Five fat-burning pool exercises

A general swim burns off around 500 calories and if you start to add in a few underwater exercises you can really pump it up and pretty much double your fuel burning workout. Olympic medallists at London 2012, such as Michael Phelps, Natalie Coughlin and Ryan Lochte have put swimming in the spotlight and popularized the fitness aspects of swimming. Many people believe it’s the best exercise you can do and with a few aqua aerobic moves, you can make your time in the water into a resistance and cardio workout.

Here are five exercises you can try next time you are swimming or taking a dip in the pool:

  1. Hop, skip and jump – the natural resistance created by the water means that even the simplest of exercises can work wonders on your body. Start by wading out to just above waist level so you still have some control with your feet on the pool floor. Hop on each leg a set number of times before turning this into a skipping or jogging motion. Do this on the spot, don’t try and move in any direction. Next turn your mini-run into a jump keeping the knees together and lifting both legs as if you were jumping over a rope.
  2. Plank lunges – take a long inflatable noodle and hold it in front of you gripping with two hands. Push the float under the water and keep it there. Push it away from your body and lean into the movement, trying to keep stability and strength in the downward push. Alternatively, take a plastic football-sized ball and try and hold it under the water why you lunge forward using alternative legs.
  3. Kick and roll – grab a float or the side of the pool and extend your legs out behind you, keeping them tightly together. Keep the muscles strong and the legs straight as you kick under the water without creating any surface splashes. After a minute stop kicking and keeping the legs in the same position gently rotate and roll the hips to loosen the body.
  4. Water crunches – wade out until the water comes to just under your collarbone. Extend both arms out so that the palms face down. Slowly, in a controlled way, push the arms down to your side. Turn the palms face up and bring them back to create a T-shape. Next, bend the arms and bring the palms inward so they are facing near to the side of the face. Keeping the upper arms straight, widen the gap so that your arms are open, with your forearms pointing out of the water and your palms facing forward. Bring them back together again and repeat.
  5. Cycle and stretch – go to deeper water and keep yourself afloat with a cycling motion, moving your arms as if you were jogging. Alternate this with stretching the arms out and treading water with your hands while one leg stretches down and the other creates a triangle with the leg bent and the foot pointing towards the knee of the stretched foot. Change legs and then relax by floating on your back with your legs and arms outstretched.

What’s your favorite aqua aerobic or water exercise? Let us know what works for you in the swimming pool.

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