Summer Fitness: Back Exercises in the Pool
Isn’t it nice when you can change your exercise routine to match the season and get even better results? It is that hot time of year when we love to be in the water so why not do a few back and core strengthening exercises (you can sculpt nice arm and leg muscles, too) while you are cooling off and having fun in the water?
Here are a few exercises to get you started:
1. Pool “Bursts” – Swim 2 or 3 lengths as fast as you can, as if you are in a race. Don’t worry about your form, just go “all out” so you have to take hard recovery breaths once you are done. This is a great metabolism booster, all around exercise, and heart pumper! Repeat up to 8 times but recover in between “bursts” so your heart rate and breathing return to normal. The front crawl sculpts your lats nicely.
2. “Noodle” Jumps for Abdominals – Hold a pool noodle in front of you with one hand near each end of the noodle. Push the noodle down into the water while bringing your knees up and over the noodle as if you are jumping over it. Then simply push the noodle down again and jump your feet back over it so you are in your starting position. Do 20 reps.
3. Upper Back Exercise – Stand, tread water, or sit on a noodle. Hold your submerged arms out at shoulder height with fingers spread wide. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and draw your hands back then bring your hands forward in front of your chest against the water’s resistance. Repeat 40 times as fast as you can.
4. Twists – In the deep end or with your knees tucked up if in shallow water, twist your legs one way and your upper body the other way. Twist right and left as fast as you can. This exercise works your core, arms, and legs. Do 40 reps.
5. Run in Place – Pretend you are running in place using your arms and legs as fast as you can. The trick to making this a great exercise is to keep as much of your torso held up out of the water the entire time (makes it 10 times harder!). Run in place for 30 seconds or until completely fatigued.
These exercises can be done consecutively as a routine or individually with lots of socializing in between exercises. It’s possible that no one will know you are “exercising,” and the best part is that you will get a workout completed while having fun and cooling off in the pool, pond, or lake. Enjoy!
-Dr. Amy Mercovich