Water Exercise: Fitness in Your Own Backyard!

09/24/2015 | Categories: Outdoor Living, Pool Fun, Sunshine Fun Pools

Water Exercise: Fitness in Your Own Backyard! | Sunshine Fun

In addition to swimming, there is a wide variety of awesome water exercise that can be done in the pool to completely revolutionize your physical fitness.

Have you been agonizing over the need to incorporate exercise into your schedule, yet frustrated by a lack of time and opportunity? If you have a backyard pool, the answer to your dilemma could literally be just steps away! In addition to swimming- a fantastic cardiovascular workout- there is a wide variety of awesome water exercise that can be done in the pool to completely revolutionize your physical fitness.

Why Exercise in the Water?

Experts agree that water exercise is some of the most gentle and low-impact, and yet highly effective for several reasons. First, water is much denser than air, creating gentle resistance to even the smallest movement, maximizing physical exertion. The same activities burn more calories when performed in water than on land.

Another great advantage of water exercise is the buoyancy factor. Water virtually eliminates the effects of gravity, supporting as much as 80% of body weight in a controlled fashion. This makes it the perfect exercise method for anyone suffering back or joint pain. It also allows for a greater range of motion, increases balance and strength, and prevents injury caused by unintended movements or falls.

Two women using foam float bars to perform water exercises.

What Exercises Can You Do In the Pool?

If you are starting at a very basic level of fitness or if you are hampered by complications such as injuries or handicaps, a good place to start is water walking. You may be surprised how simply walking from one end of the pool to the other can get your heart rate up and burn calories! As your ability progresses, up the intensity by raising knees higher with each step, swinging your arms through the water, or increasing speed to a jogging pace.

A wide range of familiar aerobic exercises can be adapted to use in the pool. From the old gym class standards, to yoga or Pilates, try out moves and exercises, experimenting to see which provide beneficial resistance. Below are some suggested water exercises to get you started. These are some safe stretches as well as some moves targeted to strengthen the vital core muscles of the abdomen and back. As the weather cools, many advantageous exercises can even be performed in a warm spa!

Standing Knee-to-Chest

With left hand holding the top of the swim spa wall at your side and left knee slightly bent, extend the right leg forward into water. Bring knee toward chest. Straighten leg. Repeat 10x. Switch sides.

Standing Leg Raises

In same position as Standing Knee-to-Chest, keep right leg mostly straight as you lower foot to floor. Raise leg. Repeat. Switch sides.

Float Push

Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and abdominal muscles contracted, hold a pool noodle on the water’s surface with both hands. With slow, controlled motions, push noodle under surface about six inches and return to surface. Repeat.                                                                                                                                                         For greater resistance, use a dense foam swim bar.

Treading Water

Wearing a flotation belt around waste, lean back, raise toes just above water level and tread water with arms. To work oblique muscles, bring alternating knees toward chest while treading, keeping toes above water. If available, tread against a propulsion current as ability increases.

Oblique Crunches

With two pool noodles around back and under arms, grasp noodles with both hands and lay backwards, extending legs out in front. Bring knees most of the way to chest. Extend legs out and to left side. Crunch knees back toward chest, then extend legs out to right side. Repeat.

Did you know that you can burn as many as 400 calories per hour just playing in the pool? From the above ideas to simply splashing around with your kids, there are countless enjoyable ways to get beneficial physical exercise in the pool. Don’t have a pool? To build a beautiful aquatic exercise zone in your own backyard, call the pool and spa professionals at Sunshine Fun today!


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