Three Great Ways To Get Fit In Your Pool
There was a movie back in the 80's called Cocoon, that featured a group of Octogenerians all flouncing around in a wading pool. The pool allegedly had supernatural powers, and gave them everlasting youth. While your average garden variety pool isn't going to keep you forever young – if you do more than float around, such as a hardcore workout, it might just keep you looking young and sexy for longer.
Here's a couple of ways to use your pool to stay fit and fabulous for decades to come. Perfect for those who hate getting all sweaty and smelly in a gym!
Increase Your Jumping Ability
Everyone from Olympic High-jumpers to little old ladies, can increase their ability to jump higher, and strengthen their lower legs in a swimming pool. This is because a pool workout has little impact on the knees and ankles. There's also exceptional resistance from the water when you jump from a standing position with weights. This means a maximum impact workout along with minimal pressure on the body.
Firstly, enter the swimming pool until it reaches up to your chest. This alleviates about 80% of the pressure on joints from your body weight. While in the water, put all of your weight into your feet, squat down and jump as high as possible. You can mix it up combining this exercise with jumping on one foot only. Another superb way to work the lower legs and increase jumping ability, is to attach weights to your ankles. Then march through the shallow end, raising your knees as high as they can go. This may sound light and easy in theory, but trust us after a few marches across the pool you will be feeling the burn!
Here's some great exercises for your thighs and bum.
Build Up Strength in Your Body
Think beyond the swimming of laps in an Olympic or half Olympic swimming pool. Although that does have a place in maintaining fitness. To build strength in your pool, you can pick up some underwater resistance bands, and use them to extend your legs and arms. The weight of the water provides additional resistance and so it's a very effective workout. Otherwise you can loop the band around a pole or any other solid object and pull to extend them. You can also get some hand buoy dumb bells that are terrific for underwater strength exercises.
Another way of working on strength building, is to combine laps with resistance exercises using the band or hand buoy dumb bells. If you combine strength exercises with some intense sprint sets, then this can really get the best of both a cardio workout and strength building.
Tone Up Your Abs in the Pool
It's the dream of every non-fit person to have rock hard abs. It's within reach if you have a swimming pool in your backyard. I bet you never imagined that! It's all about the swimming stroke that you choose. The butterfly is a very intense stroke that's great for getting rid of belly fat. As it takes its power from the core muscles in the abdomen. Another great stroke for the abs is the backstroke. This lengthens the spine and works on the oblique core muscles.
Another way to work on the abs without the intense laps, is by walking or rather marching through the pool. Raise each leg to belly button height and tighten the abs at the same time, while at the same time taking care to keep your posture straight. The faster that you perform these marching steps through the pool, the more ab-blasting effect they have.
Here's a great video about doing deep water abdominal work:
Researchers at the University of South Carolina followed followed 40,547 men, aged 20 to 90, for 32 years. They discovered that the men who swam regularly had a 50% lower death rate than runners or those who didn't exercise. The message is clear – work up a sweat in the pool for a longer life!
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''Swimming Pool Workouts That Can Help You To Jump Higher''; Live Strong; Leland Gordon; September 2nd, 2010. http://www.livestrong.com/article/214580-swimming-pool-workouts-that-can-help-you-jump-higher/
''Swimming Pool Strength Workouts''; Live Strong; Barrett Barlow; October 30th, 2010.
''Swimming Pool Abdominal Exercises''; Live Strong; Jayne Blanchard; August 23rd, 2011. http://www.livestrong.com/article/524030-swimming-pool-abdominal-exercises/
''10 Health Benefits of Swimming''; Discovery: Fitness and Health; Michael Franco.