Make the most out of your pool or swim spa workout by following these tips
Up your pool gameIt is generally assumed ‘swimming’ is simply going back and forth in water unless you are aware of your options. You can make your pool workout as dynamic and fun as you like, you could include interval challenges, or even muscle sculpting exercises.
Get your whole body workingBecause water is resistant, moving through it without sinking requires you to use every major muscle group in your body, especially your core. A great way to work your muscle from multiple angles is to switch up your strokes during workouts. The freestyle stroke is generally the easiest stroke to master and yields an average return of burning 322 calories in 30 minutes, which is just pipped to the post by the butterfly yielding 354 calories. To get your core and hip flexors going you should try the backstroke as it requires your torso to be tightened and your hips to be in line with your body. If you want your legs to be firmer, try the breaststroke requiring bigger, powerful kicks than any other strokes meaning your inner and outer thigh muscles are at work.
Keep an eye on your formIf your form is slightly adjusted, it can hugely impact your body as your swim through water. To be speedier you need to stay streamlined and efficient meaning you need to be continuously engaging your big muscles and pulling your ribs in almost as if you’re trying to close them together. You will also need to make sure your head, neck and belly button are aligned on one horizontal place with hips, knees and feet. Finally keep your hands fully extended, keep your fingers closed and wrists straightened. No matter what stroke you do if you maintain this three-point form checklist your body will remain a firm unit moving with maximum fluidity.
Incorporate intervalsWhen working out in your pool, think of it as you would any fun interval workout. If you were to do a 30-minute routine, try spending 5 minutes warming up with an easy pace, then incorporating intervals of 20 minutes. Perhaps you could go by time, alternating ten 90 second sprints with 30 seconds of rest in between. Or perhaps distance, sprinting one length and recover as you come back. Or perhaps increase your effort each lap, take the first interval at an easy pace, second at a moderate pace and third at a hard pace with a repetition three times and a final push.
Think beyond lapsUsing the pool frame, or an exercise bar, is a great way to sculpt your body. For example, pushing yourself up the edge of the pool deck 20 times, getting out of the water deeply strengthens your anterior shoulders and triceps. For a speedy interval twist swim to the end of your pool, cross your hands over your chest and kick vertically all while keeping your head above water. Aim to do this for three sets of 5 minutes. You can also incorporate power moves, including in the shallow end running and doing squats.
Use your workout as active recoveryIf you swim every day, not only are you training every day but you’re also letting your joints recover from yesterday’s workout. To find out more or chat to a member of our team call us on 0208 300 4003.
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