Last year I decided to really put a focus on exercise, but the thought of going to the gym and plodding on the treadmill just didn’t motivate me. That’s when I found out how much fun aqua aerobics could be. Here are 7 of the exercises I used to get in shape:
I use a foam noodle, which is a long sturdy rubber tube about three feet long. I bought mine from In The Swim (but you can go anywhere), and that’s all the equipment I have ever needed. In chest deep water, I put my hands on the tube about shoulder width apart, and lean into the water. With my back straight, I hold the pose for as long as I can. This is a great ab exercise.
Jogging in the water
For a great cardio workout, I go to the pool when the lap lanes are open, and start moving down the lane in a jogging motion. I wear old tennis shoes – the bottom can be rough in spots. I can really feel the resistance of the water, and at first I quickly got winded. I can now go half a mile, and feel great afterward!
I stand in chest deep water near the side of the pool. While I tread water with my arms, I run my legs up the side of the pool and back down, alternating the lead foot each time. I was delighted by all the laughter in the class when we did this one, and it was this exercise that sold me on how much fun water workouts could be.
For my posture, and to stretch out hamstrings, this is a great exercise. I put one ankle under the foam noodle, then stretch out my leg, and hold the pose. After a while, I switch feet, and I can feel myself relax as I do this exercise.
Go tread water
The teacher in a class recommended this exercise. I was a bit skeptical about the benefit, until I tried it. My arms and legs could quickly feel the exertion, and my breathing escalated. I was very surprised at how quickly I had to swim back to the shallow water, and I understood why the teacher suggested it.
If I’m not in the mood to jog one day, I just walk. The slower pace makes it like walking out on a trail, and I can really appreciate the soothing aspect of being in the water. I get in a “zone” and feel like I can walk all day.
I lunge out with one leg, until it lands with my knee perpendicular to the bottom. My other leg falls back behind me. I switch legs each time, and after 15 to 20, begin to really feel it in my thighs.
The thing that I love about water workouts: they’re so much fun I keep going back, which means I’m getting the benefit of exercise. With the treadmill, when I stopped going, it didn’t do me much good.
Which aqua aerobic exercises are your favorites?
About Becky Flanigan
Becky Flanigan doesn’t like to be bored, so she maintains a busy schedule. She spends mornings writing articles for Intheswim Swimming Pool Blog, then gets out to play tennis, or has a rowdy and laugh filled lunch with “the girls.” Her evenings are spent going to the movies, or sports events.