If you're new to aquatic exercise or want to add variety to your swimming routine, do exercises with a kickboard. Using a kickboard can provide resistance as you do stationary exercises and it enables you to keep your head above water when you do kicking and swim technique exercises. Kickboards are standard equipment at most swimming pools and they're inexpensive to buy.
Stand in chest-deep water keeping your back straight and legs a comfortable distance apart. Tighten your abdominal muscles and extend your right arm out to your right side keeping your elbow close to your body. Hold the kickboard so the surface of it is parallel with the bottom of the pool. Rotate the kickboard toward the space in front of you, as if you're slowly flapping a wing from your side to your front. Repeat 12 to 15 times or until you're tired. Repeat with the left arm.
Chest and Upper Arms
Stand in shoulder-deep water with your back straight, feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Hold the sides of the kickboard under water in front of your chest and abdomen. The flat surface of the board should be flat against your chest. Your elbows will be bent and your arms should be close to your sides. Engage your abdominal muscles as you straighten your arms and push the board out in front of you. Pull the board back toward you. Keep your movements slow and smooth. Repeat 12 to 15 times.
Body Position Drill
Practice proper body alignment as you move through the water. Hold the sides of the kickboard near the bottom edge and extend the board out in front of you. Your arms will be fully extended and the kickboard should be flat on the surface of the water. Your body should form a flat, horizontal plane as you put your face in the water and begin to kick. Rotate your head out of the water to breathe. Elongate your body as you flutter kick through the water.
Practice proper backstroke form using a kickboard. Hug the kickboard to your chest so it is snug across the chest and belly. Arch backward and kick so you're doing a backstroke without moving the arms. Look at the sky or ceiling and hold your bottom up -- resist falling into a sitting position while you do this exercise.
Aline Lindemann is a health, food and travel writer. She has also worked as a social worker, preschool teacher and art educator. Lindemann holds a Master of Liberal Studies in culture, health and creative nonfiction writing from Arizona State University.