Exercising in the water offers a different kind of workout. Water exercises provide the resistance you’ll need to build and tone muscle without having a heavy impact on your joints like running or walking do. If you have access to a pool or even a lake or the beach, try some of the most common water exercises.
It may seem simple, but just walking through water can be an effective resistance and toning exercise, since your muscles have to work harder to move through the water than on land. Use a part of the pool where the water is about waist high, and use long, exaggerated movements to walk to the other side of the pool. The water will likely cause you to want to walk on your tiptoes, but focus on keeping your feet flat to the ground as you walk. Move your hands front to back as you walk. Walk four widths of the pool and take a break.
It will help keep you afloat, but treading water can also give you a cardio and resistance workout. Find a deep section of the pool where your feet cannot touch the bottom, and let your body go under the water until just your head and neck are above the water level. Make small circles with your hands to help keep your head above water. Point one leg straight down toward the floor of the pool with the toes pointed downward as well. Bring the other leg up so it is perpendicular to the floor of the pool and hold for five seconds. Quickly switch legs and hold for another five seconds. Repeat these actions for 30 seconds.
If you’re looking for a quality core workout in the water, the otter roll is effective. Using a standard size beach or exercise ball, hold it tightly in your arms, and float on your back in the water with your legs crossed over one another. Take a deep breath and tighten your abs. Use them to roll your body over so you are face down in the water, then use your abs again to roll over onto your back again. Exhale and take another deep breath and repeat this motion for 30 seconds, focusing on using your abs, not your arms or legs, to turn your body over in the water.
About this Author
James Patterson specializes in health and wellness topics, having written and produced material for the National Institutes of Health, the President’s Cancer Panel, and an Inc. 500 Hall of Fame company. He is also a former sportswriter, with writing experience in basketball, baseball, softball, golf and other popular sports, and writes relevant sports titles.