Shasta Pools | 04/16/20

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We’ve all heard that swimming is great for our bodies. From sculpting our muscles to blasting fat to being incredibly low impact, exercising in the pool comes with a number of fantastic health benefits.

Here’s even more good news about water-based exercises: you don’t need to be able to swim to take advantage of the many benefits of swimming. We’ve rounded up some of the best swimming pool exercises for every fitness level, from beginner all the way up to advanced. If you’re new to the water, start off with beginner swimming exercises and work your way up to advanced levels.

Beginner Pool Exercises

Freestyle swimming from one end of the pool to the other is a great way to get in shape, but if you aren’t keen on doing laps, start off with jumping jacks or cross-country skiing.

Jumping Jacks: Begin with legs together and arms at your side. Then “jack” your legs and arms wide, just as you would on land, and bring them back together. Try starting with 3 sets of 16 reps while touching the bottom of the pool and work up to 16 reps while suspended (feet not touching the pool).

Cross-Country Skiing: Position your left leg forward and your leg right back, with your arms moving in the opposing direction (i.e. If your left leg is forward, then your left arm is back). Switch legs and arms, completing 3 sets of 16 reps. For an advanced option, try this without touching the pool floor.

Intermediate Pool Exercises

Intermediate swimming exercises really start working your endurance while still toning muscles. Apart from aqua jogging or running, one great exercise for intermediates is treading water.

  • Treading Water: Sounds simple, but this quad-blasting exercise is no easy feat. Begin with your arms stretched outwards so that they are horizontal to the pool floor, with your legs vertical. Swing your arms back and forth along that horizontal plane, angling your forearms and palms at a 45-degree angle. Keep yourself afloat by fluttering or paddling your feet without touching the bottom of the pool.

Advanced Pool Exercises

Beginner and intermediate pool exercises can move to “advanced” level simply by incorporating water dumbbells, as these add resistance and force your body to work harder. An effective full-body exercise for those who are advanced are sidekicks:

  • Sidekicks: Begin by standing upright in the water, then kick your right leg out to the side. Extend both arms to your sides in a punching motion while kicking your leg sideways. Alternate legs and continue kicking for up to 5 minutes. Add water dumbbells to really tone those arms, shoulders, and upper back.

Every exercise can be made more challenging simply by adding more time or more reps, creating a repeatable workout cycle that keeps up with your fitness level. Best of all, by doing these exercises in your own pool, you never have to worry about smelly gym socks!