Get fit with these summer pool workouts
Looking for a new way of getting in a great cardio and strength workout? Look no further than your back yard or community pool.
Not only is exercising in water fun, but it’s easy on the joints because the buoyancy of water supports your body. Plus, water provides 360-degree natural resistance, so your muscles are engaged more fully, working harder than on dry land, and a calorie burner booster.
If it’s been a while since you’ve entered a pool, start with easier moves first. As you get more confident in your water abilities, work up to the more challenging exercises.
Water Walking, Jogging or Marching
Walk your way into waist-high or chest-high water. Walk 10-20 steps forward and then the same distance backward. You can intensify the workout by gently jogging instead of walking. Switch between jogging for 30 seconds and walking for 30 seconds. Aim for a five-minute workout. You can also march in place, swinging your arms by your sides. If you get winded, take a break and then start marching again.
For a bigger challenge, walk in deeper water, which will increase resistance. Begin walking for a minute or two and rest for a minute. You can build your time as your fitness level rises.
Full body lunge and stretch
Stand in waist-deep water with your feet under your hips and arms at your side. Step your right foot forward and lower your left knee toward the bottom of the pool. Then return to the original position. Repeat the sequence using your left foot. Try for 8 to 10 times with each leg.
This exercise builds flexibility and strength in arms, shoulders, front and back of thighs, and rear muscles.
Face the pool wall and stand upright. Take sideways steps, keeping the body and toes facing the wall. Take 10 to 20 steps and then return to your original position.
Stand in chest-deep water. With your back toward the side of the pool, bend your arms and rest your elbows on the deck or gutter to help stabilize your body. While standing, begin bending your knees to pedal an imaginary bike. Aim for 10 reps, but once you feel tired, rest for up to three minutes.
In addition to helping you burn calories, the movement helps strengthen and tone your legs, shoulders and core.
The Noodle Plank
Remain in the shallow end of the pool. Using both hands, hold the water noodle close to your chest with your arms partially bent. Push your feet off the pool bottom and allow your extended legs to float upward to the water surface behind you. Hold the plank position as long as you can. Only use flutter kicks when it’s necessary to remain horizontal.
This exercise helps build your core strength, tightens abs and improves flexibility.
A variation is to hold the noodle with both hands shoulder length apart. With your toes on the pool floor, straighten your elbows and lean forward to submerge the noodle in front of you. Your body should be straight and diagonal to the pool floor. Hold the position as long as you can and then repeat several times.
TOPS Club, Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), the nonprofit weight-loss support organization, is a proponent of exercising in water. Visitors are welcome to attend their first TOPS meeting free of charge. Membership is affordable, starting at $49 per year. Drop by one of the meetings below, call 765-621-8700 or visit Tops.org for more information.
TOPS 82 meets at Grace Point Church, 606 28 3/4 Road.
Wednesdays | 9 a.m. | 970-523-0241
TOPS 458 meets at Community of Christ Church, 2880 B 1/2 Road.
Tuesdays | 1 p.m. | 970-628-4981
TOPS 331 meets at Calvary Baptist Church, 1290 A St., Delta.
Thursdays | 9 a.m. | 765-621-8700
TOPS 52 meets at Hillcrest Congregational Church, 611 S. Hillcrest Drive, Montrose.
Mondays | 5:30 p.m. | 765-621-8700
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