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A swimming pool is mostly known for its relaxing benefits; however, it can also be used for a great exercise tool. Simple exercises can help provide healing, gain muscle, improve strength, increase flexibility or burn some calories. If you have arthritis, back problems, joint pain, foot or knee pain, or are pregnant or obese, exercising in the water will greatly benefit you as the impact is MUCH less than on land. Water lessens the effects of gravity, so you’re able to move your body through a wider range of motion, which improves flexibility and helps heal. Below we provide you with a few simple basic moves that can get you started right away.
Running: Running in the water is a very basic yet effective exercise. Simply run back and forth, from wall to wall. Try to start with the water being at your waist level. However, by varying depth, it will either add or lessen the difficulty for you. This will help strengthen your core, legs and hips.
Noodle Bike: Sit on a noodle, in a vertical position, so that one end is in front of you and the other end is behind you. Peddle as fast as you can throughout the pool. You can either hold your hands in the air to increase the resistance to your legs and abs or use your arms to help you navigate throughout the water.
Standing Toe Touch: Stand chest deep in the water and raise one leg straight out in front of you. Try and touch your foot with your opposite hand, then switch legs. Try to keep your legs as straight as possible and do 3 sets of 10-12 on each leg.
Knee Tuck: Again, standing in water a little over waist deep, pull both knees up and tuck into your gut. Tap your knees with your hands. Put your feet back down on the bottom of the pool and do it again. Add speed to increase the intensity.
Kickboard: One of my favorites because it’s so simple, is to grab a kick board and do laps kicking. Your legs will feel this one and your heart rate will rise.
There are many more ways you can gain strength and flexibility in the water, but the above examples are a great way to get started. Exercising in the water is low-impact and can easily be tailored to anyone’s fitness level. Everyone can benefit from water exercise, regardless of age or agility.
Create your own moves, get creative, and mostly have fun!