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Pool Exercises for a Full Body Water Workout
If you’re going to work out in your pool you may want to consider buying some exercise equipment made for the pool. Here are some ideas and recommendations for buying pool workout gear. There is a lot more equipment we won’t cover in this article, like pool exercise bikes, so maybe we’ll try that out next time:
- Wrist or Ankle Weights. These strap-on weights can increase the resistance of your arm and leg movements in the water.
- Foam Dumbbells. Lightweight when dry, they become heavy when you put them in water.
- Hand Paddles or Resistance Gloves. Both types of equipment can boost your strength training in water.
- Kickboard. A great tool for many drills, it allows you to hold on and stay afloat while doing core and lower body workouts.
- Buoyancy Belt. This can keep your head above water so you can do arm exercises without treading water.
- A Rubber Ball. Rubber balls can be used for 2 arm overhead throws, extra resistance, and stability.
Pool exercises for a full-body workout
Walking in water is a good exercise to start off with as it helps you get a feeling for how you can create resistance. Walking in water can target your arms, core, and lower body. You can increase the intensity by using hand or ankle weights.
Start off walking in shallow water, around waist height.
Lengthen your spine and walk by putting pressure on your heel first and then your toes, instead of walking on your tiptoes.
Keep your arms at your side, in the water, and move them as you walk.
Engage your core and stand tall as you walk.
Continue walking for 5-10 minutes.
Water arm lifts
This exercise will help strengthen the muscles in your arms. Using foam dumbbells will help add more resistance.
Stand in water up to your shoulders.
Hold the dumbbells at your side, with your palms facing up.
Draw your elbows in close to your torso as you lift your forearms to the height of the water.
Rotate your wrists to turn your palms face down.
Lower your arms back to the starting position.
Do 1-3 sets of 10-15 reps for each exercise.
Back wall glide
This exercise helps to activate the muscles in your core and lower body.
Hold onto the pool ledge, tuck your knees into your chest, and press your feet into the wall.
Push off from the wall and float on your back as far as you can.
Draw your knees into your chest, press your feet down to the bottom of the pool, and run back to the wall.
Continue this exercise for 5-10 minutes.
Jumping jacks work the muscles in both your upper and lower body. You can add resistance with wrist and ankle weights.
Stand in water at chest level.
Start with your feet together and your arms at your side.
Jump by moving your legs outward and, at the same time, bringing your arms over your head.
Jump again to return to the starting position with your feet together and your arms at your side.
Do 1-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions.
This dynamic exercise works your core, low back, and legs.
Keep your feet off the bottom of the pool during this exercise.
Tuck your knees into your chest.
Explosively press your feet and legs out in front and float flat on your back.
Draw your knees back into your chest.
Press your legs out behind you so you’re floating on your stomach.
This is 1 repetition. Do 1-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions.
High-knee lift extensions
This exercise can strengthen the muscles in your core and lower body. Add ankle weights to increase the difficulty.
Stand in water at waist height.
Engage your core as you lift your right leg, bending your knee until your leg is level with the water.
Pause with your leg lifted for a few seconds.
Extend your leg straight out and hold this position for a few seconds.
Slowly lower your leg down, keeping it straight.
Repeat this move with your left leg.
Continue for 5-10 minutes.
This exercise works the muscles in your core and legs. Use ankle weights to make it more challenging.
Hold onto the pool ledge or hold a kickboard.
Flutter-kick your legs.
Scissor-kick your legs open and closed.
Do a breaststroke kick with your legs.
Follow with dolphin kicks.
Do each kick for 1-3 minutes.
This move might look simple, but it’s sure to work your entire upper body, including your chest, back, triceps, and shoulders. How hard can lifting yourself in and out of the pool be, right? It’s more challenging than you think.
How to do tricep dips: Place your palms flat on the pool’s edge or grab the gutter. Engaging your arms and shoulders, press yourself up as high as you can by straightening your arms. Hold this position for a few seconds. Keeping elbows close to the body, lower yourself until elbows form 90-degree angles. Don’t let your feet touch the pool bottom.
Raise and lower yourself for 10 to 20 reps.
10. Bicep Curls
This move is quite easy but the water-resistance really adds a lot of work to the bicep. Having the water dumbells is, of course, essential to this routine, but making a fist and forcing the bicep while lifting in the water is effective too. It’s also more challenging than you think.
Start at your sides arm fully flexed and curl away for 10 to 20 reps.
10. Overhead Ball Throws
This move is really as simple as taking a medium-size rubber ball and holding it overhead with both hands. Lowering the ball behind your head and then throwing forward tightening your abs will be great for mid-body work. The other part of this exercise is having someone joining you to throw it back.
Start slowly, this exercise is not a common movement. 10 to 20 reps.
Working out in the pool can create more sweat more than you realize working out in water, so stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids before and after you work out.
Also if your alone be particularly cautious as injuries in the pool can result in drowning. Use a floatation device if you’re not a strong swimmer, like a buoyancy belt or floatation vest.
Avoid working out in a pool that’s heated above 90°F (32°C).
Stop exercising if you feel:
lightheaded or dizzy
unable to breathe
faint or weak
pain or pressure in your chest or upper body
The bottom line
Water workouts are an effective way to boost your cardio fitness while also strengthening the major muscle groups in your body. Pool exercises are especially helpful for anyone with joint issues or injuries, as well as those who are pregnant or have balance trouble. You can also swim between sets to create more of a HItT type exercise.
Always Speak to your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine, or if you have any health concerns.