Wet Workouts

Summertime in southwest Florida can put a real damper on your outdoor workouts. But not to worry: Pool time to the rescue!

Swimming is excellent exercise all year round (as we’ve discussed before). But even if you’re not big on swimming laps and practicing your strokes, your pool contains all sorts of incredible workout potential. What’s better, your pool provides a lot of resistance while buoying your body weight and reducing impact–so even if you’ve got some physical limitations, a pool can be an excellent way to get your reps in without damaging your body. (But be careful: Even though your pool can be a cool and comfortable way to mitigate the heat, you can still suffer heat stroke and dehydration.)

Here are just a few of the fun, simple, low-impact exercises you can get up to while hiding out from the heat and enjoying your pool.

Water walk/run: You don’t even have to swim to get your pool cardio in. Keeping your feet on the bottom, walk from wall to wall and back. You’ll quickly notice how the resistance from the water gets your heart rate up even more than a normal walk.

Bicycle kicks: Facing away from the wall, prop yourself up on your elbows (or stabilize the top half of your body with a ladder or stair). Curl one leg up toward your body, bending it at the hip and knee, then straighten it again as you pull the opposite leg up. In a continuous motion, it will look like you’re pedaling a bicycle.

Butterfly kicks: Still braced against the wall extend your legs straight out, and alternate raising one and then the other about six inches without bending the knee. Fluttering your legs like this is a great core workout. (For an easier variation, you can turn around so that you’re facing the wall in a superman position, kicking your legs as though swimming but without going anywhere.)

Edge press-ups: Facing toward the wall, put your hands on the pool deck with your elbows bent. Leaning forward, press your whole body up through your hands until your arms are straight, and then lower yourself back down again. If you need to, you can kick your legs to help your arms on the way up.

Squat jumps: Standing in the shallow end away from the wall, crouch down as low as you can into the water, then explode upwards from your heels. Try to see how high out of the water you can launch yourself.

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