5 Ways to Work Multiple Muscle Groups in the Pool
Summer is here, and dips in the pool are a sure way to beat the heat. You can use your pool time to the fullest by also incorporating some great exercises. Improve agility, balance and cardiovascular fitness all at once!
Why is working out in the pool so beneficial? Buoyancy assists in supporting your weight, which decreases the amount of weight-bearing force and stress placed on the joints. Additionally, many types of conditions greatly benefit from pool exercise, including arthritis, fibromyalgia, back pain, joint replacements, and neurological and balance conditions.
Let’s dive into five exercises you can do in the pool:
- Water walking: Walk forward, backward and sideways to engage muscles in your legs as well as your core. The faster you walk, the more resistance the water will provide. Your speed can be increased to a run if comfortable. If you’re just starting out, do this exercise for 3-5 minutes. Eventually, work your way up to 10 minutes as you gain experience.
- Deep water bicycle: Use one or two pool noodles around your back, or sit on the noodle so there is an equal amount of the noodle in front of you and behind. Tighten your core to maintain balance and upright posture while floating in the water. Move your legs like you are sitting on a bicycle. Perform this exercise for 3-5 minutes.
- Shoulder flexion/extension: Start by standing with your arms at your sides, palms facing forward. Slowly lift your arms straight in front of you with your palms facing up. Pause at the top of the water, then turn palms facing down and lower your arms to the starting position. Continue for 3 sets of 10 reps each.
- Body twist: Begin with your arms straight out in front of you, elbows extended and palms facing each other. Tighten abdominals and turn your body to one side and then to the other side. Move slowly to engage the muscles in your core. Continue for 3 sets of 10 reps each.
- Marching: Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, with knees bent. Lift your left foot off the ground in a slow, controlled motion. Return your foot to the ground and repeat with the right leg. Add variations by lifting the opposite arm above your head. Avoid moving your trunk by using core muscles. If you’re just starting out, do this exercise for 2 minutes. Eventually, work your way up to 5 minutes as you gain experience.
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