Winning Water Workouts
By Michelle Hoeing, RDN LN
Water exercises are great workouts, especially for people who suffer from joint pain that makes it difficult to walk or stand for long periods of time. Engaging in water aerobics, or water exercises of any kind, provides an intense, muscle-building fitness regime that burns calories. Here are a few tips to consider before planning water exercise:
1. Consider the water level: different exercises are appropriate in different depths.
2. You can wear water shoes or gloves to increase resistance and intensity.
3. Make sure to maintain good posture and use proper form while engaging in the water exercises in order to reap the benefits.
4. Warm up your muscles on land or in the pool in order to prevent injury. Even though water exercises reduce the stress on your joints, it is still possible to strain a muscle without proper warm up. These exercises might include jumping jacks, jumping rope, a light walk or jog on land, or treading water in the pool.
5. Consider incorporating different exercises and tools such as using paddleboards, noodles, water weights, and one’s own body weight.
The following are a few moves to get you started:
Noodle Knee Tucks: Jump into the deep end of the pool with your noodle wrapped around your upper back and under your armpits. Bring the ends forward and hold on. Extend your legs with your toes pointed toward the bottom of the pool. Contract your abs and lift your knees to your chest, pause for two counts, then return to the starting position. Perform 20 reps or until fatigued.
Resistance with Kickboards: Standing up straight with water just below the chest, spread legs shoulder-width apart and tighten abdominal muscles. Extend your right arm, holding the kickboard on each end. Keeping your left elbow close to your body, move the kickboard to the center of the body and then return to the starting position. Repeat 12-15 times or until fatigued, then switch arms and perform on the left side of the body.
Flutter Kick: Simply hold onto the side of the pool and lift the back of your body into a floating position face-down with your head above the water. Move your legs in a kicking/swimming motion while holding onto the side of the pool. Kick for 30 seconds or until fatigued.
For your safety, never swim alone. Bring a work-out partner with you for a more fun and enjoyable experience.