Water workouts, those that are in a swimming pool are ideal for a number of reasons. It lets you get outside to get some vitamin D and more fresh air, plus is a fun activity for the family. Pool workouts are also fun, which provides better encouragement to work out while you have a good time. This makes it much easier to stick with your workouts.
Take a look at how you can turn a swimming pool into your own gym.
What Do You Need for Your Pool Workout?
If you have access to a swimming pool, whether at home or a local gym, there are a lot of workouts you can do. The perk to having your own swimming pool is that you can bring along some fun accessories that help with your workouts. Here are some different options.
This may seem counter-intuitive because you want to use your own leg strength for swimming, but they can actually help in a number of ways. First of all, if most of your water workouts consist of fast swimming, using fins in the beginning can help with your speed and also give you a more powerful kick. They are also good for improving ankle stability. Consider adding workouts in the water with fins to your regular routine.
There are also some different types of weights that you can use while in the water. There are weights you can attach to your wrists or ankles that simply make it more difficult to do your swimming, so you are using more body weight. You can get water hand weights, which are similar to regular hand weights, but made of special material so they can work in the water.
Another swimming pool accessory you might want to get is a pull buoy. These are placed between your thighs, which then elevates you a little bit and requires you to use more upper body strength to swim, move around, and perform different types of water workouts.
The last accessory we will mention here is the common pool noodle. Typically, these are used to help keep people afloat in the pool, but you can use them to exercise as well.
Getting a Total Body Workout
The swimming pool can be a full body workout but still be something that you enjoy. Instead of just floating around, you can use a few simple moves to work your entire body, from arms to legs and even your core muscles. Here are some different workout moves to try in the pool.
Jog with High Knees
This is a simple cardio workout in the pool, but one that you can turn into a full body workout. Lift your knees up as high as you can when jogging in place, and get your arms moving as well. With the knee lifts in the pool, you are also working your core ab muscles.
Do the Bicycle
This is a good exercise when you aren’t quite ready to do actual swimming in the pool for your total body workout. It works your leg and core muscles, while also including some shoulder exercises as well. For the bicycle, you want to be closer to the deep end of the pool and stand against the side. Reach your arms out so your elbows are resting on the outside edge of the pool, and then make a bicycle motion with your legs inside the water.
While you can do the above exercises by themselves, you can also do a circuit workout that includes cardio like jogging in the pool. Besides jogging, you can include exercises like the flutter kick, squat jumps, and crunches while in the pool. Spend 20-30 minutes working through the exercises – you should get a good workout.
Turning Regular Swimming into a Workout
While there are plenty of workouts you can do in a swimming pool, you may not want to do water aerobics or play games. You can still swim as you normally would in a pool and get in a workout, with just a few adjustments.
Learn Proper Form
Sometimes you can get a workout from swimming in your pool by learning the correct form. This is when it is helpful to take some professional swimming classes. You can learn how to really use your entire body for swimming, instead of just trying to get through each lap. Reach out far so that you take larger and longer strokes, and really focus on working your legs so you can go faster and work your leg muscles harder.
With the right form, not only will you build better muscles, but you will notice you can swim laps much faster than before.
Swim Harder and Faster
If you are looking for a way to swim in the pool and improve your workout, just increase your intensity. Swim as fast as you can back and forth during laps, but really focus on your arms and legs.
Use Your Entire Body
Naturally, you get a better workout from swimming when your entire body is being used. Not only does proper form provide this for you, but you can try the frog swim as well. This uses different muscles while swimming laps in your pool. You may cross the pool slower, but the extra muscle usage is a good way to burn more fat and calories while swimming. You can also try other strokes to utilize other muscle groups.
There are weights that you can use while in the pool, including those attached to your body. If swimming laps, you don’t want to hold the barbells but instead can use weights that you put on your wrists or ankles
Pool Noodle Water Workouts
We mentioned purchasing a pool noodle about. Here are several exercises that incorporate pool noodles.
Noodle Push and Pull
The Noodle Push and Pull normally focuses on the upper body, but with a few small changes, can be easily converted into a complete body workout. To perform this exercise, you need to be in chest-deep water. Hold the noodle close to your chest beneath the water. Your palms should be facing downward. Push the noodle down deeper into the water until your arms are completely extended. Slowly allow it to rise in the water to define reps. To convert the noodle push and pull into a full body exercise, walk around in the water as you perform it.
Pool Noodle Running
Go to the side of the pool that has waist deep water. Place the noodle at your belt area and bend it into the shape of a U with the prongs facing forward. Run through the water so that the noodle creates a hefty amount of resistance. Move steadily through the water a speed that allows you to feel the resistance, from one side to the other. Repeat until you raise your heart rate for about 5 minutes. Rest, then repeat the exercise for another 5 minutes. This will build leg muscle and strengthen your core.
Go to the deeper end up the pool so that you can float somewhat. Use the pool noodle to stabilize yourself so that you can comfortably raise your legs using your abs. Bring your knees up to your chest as far as you can go, hold for two seconds then release. Rest for a minute, then repeat the tucks for ten repetitions. If you want to make this exercise more intense, double your reps and alternate with pool noodle running. This will engage more of the body for a more complete workout.
Family-Friendly Pool Workouts
Water workouts shouldn’t just be for you, but the whole family! They are great not only for weight loss, but for maintaining good physical health, and of course having fun at the same time. Family workouts can use different games and activities, so it doesn’t feel like a workout.
Play the Water Bottle Game
This is a great game to play in the pool with your family since all it requires is a 2-liter plastic bottle without a label that you can fill with water. Instead of using regular tap water, you do want to use water from your swimming pool. A bottle with a white cap is best, since you want it to become practically invisible in the pool.
Drop the bottle into the middle of the pool and have everyone in the family dive into the water to try to get it. It blends in with the water since there is no label and a white cap. It is a challenging game that’s also a lot of fun.
Pretending to Be Mermaids
If you have kids that love mermaids, they’ll really enjoy this one. You can pretend to be mermaids, or even dolphins if your kids prefer. All you need to do is swim underwater while holding your breath and try to see who can stay under the water the longest. If you do it closer to the deep end, you will need to swim underwater during the game, which burns more calories.
This is a game of tag you can play in the swimming pool with any size group of people. One swimmer is going to be the ‘shark’ while the others are the swimmers. You can make it as simple or complex as you want. The basic game involves the shark player trying to tag the swimmers. The final swimmer left can be the winner of each round of this game.
Now that summer is here, many of you will be spending a lot of time in the pool. Incorporate these exercises to make your pool time both fun and healthy.
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