Pool exercises are a great way to switch up your routine, and working out in the water is also the perfect way to build up your strength and balance, since the water provides natural, gentle resistance that's easy on your joints.
Water workouts are a great way to lose weight, increase movement in your lifestyle, and stay in shape. Pool exercises are known for their low impact benefits, so even people with physical limitations or people who are recovering from an injury or surgery are able to perform them. In fact, pool workouts can be one of the best ways to increase mobility after a major surgery.
Depending on how often you exercise in the pool, you may want to invest in special gear- here are the basics so you will be fully prepared to get the most out of your pool exercise plan:
Swimming Pool Exercise Equipment
It is helpful to use goggles and a swim cap in order to stop water and your hair from getting in your eyes. While it's not required, you might want to purchase a pair of specialized water running shoes that are designed to provide you with extra grip and cushioning against the hard floor of the pool. Other optional equipment include a floatation belt, water dumbbells, a kickboard, and paddles to add resistance during arm exercises. These items- especially the kickboard, swim cap, and goggles- can really diversify the range of exercises that you can add to your workout and make you feel more comfortable in the water.
5 Easy Water Exercises to Increase Mobility
Remember that when you workout in the water, you still sweat (you just don't notice it), so be sure to hydrate before, during, and after your workout. It can also be fun to head to the pool with a fitness buddy so you can stay motivated to complete your workout. Here are some easy and effective pool exercises that you can use for weight loss:
1. Flutter Kick
If you've ever taken swimming lessons, you'll recognize this exercise!
Simply grasp the edge of the pool deck while floating face-down in the pool, extending your legs straight out behind you. Stretch your arms out, and kick both legs vigorously. For increased challenge, focus on keeping your legs below the surface of the water, as that will increase resistance.
If you have a kickboard, you can take this exercise to the next level by holding the kickboard in front of you, and flutter kicking as you do laps down the length of the pool. Try to build on the number of laps you do each time you get in the water- you will be surprised by how quickly your endurance increases!
2. Pool Plank
Hold a pool 'noodle' vertically between both of your hands while standing in the shallow end. Press the noodle straight down into the water, and lean forward until your body is fully extended behind you, with your feet off the pool floor. Keep your head up, and try to hold this 'plank' position for 1-2 minutes at a time to build up your core muscles and tone your tummy.
3. Frog Jumping
Start in water that comes to about your chest, and tuck your heels together, with your knees slightly bent and pointing outwards. Lower your bottom down, then jump up as high as you can. Return back to your starting position after each jump.
This pool exercise is great for weight loss as it works both your cardiovascular system and the large muscles in your legs and bottom. The deeper you go when you 'load' your muscles before the jump, the more calories you'll burn!
4. Side Burpees
Use the pool edge to do burpee jumps against the wall underwater. In the deeper end of the pool, hold the edge of the pool so your body is perpendicular to the edge. Tuck your knees into your your chest, stack your feet, and put both of your feet against the wall. Continue to hold your grip on the wall while you jump off and extend your legs away from the wall as you activate your abdominal muscles. Bring your body to a parallel position to the surface. Continue for one minute.
This exercise targets your abs, obliques, hips, and legs.
5. Treading Boat
Stand in the shallow end. Sit back into the water, and tread water with your hands out to your sides. Lift both legs at the same time so that you hinge at the hips and your entire body makes a large V-shape. Continue treading with your hands as you keep your legs as straight as possible. Crunch your abs by alternating between lifting your legs closer to your upper body, and then bringing them further away.
If you need an easier modification for this exercise, you can always just tread water in a V-shape and skip the abdominal crunch.
Benefits for Surgery Rehabilitation
Pool exercises for weight loss are a great addition to any fitness routine, but they're especially helpful if you are recovering from bariatric surgery like gastric sleeve or LAP-BAND since water exercises help to both tone muscles and build cardiovascular strength.
To learn more about exercising before and after bariatric surgery, click the button below to contact our weight loss surgical team today!