Pool Fitness: Water Workouts Get You Fit & Cool

By Chrissy Fink

For most of us, (at least those of us who don’t live in a place with 360 days a year of sunshine,) the last thing we want to do when the weather turns warm outside is to be cooped up in a gym. Considering that most of the country had a horrible winter, this year, in particular, we want to get out and enjoy this beautiful time of the year! Sure, you can hit the park, but if you have access to a pool – either while on vacation or at home – why not take advantage of the gorgeous weather and cool water while getting your workout in as well?

Don’t worry you’ll still have plenty of reading and floating time. But, when you’re looking to workout, give these pool workout ideas a try:

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Do Laps. It may seem basic, but whether you were once on the swim team or not, pick a lane and get swimming! You can start by using the short length and work your way up to the long length of the pool. Rotate between the strokes you know. Try challenging yourself to do 3-5 laps of free style and then move on to backstroke. When those muscles need a change, perhaps give the breaststroke a try. Not only will you be getting a cardiovascular workout, but you’ll also be using muscles you forgot you had.

Run. In the shallow end, run in short bursts, against the resistance of the water. Keep your arms under water for added resistance or above water for a faster run.

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Resistance Train. Water adds resistance, no matter what you’re doing, so all your favorite in-gym moves will feel extra hard. Mix it up by trying side and forward leg raises or squats.

Tread Water. Drag a friend to the deep-end and tread water. Even if your friend just stays on a float chatting with you, stay distracted while those legs and arms keep moving in a steady motion under water. If you need a break, go to side (or grab hold of your friend’s float) for a quick break.

Tricep Dips. Dips, no pun intended, are a great way to tone your triceps and a fun way to take a dip in the pool. Sitting on the steps of the pool, place your hands on the step above (and behind you). Keeping your arms close to your body, with your palms pressed into the step and fingers pointing down, lower your body by bending your elbow. Squeeze your triceps to lift yourself back up. Repeat until you feel the burn, (from your muscles, not the sun!)

Jump in and enjoy!

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