Heading into the pool for a swim after a workout can be a popular option for many whether it is to work out a bit more or ease off after a session in the gym. If you are lucky enough to have water facilities where you work out, try a complete workout in the swimming pool to improve cardio fitness and increase muscle tone.
Exercising in the water is great for the whole body. There is no impact on any of our joints so can be great for sufferers of arthritis or general aches and pains in joints. The water acts as a good resistance against the body helping us to increase strength of certain muscle groups and the cooling effect of the water as you swim can help to maintain a good workout but keeping you cooler and the heart rate a bit lower…you will never know the sweat is creeping out of those pores!
Start by doing a few lengths of the pool to warm up before trying a few of the following exercises to get that body working!
Get the heart pumping by doing intervals in the pool. Do two lengths front crawl as quickly as you can and then continue with one length breast stroke as your recovery length. Aim to do 10 sets of this up and down the pool. You will feel the difference from just doing your steady lengths of the same stroke continuously.
Head down to a comfortable depth of the pool (where you are able to tread water without hitting the pool’s floor or walls). You can use a waterproof stopwatch or a sand timer to help record the time of this exercise. Use your arms and legs in a cycling motion to help keep your head above water but without using any floor or wall to keep you up. Keep them moving for 2 minutes as you tread the water. Repeat 3 times to work those muscles and keep the heart rate up.
Whether its in the deep or shallow end, lifting yourself up onto poolside can become a great toner for the arm muscles. Perhaps start in the shallow end to use your legs as extra support and head to the deeper end when your arms feel stronger. Face away from the pool wall with your palms on the top of the poolside facing your body. Lift your body out of the Walter to about waist level and lower yourself back in. Repeat for 3 sets of 15 repetitions.
Go into another area of the water where you can hold yourself into a ‘V’ position. Your head and toes should be the only part of your body that is outside the water and aiming to keep dry. Use your arms in a circular motion to help keep you a float but holding your ‘V’ shape tensing the tummy muscles to help hold the position too. Hold for 1 minute, relax and repeat again to complete 3 sets.
So there is your mini workout to complete next time you head to the swimming pool…no skipping straight to the jacuzzi!!