Originally published on ElizabethStreet.com.
It’s getting hot outside, which means it’s time to move the usual workout routine to the pool. Not only do pool workouts keep us cooler, but water also adds extra resistance, resulting in stronger muscles and greater intensity. An added bonus: Water workouts offer very low or even no impact, which means less stress on your joints and reduced injury risk. And you can burn lots of calories too!
Here are some of my favorite swimming pool exercises:
The average person—swimming at a moderate pace—burns 300 calories in 30 minutes. Not too shabby for spending time in the pool!
Walk in the shallow end, the deep end, or both (you may want to consider using a flotation device in the deep end, depending on your swimming ability). And the water’s natural resistance forces you to work harder than when walking on land, so you’ll burn more calories!
Pool running offers the same intensity as land running without the impact, and you can burn even more calories simply because you’re running in water. And if you pump your arms while running, that number goes up and you build upper body strength! Win, win! Some fun alternatives to basic running are high knees (drive those knees up as high as you can – engaging abs, hip flexors, and calves) or butt kickers (running while kicking your butt with each step – focus is on the hamstrings).
Some of the exercises from my workouts found on this site can be adapted to the water—how awesome is that? Try air squats for a total body exercise, do bench dips on the pool stairs for shapely arms and shoulders (let your legs float for an even more intense workout), and for your legs and booty, do back lunges or walking lunges.
Good ole’ jumping jacks are pool friendly too. Another one of my favorites (and it sounds super tough) are muscle ups! Standing inside the pool with your hands palm down on the pool deck, lean forward and pull yourself out of the pool to a locked elbow position. Lower yourself and repeat.
Remember to hydrate constantly! Yes, we are working out in water, but the chemicals, the sun, and sweat can cause a mean case of dehydration.
So grab your towel, some goggles, and a water bottle and head to the pool!