Swimming has a certain aesthetic; the feel of the water bouncing against your skin, the smell of the pool, ocean, lake, or wherever you like to swim, and the weightlessness of being suspended without placing effort on joints. While in the water, you can achieve a full-body workout, boost cardio, without straining. Mix up your gym routine with a pool workout!
Dror Vaknin, fitness expert, University of Tampa assistant cross-country coach, and elite masters runner, says that “Cardiowise, swimming works miracles.” Water acts as resistance to build, lengthen and firm muscle groups. Like most workouts, begin at your own fitness level. Working out in the water allows you to increase intensity over time. You will learn the power of your arms, hips and core to keep you in motion and afloat.
As with any workout, form and technique is important. Learning intentional movements will produce greater cardio results and allow you to stay in the water for a longer period of time. You want to work all muscle groups, learn how to lengthen strokes and reduce drag (sinking), and how to optimize breathing. Fitness expert and author, Joe Morell, teaches you how to perfect your form/technique while in the water. Morell, a competitive swimmer, will guide you through the process of building your fitness level in the water. Learn the basics first, and then move on to interval workouts and drills.
Try this 30 minute basic pool workout for abs. It is an example that can help you to get started. Remember to tuck in tummy muscles for tighter abs. Intentionally breath and move through the water, focusing on the fluidity of your movements. You can modify the workout for your fitness needs. Get on your game, grab your suit and lets go…
10 Minutes – Warm Up
The basis of any great workout is the warm up. Begin by swimming at your fitness level, at an easy pace, for 10 minutes. This will increase your heartrate and prepare for
2 Minutes – Dolphin Kick
Turn flab into muscle. Dolphin Kicks hone in on legs, hips and glutes. While in the water, start with both hands holding on to the edge of the pool, tummy down in the water. Extend your legs behind you, floating in the water. With legs together, kick up and down in a steady motion.
2 Minutes – Water Crunches
Water crunches require a lot of core strength (not for beginners). The water will keep your upper body buoyant; however, you will have to work to stay afloat. Place your legs on the pool deck, with knees bent, so that your back is in the water – in crunch position. Using ab muscles, crunch up and out of the water. Try to do the exercise without splashing. Do one minute of crunches (about 10 to 12 reps), rest, then continue to complete 2 minutes of water crunches.
2 Minutes – Otter Roll
The Otter Roll requires balance and stability. It works abs through resistance and the fact that you have to use muscle groups to stay afloat. Just like it sounds, you will ‘roll’ in the water like an otter. Begin in the water, away from the sides of the pool. On your back, in a float position, cross your legs and cross your arms over your chest. Roll your entire body in the water, first to the left, returning to float position. Complete 10 to 12 rolls, rest, and repeat on the right side.
2 Minutes – Leg Lifts
This is an easier exercise and one that is recommended for beginners looking to maximize and firm abs using water resistance. Begin in the shallow end of the pool, close to the deck edge, where the water comes up to your chest. With your back facing the pool edge, place your forearms on the deck edge. Legs straight and together, raise legs parallel to the pool floor. Hold for eight seconds (or more for advanced exercise). Return to start position, rest, repeat 10 to 12 reps.
2 Minutes (or longer) – Cool Down
Don’t just jump out of the pool. Take time to cool down, relax and breathe. Swim at your leisure; enjoy the water and the fact that you just completed your workout. Enjoy the aesthetics of the pool and meditate for a moment on the swish of the water.
If you are not a swimmer, contact a certified swim instructor and learn the basics. Safety is always foremost. The fitness experts at SwimmingWorkouts.net offer great advice on beginning a swimming workout. They encourage new swimmers to learn the basics of being comfortable in the water while improving swim technique.
If you are a seasoned swimmer, take advantage of the twilight hours at the pool, when the pool lights reflect deep into the water and relaxation begins. Find your favorite time of the day to workout and relax. There are many swim clubs throughout the United States. Swimming is a great family activity. Most kids love the water and swimming lessons should be a top priority for every child (and adult). Learning to swim at an early age will set the stage for a lifetime of fun in the water.