Hey Angels and Alphas,
While water exercise tends to have a reputation of either being for seniors or only for athletes trying to pose as Muhammad Ali, water training actually has so many benefits that put it on top of other traditional forms of exercise.
Because of how our bodies tend to act and move in the water, there’s a place in the pool (or sea/ocean) for every person from the professional athlete to the just-now-starting beginner.
In case you were wondering how training in the water could benefit you, here’s just a few of the proven benefits:
Added resistance. Water can actually make your exercises harder. It’s like having millions of little weights attached all over your body, working against every single movement you try to do. Depending on your velocity and the action you’re performing, exercises can have a much greater level of intensity when they’re performed inside a body of water.
Buoyancy. Depending on the depth of the water you’re training in, buoyancy lightens the apparent weight of your body and the load your joints experience up to 90 percent! That’s huge! For the people who experience joint pain or want to indulge in a low-impact workout that’s still high in intensity, there’s no better place than inside the pool.
More flexibility and higher range of motion. Water workouts can actually allow for safer, more comfortable and pain-free ranges of motion because of the lower load that’s put on the joints and the added “massaging” of body tissues by the water.
More calorie-burn. When the pain of movement is taken away and some extra resistance is added, it’s easy to see how the exponentially harder exercise inside the water can result in extra calorie and fat burn because of the healthier energy balance achieved.
It’s comfortable and fun! We all know how much we stress sustainability and finding exercise you actually enjoy doing. The water brings a cooling effect on your body and some research out there points to the fact that water fitness leads to an increased feeling of well-being. As you jump, move, and splash throughout the water, this can make for fun and engaging exercise.
Now that we understand the clear and proven benefits of water training, let’s talk about a few exercises you can do.
These exercises can be done either individually as you see fit, but it’s always great that you follow the AMRAP approach (short for as many rounds as possible.)
Perform 8-10 reps of each movement for as many rounds as possible in 10-15 minutes. See how many rounds you can complete and try your best to beat that number next time!
#1 TORSO ROTATIONS
If you want to engage your core like never before, try out the extra advantage of water resistance for a 360-degree core torso rotation.
To do it right, stand tall in the water with your feet at shoulder width. Stretch your arms out in front of your body and press your palms together. Keep your arms straight and your shoulders back (and down), then proceed to rotate your upper body 90 degrees to the left, then 180 degrees to the right.
#2 THE TUCK JUMP
Did anyone say endurance? Tuck jumps in the water will make your heart pound! They engage the muscles on the front side of your body, including your abs and quads.
To do it right, simply stand tall while your arms are in the water. Jump both feet off the ground and then pull your knees to your chest. Then extend your legs and land back on the ground so you can absorb the impact at your ankles, knees, and hips.
#3 SINGLE-LEG WATER SQUATS
This exercise can be challenging enough on land, even for the elite athlete. With the added support of the water, the single-leg squat can help you emphasize your coordination, balance, and unilateral strength as you perfect your squat form inside the water.
Here’s how to do it: stand on your left leg with your right leg extended out in front. Press your hips down and back, sink as low as possible (based on the water depth) and keep your left knee aligned over the middle left toes and press back and up so you can stand up. Perform repetitions on both legs.
#4 CROSS-COUNTRY WATER SKI
To reap the benefits of this movement pattern, you no longer require snow or expensive equipment.
To do it right, begin in a split stance with your right leg in front and your left leg behind with your left arm stretched out in front of your body and your right arm reaching behind you. Then actively drive your arms and legs throughout the water (switching their positioning.) Continue to switch with the opposing arms and legs.