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Archive for Monday, May 28, 2012

Go!

As I See Fit: Jump into water workouts

May 28, 2012

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Jump in the pool to add variety to your fitness routine.

Jump in the pool to add variety to your fitness routine.

'Tis the season. With Memorial Day upon us, I think we can all safely assume that a last sudden arctic blast will not be hitting us this year. We can pack up our winter clothing and officially make the switch to tank tops and flip-flops.

Yes, it’s time. It’s time to welcome the summer season and all of the long and languid days that it promises to bring.

For just a moment, close your eyes and envision your perfect summer. Cool treats and a slower pace. Backyard barbecues and baseball games. All of the children and siblings getting along so well! Such nice thoughts!

For the realists out there, the picture expands into a more concrete form. It will be hot. And it will be humid. And you are eventually going to have to break down and put yourself in some sort of swimsuit and get thyself near some water.

Even here in landlocked Lawrence, it is going to be pretty difficult to avoid the lake, pools and numerous water park facilities that surround us.

All of this pool-hopping may keep you very busy, and you may find that the “I Have No Time To Work Out” mantra has begun to spin in your head.

But after all of our hard work and great conversations, do you really think that I would want that to happen? Of course not!

So get out your swimsuit and get ready to hit the pool for a fantastic water workout.

Water workouts offer you an ultra-effective way to tone and strengthen your body. They truly provide something for everyone, from the very fit to those suffering from joint and arthritic conditions.

Water provides natural resistance and allows you to sculpt and strengthen your body in a very controlled manner.

I’ve recently experienced the benefits of this type of workout firsthand, and it reminded me of what a great addition it is to your workout schedule.

I have a group of wonderful women who are meeting once a week to go through an aquatic workout, and they are loving it.

It is a nice change of pace from running and weight lifting for some, and for others it is a nonthreatening leap back into the world of exercise and fitness.

A day or two after our workout, we compared notes. And we felt our results in varying degrees of soreness, which made us all happy.

Aquatic workouts can truly be a great thing to add to your fitness regime this summer. Try out these moves the next time you hit the water, and have some fun!

Tips

Wear pool shoes, apply sunscreen, hydrate and try to stay in waist-high water. A well-fitting swimsuit is also a good idea.

Cardio warm-up

Suggestions:

  • Jog in place with high knees
  • Lateral jumps
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Swim laps

Exercises

  • Flutter Kicks: Hang on to side of pool and kick legs rapidly and controlled.
  • Outer Thigh Lift: Holding onto pool side, lift leg out to side and lower. Repeat. Three sets of 15.
  • Flyes: Lunge forward on one leg and extend arms out to sides. Bring together and return back out to sides. Repeat. Three sets of 15.
  • Crunch: Back against side of pool, arms extended. Extend legs and pull knees in to chest. Return and repeat 20 times.

— Jennifer Osborn can be reached at go@ljworld.com.

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