Exercise Routines That Are All Wet!

September 7, 2013
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swimming for healthLooking for something different and splashingly refreshing for your exercise routine?  Be a kid again and jump in the pool. Not to just float or play around… we’re talking about real honest exercise here that can help you lose weight and gain muscle.

swimming for healthLooking for something different and splashingly refreshing for your exercise routine?  Be a kid again and jump in the pool. Not to just float or play around… we’re talking about real honest exercise here that can help you lose weight and gain muscle.  And, if the outdoor pools are closing this weekend in your neck of the woods, many fitness facilities have pools and offer organized aqua exercise programs.

These exercises can be particularly beneficial for those of us over 50 who might have some joint issues or who want a lower impact workout. However these exercise modes will also help. And there are several options available, for example:

Take a Few Strokes

Well, I guess this is the obvious one, but a great workout nonetheless. 

If you know how to swim and you’ve got a decently smooth stroke, swimming laps is a terrific workout. Of course you’ll get a great cardio workout, but swimming is also excellent for building strength. The resistance of the water and just staying afloat will keep your muscles pumping. And what a great stretching your muscles will get to boot!

Water Walking

This one is a favorite for people who include walking outdoors as a normal part of their fitness regimen, and you’ll get a bonus when walking in the water. Like with swimming, the resistance against your legs and lower body will get the heart pumping and strengthen those leg and hip complex muscles. Just be sure to be in the water at least up to your waist. Want more? Just like when you walk on your favorite trail, move those arms in cadence with your gait, swinging your arms below the water line and back up again.

Want even more? Try a deeper part of the water for even more resistance. But if you’re a little uncertain, just start out gradually like you would with any other exercise you’ve never tried.

This is a low impact exercise, appropriate for all fitness levels, so it is perfect for those 50 plus folks who need to watch their joints are haven’t been active for some time. But walking is a natural movement practiced since we were toddlers, so it takes very little learning now.

Water Jogging/Running

Yep, you read correctly. For the more advanced, the avid jogger or runner, test your resolve and make some real waves. Just be respectful of the gal or guy in the next lane and don’t create a full blown wake!

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Even though you’re bookin’ it faster than those who are pool walking, this is still low impact, particularly when compared to the pavement. Besides staying cooler in the heat, this will be a welcome break from the normal drill. This can also be a recuperative routine if you’re recovering from a jogging or running related injury, just take it slowly (maybe walk like above) to repair the injury, not repeat the injury.

water exercise classWater Exercise Classes

We know what you’re thinking… isn’t that for old folks? That depends on what you define as old… death is old. But you’re not if you keep moving, and don’t think just because you lift weights that you won’t get a good workout in a water aerobics class. And don’t worry, you won’t get bored.

Today there are all kinds of creative water workout class routines, from slow and graceful aquatic dancing to high intensity deep water aerobics. There’s even Zumba-Agua and cycling under water (the bike, not you) classes. The possibilities are only limited by the imagination. And speaking of that…

The fit happens Water Workout

Here’s a workout you won’t find (yet) in our dozens of Online Personal Trainer routines, but this can be a good once a week addition to mix in with one of our 2-3 day routines.

Yes your body is buoyant, but again, the water provides a good deal of resistance. So try these “body weight” exercises in a circuit fashion for a workout your muscles will remember tomorrow with just a little soreness, the “good soreness” –

  1. Warm Up as You Cool Down – Just like starting any day’s workout, warm up first. So rather than using the indoor treadmill, walk or jog in the water a bit as described above.
     
  2. Pushup Out of The Water – This is really a little more like an incline press than a pushup, but even if the angle is new to you, you’ll work the same muscles…just a little differently. Stand at the side of the pool facing the decking. Place your hands on the side of the pool at shoulder width, just like doing a regular pushup, then step pack until your body is at about a 60 degree angle. Lower your body, keeping your abs and glutes engaged, legs and back in line, then push back up to the starting position. You’ll find that extra resistance provided by the water adds challenge. Perform as many reps as you desire.
     
  3. Squat, But Not Below the Water Line – In waist deep water, with your feet shoulder-width apart, raise your arms straight forward to shoulder height to provide a bit more balance. Squat down as you normally would until your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle, but make sure that your mouth remains above the water line. Again here the water will add a bit more resistance to this body weight move. Perform as many reps as you desire.
     
  4. Hamstring Kicks – Hold on to the edge of the pool with your legs fully extended as if floating and simply alternately kick your legs back and forth in a scissors fashion, but focusing on the lower leg. This will work your hamstring similarly like a leg curl. Perform as many reps as you desire.
     
  5. Floaty Pushdowns – Grab a small floatation device like a kickboard or pool noodle and stand in the water at elbow depth. Grasp the kickboard on opposite sides, or the noodle at shoulder width. With both hands push the device below the water until your arms are fully extended or as deep as you can. You’ll find that “little floaty” to be quite a buoyant challenger. Perform as many reps as you desire.
     
  6. Arm Swing Curls – Stand in the water at near shoulder depth with your arms fully extended down at your sides. With your palms facing forward curl your arms as you would a dumbbell to near shoulder height. Your flat palm and the water will provide the resistance. Perform as many reps as you desire.
     
  7. Floating Leg Raises – With your back to the pool wall, lower your body in the water until your shoulders are at the water line and your toes just reach the pool floor. Extend your arms out along the wall, holding onto the wall. Keep your shoulders against the wall and your body against the wall under the water. Now lift your legs from the hips, raising them toward the surface. For more resistance keep lifting your legs until your toes peak out of the water. Your abs will, as they say, feel the burn, as you stay cool.
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Give each of these exercises about 8-12 repetitions before moving on to the next exercise. Then do it again 2-3 times for a full-body circuit workout ala agua!