7 exercise routines that are even better to do in the swimming pool
Water-based fitness can be both invigorating and relaxing, and because it thoroughly works muscles while being gentle on your joints, it’s an ideal form of healthy exercise.
Based on your needs and interests, you have a number of options to choose from. Even those who have never done swimming pool exercises can find and quickly adapt to a new exercise routine.
Let’s take a look at some popular kinds of gym- and land-based activities that offer additional benefits when done in the water.
Typically performed in shallow water, aerobics in a pool involves many of the moves found in an aerobics class at the gym. This swimming pool exercise creates resistance for your muscles to work against, but its buoyancy makes this workout easier on your joints. Another perk: In the water, you will get your heart rate up—all while staying cool without sweating.
As if kick boxing wasn’t challenging enough, doing it in the pool ups the ante with the addition of water resistance. Performing reps of jabs, hooks, punches, uppercuts, and undercuts will tone, sculpt, and shape your upper body in a serious way. For your legs, run in place, backward and forward, adding reps of kicks and jumps. Despite its intensity, aqua kickboxing—like all pool exercises—is gentle on joints.
Pilates in the water, or “Poolates,” offers many of the benefits of the land-based version, but without the need for mats and special equipment. Integrating concentration, relaxation, and special breathing techniques, Poolates helps sharpen your mind. It also does a body good by enhancing your posture, balance, stability, and flexibility while strengthening muscles—specifically your core (or in Pilates lingo, your “powerhouse”.)
4. Resistance Training
In a pool, some level of physical challenge is inherent due to the water resistance. An additional benefit: The resistance automatically works out opposing muscle groups, which does not occur with all forms of land-based resistance training. For a more vigorous routine, you can up the resistance with bands, weights, or by simply using your own body weight.
5. Tai Chi
Doing the flowing Tai Chi moves in a swimming pool is a great way to improve neuromuscular function from the water resistance while simultaneously enhancing your balance, mental focus, and proprioceptive awareness. The support provided by water makes this ancient form of exercise even more comfortable for the elderly and those with physical challenges.
Surrounded by water and the buoyancy it provides, yoga moves done in a swimming pool are even more comfortable than regular yoga. It’s a low-impact way to work your core muscles while improving flexibility and coordination. While you remain partially submerged at all times, some poses may involve reaching part of your body out of the water; for example, you perform cobra pose while chest-deep in water holding onto the side of the pool (the perimeter coping).
7. Weight Lifting
Weight lifting in a swimming pool lends a degree of water resistance while providing support to those with joint problems. You can use special water weights, such as dumbbells, that are made from Styrofoam or other water-absorbent material and are specifically designed for use in swimming pools. Done properly, weight training in the water can be a great option to challenge your muscles with less chances of injury.
Before starting any exercise routine, it’s smart to consult a professional to ensure you are executing the moves properly and do not aggravate any existing conditions.