I’ll admit it. When I thought of water aerobics, the first thing that pops in my head is “old people.” Well, I may be getting older — but no matter your age, exercising in the pool is a definite must-add to your workout regime.
Swimming laps is a definite calorie burner. I’m sure you’ve read how many daily calories Olympian Michael Phelps gets to eat! And while I do not recommend eating 12,000 calories a day like he does, adding these types of water exercises to your regime will definitely storm it up in a good way!
Have you heard of water jogging, water leg lifts or side wall crunches? All are done in a pool, and they’re all low impact making it easier than ever to get fit with less likelihood of injury. While on vacation in North Carolina earlier this month, I found myself in the pool more often than running on the roads, so I started water jogging in the pool. It was fun, I wasn’t hot, and I was exercising at the same time. Who knew?!
As with all exercise, please consult a physician before beginning, but check these stomach toning pool exercises out via Fitness Republic:
1. Core Rotation
Get into the water deep enough so that your feet are flat on the bottom and only your head and tops of your shoulders are above water.
Feet should be shoulder width apart.
With your hands held in a strong, flat position (like paddles) for resistance, rotate from your hips up.
Twist as far as you can from left to right with your feet pivoting as you turn.
The faster you twist, the harder your abs and core will work.
Do 10-15 reps.
2. Side Wall Crunches
Fold a towel and lay it on the side of the pool in the shallow end.
Lift one leg at a time out of the water and onto the towel until both legs are up, and your butt is hits the side of the pool underwater.
Cross your arms at your chest and do a crunching motion.
You will have to engage your leg muscles to keep yourself steady, but it’s your abs that are doing the real isometric work.
Do 10-15 reps.
3. Superman Kicks
Hold on to the side of the pool with your hands and stretch your body out behind you in a straight line.
Keep your legs straight and kick as hard as you can.
If your legs start to sink, reengage your core muscles and lift them back up parallel to the water’s surface.
You will work your upper abs, lower abs, obliques, and lower back with this move.
Kick for 30 seconds, rest briefly and repeat.
4. Straight Leg Raise
With your backside against the side of the pool, support your body weight with your arms.
Do this in water deep enough for your legs to straighten without touching the bottom.
Start with your hips, back and heels touching the side of the pool.
With legs together and feet flexed, raise both legs and lower them back down.
This move will really tone your middle in the pool.
Do 10-15 reps.
5. Knee Tuck with a Twist
From the same starting position as the Straight Leg Raise, extend both legs out in front of you so that you’re bending from the hips at a 90-degree angle.
As you bring your knees in, twist your lower body to one side and straighten back out.
Repeat on the other side. You will feel your obliques work hard with this move.
The real challenge is to keep the motion smooth and steady – that’s how you engage and target your core.
Do 20 reps.
6. Leg Lifts
Stand in water that is chest high.
Place your right arm on the side of the pool for support as you work the left leg.
To do this lift, simply flex your left foot and lift it out to the side.
Your standing leg is the leg closest to the wall.
Do 10-15 reps on each leg.
7. Swimming Laps
Swimming laps not only creates a strong core and flat abs, it’s also a great source of cardio. And to show off that muscle definition, you want the cardio to burn off excess body fat.
Use a crawl stroke, breaststroke or backstroke.
Swimming laps for 30 minutes burns 300 calories!
8. Kickboard Workout
You don’t have to be Michael Phelps to get a good workout swimming laps.
Get a kickboard and rest your upper body on it, your hands holding on at the top.
Kick hard and fast with brief rests at each end of the pool.
Aim for 30 minutes.
9. Water Walking/Jogging (my FAVORITE!)
In water that is shoulder deep, start walking.
Your steps should be big; lift your foot hip high and step.
The slower you do this water walking, the more you will target the muscles in your abs.
The faster water “jogging” is excellent, fat torching cardio!
Aim for 100 steps.
10. Intensified Water Walk
If you have access to a kiddie pool where the water is shin-deep, try walking at as fast a pace as you can. This is a lot harder than it sounds! This move will tone your core and glutes.
Aim for 100 steps.
What water exercises do you have in your exercise regime? Are there any we should add to this list? Share in the comments section! Happy swimming!
(Photos: Kenny Holston / Flickr)