Medical experts and fitness instructors have agreed – swimming is indeed one of the best workouts. The activity is a total body workout that encompasses all the exercises you need in order to get fit, from burning calories and toning your muscles to speeding up your metabolism. There’s something magical in the water – it allows you to work on your strength, speed, balance, and coordination without forcing your joints.
But what if you don’t know how to swim, or perhaps, don’t want to swim? Can you still reap the benefits of a water-based exercise without learning and performing the fundamental strokes?
The answer is a resounding yes. In fact, some exercises you can do on land can have a greater impact when they are executed in the water.
Shallow Water Exercises
Already mastered jogging on land? Take jogging to a whole new walking-on-the-moon level as you run through the water. Start with shallow water that’s between the knee and hip height. Run as fast as you can, pivot, and run back to your starting point. Run 10 feet and repeat 10 times.
Water jogging is a resistance training – the faster you move, the more resistance there will be going out; the deeper the water, the harder the run. You can level up your game by going for deeper waters, wearing a flotation belt so you can run without landing your feet on the bottom.
— RunnersRus (@AllRunnersHere) January 15, 2017
Sure, you have tried jumping jacks. Now, try to do them with water controlling your movements.
In a shallow water (waist-height), jump your legs out. Your natural buoyancy will cause you to tip forward or back so you have to push through the water to maintain your balance. Try to keep your feet away from the bottom when you bring them to the center. For an extra challenging water aerobic exercise, hold water dumbells as you do your jumping jacks.
When a planking position goes wrong, chances are you’ll hurt and injure your body. If you want to do the high-impact workout without harming yourself, do it in a pool. Planking position in the pool is way easier than the one on land because the water helps support your weight.
All you need is a water noodle. Hold the noodle and push down until you find yourself in a plank position. Your body should form a straight line with your toes against on the floor. Hold the position for 60 seconds or longer.
Noodle Press Down
Same as the plank exercise, you’re gonna be using a water noodle. With all your might, hold in the noodle in front of you and push it down until it touches your legs. Release it back up and repeat. Noodle press down works your resistance.
If the plank and press down exercises are too easy for you, try tucking your knees up to your chest as you push the noodle down then spread your legs out back to the plank position.
Deep water exercises
Flutter kicks predominantly work your abdominal muscles, particularly your lower abs. Instead of standing on the pool floor while taking a rest from swimming, you can do this easy workout instead. The only difference is flutter kicks on land are done while lying on your back and pool-based flutter kicks are performed while floating on your stomach.
Hold onto a noodle, a paddle board, or the edge of the pool and kick your legs as fast as you can. Don’t be tempted to splash water using your feet, Try to keep your legs under the water and concentrate on moving your feet at a faster pace and not higher.
— Andrea Davis Pinkney (@AndreaDavisPink) July 8, 2016
Here’s to the lazy ones who are experts at chilling at the poolside, resting their elbows on the edge of the pool. Well, you can burn calories tone your muscles without leaving your favorite spot through bicycle workout.
Aside from pool edges, you can rest your elbows on a water noodle. All you have to do is move your legs in a pedaling motion as if you’re riding a bicycle. The water adds extra work for your core, shoulders, and legs so try to focus and keep from floating away.
Pool Lateral raises
Pool-based lateral raise exercise is one of the best alternatives to the challenging butterfly stroke. By using dumbells or even kettlebells in the water, you’ll be able to develop your deltoids and tone your shoulders as well.
Hold weights at your side. With your back straight and core braced, slowly raise the weights out to the side until your arms are parallel to the floor. Lower them gently and repeat.
If you’re looking for a more vigorous pool cardio workout, try the 180-degree squat which requires more coordination and core work.
Grab a flotation device, like clipping a buoyancy belt around your waist or straddling pool noodles, to maintain your buoyancy. Star with your feet apart. Bring both knees toward your chest as if you’re performing a deep squat. Then press your legs back down and twist your body to a half turn (180 degrees) in the water. Establish every landing position to avoid wobbling side to side or front and back, and get dizzy. Repeat back and forth.
Author Bio: Despite her busy daily routine, Carmina Natividad still manages to find time for a little self-pampering. Aside from hitting the pool during the weekends, she also finds interest in writing articles focused on health and wellness. She is now one of the writers for Swimprint, a go-to shop for swimming enthusiasts in the UK