In my previous blog, I explained how pool exercises are beneficial and what precautions should be taken before starting off on them. In the current blog, I am going to tell you about few aqua exercise that you can do.
Let’s get started with some amazing Pool exercises
- Aqua walking: You might start with water walking. In water about waist high, walk across the pool swinging your arms as you do when walking on land. Avoid walking on your tip toes, and keep your back straight. Tighten your abdominal muscles to avoid leaning too far forward or to the side.
- Aqua jogging: This is deep water running and mimics. You wear a buoyancy belt, which helps you maintain an upright position as you jog or you would also need to wear a flotation vest as a beginner. One of the easiest and most effective pool workouts is water jogging. At a high intensity, you’ll burn 17 calories per minute — more than on land. It also makes you stronger.
- Water spinning: Stationary bikes are placed in a pool and one has to combat the waters resistance and pedal to go faster which can pose a challenge. Water cycling gives your legs good massage as the water hits the fat deposits on the leg and thigh muscles. It’s a high-value workout where you may burn 750 calories in just 45 minutes.
- Spiderman— Climb the pool wall like Spiderman climbs buildings. How do you do this: Stand in the water on the side of the pool. Stabilize your upper body by sweeping your hands back and forth as you run your legs up the side of the pool and back down to the pool floor. Do four Spiderman exercises, alternating the leading leg each time you reach the end of one jogging circuit.
- Arm exercise using hand webs: Hand webs can help you strengthen your biceps and triceps in the water. Wearing hand webs, stand in waist-high water with your arms down, your palms facing forward and your elbows close to your body. Raise your forearms to the level of the water, keeping your elbows close to your body and your wrists straight. Then switch direction and push your hands down until your arms are straight again. Repeat 12 to 15 times or until you’re fatigued.
- Pool plank: Planks are a proven core-strengthener on land. But, if you don’t have a strong upper body it’s hard to hold it long enough to give abdominal muscles a good workout. All that changes in a pool. Hold the noodle in front of you. Lean forward in a plank position. The noodle will be submerged under the water, and your elbows should be straight down towards the pool floor. Your feet should still be on the pool floor. Hold as long as comfortable, 15-60 seconds depending on your core strength. Repeat 3-5 times.
- One-Legged Balance
This strengthens your leg and core muscles and helps in balance. Standing in waist-high water, lift your left knee up and place the middle of a noodle under your left foot. (Its sides will float up into a U-shape.) Keep your hands by your side and balance with your left foot on the noodle for one minute. Then move your left knee out to the side and balance for another minute. Switch legs and repeat with the right knee lifted and the right foot resting on the noodle. For an extra challenge, lift both arms up over your head as you balance.
In the water, as on land, fly-backs work the muscles in the upper chest, back and arms. They also improve posture. Start in a lunge position with your right knee bent and your left leg extended straight behind you in the pool. Reach your arms straight out in front of you at chest height — palms touching, fingers extended and thumbs up. Open your arms straight out to the sides in the water, then return them to the starting position to complete one rep.
- Forward and side lunges: Stand near the pool wall for support, if necessary, take an oversized lunge step in a forward direction. Do not let the forward knee advance past the toes. Return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg. For a side lunge, face the pool wall and take an oversized step to the side. Toes should be kept facing forward. Repeat on the other side. Try 3 sets of 10 lunge steps. For variation, lunge walk in a forward or sideways direction instead of staying in place.
- Leg exercise using a noodle: To strengthen your leg muscles, tie a water noodle into a knot around your foot or water shoe. Stand with your back to the side of the pool in waist-high water, placing your arms on the edge of the pool for stability. Straighten your leg in front of you, and then flex your knee to about a 90-degree position. Return to the starting position and repeat 12 to 15 times or until you’re fatigued. Tie the water noodle into a knot around your other foot or water shoe and repeat with the other leg.
- Resistance exercise using a kickboard: Kickboards provide another type of resistance. Standing up straight with your legs comfortably apart, and tighten your abdominal muscles. Extend your right arm and hold the kickboard on each end. Keeping your left elbow close to your body, move the kickboard toward the centre of your body. Return to the starting position and repeat 12 to 15 times or until you’re fatigued. Then extend your left arm and repeat the exercise on the other side.
- Pool kickboxing: It is great for sculpting arms and torso. Lift one knee and kick the foot upwards which you punch forward with your other hand. Punch throughout the water resistance and kick without worrying about keeping your balance.
- Deepwater bicycle: In deeper water, loop 1-2 noodles around the back of your body and rest your arms on top of the noodle for support in the water. Move your legs as if you are riding a bicycle. Continue for 3-5 minutes.
- Push-ups: While standing in the pool by the poolside, place arms shoulder-width apart on pool edge. Press weight through your hands and raise your body up and halfway out of the water, keeping elbows slightly bent. Hold 3 seconds and slowly lower back into the pool. (Easier variation: Wall push up on side of pool: place hands on edge of pool shoulder width apart, bend elbows, and lean chest toward the pool wall.
15. Aqua Tai Chi: This water inspired version of tai chi. It involves series of deep breathing, relaxing movements that challenge balance using tai chi and Qigong (breathing techniques).Try the arms uplifting pose, moving arms from side to centre, and floating. The slow, fluid exercises reduce tension, stretch the spine and allow the chi (life force) to flow through the body. They reduce fibromyalgia and chronic pain.
Aquatic exercise can be fun at any age, size or fitness level — whether you practice it on your own or sign up for a class. Jump in. The water’s fine! Stay healthy and stay fit!