Water aerobics can provide you with cardiovascular benefits as well as strength-resistance training that is gentle on your joints. Due to the water's buoyancy, aerobic exercises, stretches and other movements are more fluid and less strained in the water, so you can get the benefits of a strenuous workout without stressing or injuring your body. Here are some great exercises that you can add to your pool workout:
Exercise with Pool Buoys
Stand in chest-high water with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Hold one dumbbell between your legs with both hands. Bring your knees as far up as you can by jumping in the water. Hang onto to the dumbbell while jumping to work out your abdominal muscles. Do repetitions of 10 in sets of two or three and then rest.
Stand in shoulder-deep water with your legs shoulder-width apart and firmly planted on the pool floor. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, resting them against your outer thighs. Raise each dumbbell to shoulder height and then push the dumbbells down toward your outer thighs. Repeat 10 times. Do as many sets as you are comfortable doing.
Stand in water deep enough to cover your shoulders. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and extend your arms out in front of you so they are in line with your chest. Then pull your arms back toward your chest by bending at your elbows. Repeat this biceps exercise 10 times before resting. Do as many sets as you can.
Stand in waist-high water. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, with your hands parallel to your shoulders. Raise each arm straight up and above your shoulder. Then bring your hands back down to shoulder height and repeat. For a cardiovascular workout, jog in place while you raise and drop your weighted arms.
Swim/Walk Interval Laps
Swim 1-2 laps (use any swim form you prefer: crawl, backstroke, etc). Walk 1-2 laps in the pool. Repeat sequence 4-6 times.
Stand in the water with feet about hip-width apart. Bend your knees slightly as you push your hips back as if you are sitting on a chair. Keep your knees behind your toes. Keep your feet planted firmly on the ground. Squeeze your glutes as you rise up. Return to start position and repeat. The water provides extra resistance and makes this move more challenging.
(for those with access to the ocean or a wave-simulator): Stand in knee-deep or less water. Each time a wave comes attempt to jump over it. Note: this is a more advanced move that requires good balance and strong swimming skills. Do not attempt this move unless you have experience swimming in waves.
Can be done with the use of flotation devices where your feet don’t touch the ground or the traditional way of actually jogging in the water. If using a flotation device, run in place with your feet never touching the ground. If on the ground, try running 1-2 laps and then resting for 60 seconds. It's more challenging in deep water and less in shallow water.
Exercises for Kids
Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled, and today, nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese. It is recommended that kids get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Why not spend those 60 minutes splashing in the pool this summer? Kids love to play in the water and probably won’t even realize that they are getting a great cardio workout at the same time! The best part is that the water keeps them from putting any strain on their bones and joints that they would experience during normal exercises. To keep your kids moving in the pool while beating the summer heat, visit our Pool Toys and Games for the ultimate pool day!
For more water aerobics ideas, head to our Water Aerobics board on Pinterest.