.” ACSM_CMS, https://www.acsm.org/education-