Fitness is essential for overall health and wellbeing. However, a repetitive round of running or going to the gym can get boring. Swimming is a fantastic way to break this up and to get a full body workout in a more physically supportive environment. And if you need a break from swimming then there are lots of exercises that you can do in the water that can help to improve your fitness. Not only that but you’ll get the benefits of being immersed in water, from the additional resistance that this brings to any exercise, to the buoyancy of the water, which can take the pressure off muscles and joints. If you want to try some new pool exercises for the new year then these are some of our favourites.
- Simple walking. This is a great way to get used to exercising in water and to improve fitness at the same time. In waist height water, start carefully putting one foot in front of the other, heel first and then toes with your arms at your side. Add in ankle or wrist weights to increase the challenge.
- Jumping jacks. These are simple star jumps with the water at chest level. As you jump your feet out raise your arms over your head and then lower as you bring your feet back together. Repeat and add arm weights for more resistance.
- Arm lifts. If you’re looking for an arm workout then stand in water that covers your shoulders, a water dumbbell in each hand with the palms facing up. Bring your elbows in close to your body as you raise your arms to water height. Rotate the dumbbells so your palms are facing down and lower. Repeat.
- Core activators. Start holding on to the pool wall with your feet on the wall and then push off on your back. Pull your knees into your chest then lower them to the floor and run back to the side to start again.
- Kicks. Hold on to the edge of the pool and cycle through repetitions of key swimming leg kicks - flutter kicks, scissor kicks, breaststroke kicks and dolphin kicks. Do each set of kicks for up to three minutes.
- Lateral arm lifts. If you’re looking to build upper body strength this is a great option. Start standing in water up to your shoulders with your dumbbells at your side. Raise to the height of the water so they are level with your shoulders and then lower.
- Leg shoots. Curl into a ball upright in the water, knees tucked in. Then shoot your legs out explosively so that you end up on your back. Curl your knees in and then do the same with your legs but this time finish on your stomach.
- Ballet lifts. In waist height water stand on one leg and raise it with the knee bent until it’s parallel to the water. Extend the leg fully, hold and then lower with the leg straight. Repeat and then do the other side. Add ankle weights to make it harder.
These pool exercises will not only help to keep you fit in 2021 but bring an element of fun and variety to your workout too.