Working out in a pool makes sense for several reasons. The buoyant quality of water means little to no stress on your joints, ligaments and back. Many traditional exercises cause repetitive pounding motions, and gravity is consistently making your job more difficult out of the pool as well.

These exercise negatives don’t happen when you work out in a pool or some other body of water.

That means if you are working your core, your backyard pool or the neighborhood swimming hole is the perfect place to be. In the summer you can beat the heat, and in the winter an indoor pool means a warm and enjoyable workout while it’s frosty outside. Water-based exercising also lets you literally “dive into” your workout.

Practice Some Poolates
Poolates takes the core strengthening movements of Pilates and gets them soaking wet. Poolates expert Michelle Martin points out that your abdominal and lower back muscles are continuously worked by the motion of the water fighting against you as you move. The fact that water is 12 times more resistant than air on humans means that just a few minutes of Poolates can deliver the results of an hour of Pilates. (A YouTube search for Poolates reveals plenty of moves you can try.)

The K-Tread
The Mayo Clinic recommends water training for increased resistance and reduced pressure on limbs and joints. The K-Tread was designed as a water workout that quickly stresses your core muscles, especially your obliques and abdominals. Get in over your head and tread water. Lift leg towards the surface of the water while you are treading. Do not bend at the knee. Alternate legs and hold this position for 30 seconds each repetition.

How About Aqua Karate?
Stand in water that comes up to your chest. Make sure you have stable footing. By performing underwater kickboxing and karate moves with your hands and legs, your stomach, back and the rest of your core muscles get a serious workout. Ask your local health club about Aqua Combat classes in your area if you would like some hands-on instruction.

Work Your Abs With a Kickboard
This is a great water-based exercise that employs a swimming board or kickboard. Standing in water up to your chest. Lower a kickboard into the water in front of you, in a perpendicular position. While keeping your legs straight and motionless, rotate your upper body to the left and the right, keeping the kickboard underwater. This is an excellent exercise for strengthening your core while developing that six pack abs look.

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