One thing about watching the Summer Olympics that seems very apparent; swimmers are very lean athletes. Swimming has always been a great workout. Plus when the weather is warmer like in the summer, swimming is a very nice to exercise without getting all sweaty.
So if you have access to a pool maybe it is time to take your exercise routine to the water!
The Cardio Workouts
Cardio is the most basic thing to do in a pool. Swimming is great for burning calories as well as strengthening your lungs. As most people aren’t regular swimmers you will quickly find it really works the back, core, hips, and upper legs. Swimming laps using the various strokes is a great way to burn calories and tone up.
Walking and running can also be done in the water. It might look a little odd but it is a great workout. Many professional athletes use the pool for running when coming back from leg injuries to strengthen muscles while lessening impact.
You can also do interval training in the pool. Swim a lap as fast as you can, followed by walking a lap in the pool (or swim two laps and walk one, etc). This will provide a form of interval training. You can add kick-boarding in as well to really mix things up.
The Muscle Toning Exercises
There are actually quite a few ways to tone muscles in a pool. Let’s look at them:
- Pullups – Grab the side of the pool and do standard chin-ups to get your head past the edge of the pool.
- Squats – In the shallow end of the pool (or deep if you want to hold your breath) you can do no weight squats. For more difficulty try them on one leg. Balancing in water is a bit easier after all.
- Lunges – Just like doing squats except take big steps.
- Knee Pulls – Move to the edge of the pool and grab the side. You can float on your stomach or back. Then with your feet together draw your knees up to your chest and push back out to work the lower abs.
- Pylometric Jumps – Perform a squat in the water but instead of rising up instead explode up and jump as high out of the water as you can.
There are lots of fitness programs designed around working out in a pool. You can buy different pieces of equipment such as water weights and other forms of resistance that allow you to do more standard exercises in the water. Or you can just make up your own stuff for fun. Really any type of movement that is difficult can be turned into an exercise. Get creative and ingenious to have some fun in the pool as well as getting yourself a good workout.