Summertime is all about being outdoors in the sun, lounging at the beach, and of course bathing suit season! And for those who like water fitness, the swimming pool is a great aqua-gym that’s refreshing and fun. However, if you find swimming laps boring and tedious, there’s good news; you can still get in shape without all that back and forth in the pool.
Exercising in the pool does more than get you a great summer body; it helps with rehabilitation for sore or injured muscles and improves endurance and stamina for sports outside of the water! Let’s dive right in!
Walking on land has great benefits for our health and fitness, which is why I always encourage my patients (especially the ones working in a 9 to 5!) to get up and walk at least twice a day at work. Imagine all of those benefits that come from walking, and multiply them by ten when you’re underwater facing the dense pressure!
Get into the water up to your chest, and walk the length of the pool. You’ll start to notice aching muscles, and your body will feel like you ran a mile, all from walking! Walking underwater can aid in recovery for spinal and lower extremity injuries, as well as arthritis. This is a great exercise that’s also therapeutic for sore muscles.
Flutter/Scissor Kicks & Leg Raises
Underwater kicking and leg raises are great exercises to strengthen the muscles in your legs, hips and lower back. Plus, these exercises can be done in ten minutes right when you jump in the pool!
For leg raises, hold onto the side of the pool with one arm and switch off raising your legs. This is also a great move for core strength and stability.
For flutter kicks, hold onto the side of the pool with your legs out behind you and kick as rapidly as possible! You’ll get the best workout with this move by keeping your legs underwater and focus on moving them faster – not higher.
Scissor kicks are similar to flutter kicks, having your back towards the edge of the pool, open your legs like a V and then bring them back together quickly. Do small and fast movements to work your quads and inner thighs and keep your core engaged!
Image: Shape Magazine
Arm raises in the pool will help with the range of motion in your shoulders. If you are injured or have had shoulder issues in the past, this will help get your body healthy without causing stress to your tendons.
For these moves, simply sit at the stairs of the pool or stand in the shallow end and raise your arms straight up out of the pool and slowly bring them back into the water, and repeat. For abductions, move your arms away from the body and slowly bring them down.
For a more strenuous workout, add an exercise like this one:
These are just a few of the exercises you can practice underwater next time you’re at the pool, leave a comment below if you’re interested in learning more exercises from either me or our team of trained specialists!