Feel the burn while you keep your cool by doing your aerobic exercise in a pool. Aqua aerobics reduces strain on your joints, so it's perfect for days that your knees ache or your ankles feel stiff. It gives you more bang for your exercise buck by making your whole body fight the water's resistance with every move you make. Get your heart pumping and help tone your muscles while enjoying the buoyancy of the water.
Kick start your workout by warming your muscles for exercise. Start in water at least chest deep and walk back and forth across the pool for at least five minutes. Pump your arms and lift your knees high. The resistance of the water makes this harder than you think, so you should get your heart rate up quickly.
Step up the pace by running back and forth across the pool, leaning forward slightly to help keep your balance. Water running is a low-impact way to get in your running fix. Use a buoyancy belt if necessary to help you stay right-side up.
Move into water that is a bit deeper, nearly shoulder height. Stick close to the wall so you can grab hold of it if you need to. Start with your feet together and your arms crossed in front of your stomach. As you jump straight up, open your legs so they are shoulder-width apart. Simultaneously, lift your arms to each side, but keep them under water for the most resistance. Jump up again and close your legs and arms to finish your water jumping jack. Do one to two sets of 10 reps.
Get off the floor and tread water, focusing on different muscle groups each time. Start by kicking your feet and holding your hands out to the sides, and then switch after one to two minutes so you're moving your arms in wide circles while keeping your legs still. Shift your position, making a "V" shape with your body so only your head and feet are showing above the water. Move your arms to propel you through the water slowly, keeping your abdominal muscles tight as they hold your legs up.
Throw on your goggles and grab a beach ball. Hug the ball to your chest while floating on your back, and then twist your body starting with your shoulders. Roll over in the water, holding the ball tightly against your body. Because the beach ball creates powerful resistance, you will have to use muscles throughout your body -- particularly in your core -- to roll you over until you're on your back again. Keep rolling for 30 seconds. If the beach ball is too much of a challenge when you first try this, hold a noodle flotation device instead.
Work out your aggression and tone your arms at the same time by punching under water. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with your knees slightly bent; the water should reach your shoulders when you get into position. Bend both elbows behind you with your fists beside your chest and alternate punches, keeping your arms under water. Make this harder by punching with water dumbbells, which are made of foam. They're going to want to float to the top of the water, so controlling their movement increases the intensity of the workout.
Add some leg action to your workout by backing up to the side of the pool and holding onto it behind your head. Keep your legs straight and lift them in front of you 10 times, and then turn to each side and lift the outside leg to work your abductor muscles. Wrap a noodle around your legs to pump up the resistance. While still holding on to the wall of the pool behind you, hold your legs out in front of you, level with your waist, and open and close them 10 times to work your inner and outer thighs. Hold in your abdominals tightly to keep them engaged.
Items you will need
- Buoyancy belt
- Beach ball
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