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Good water exercise?

Posted by Kristen D.

I recently joined a fitness club with a pool, and plan to visit many an "open swim," where you can use the pool as you please without having to swim laps (I've never been too good at that, but I may try it again). My question is, what activities are good to help tone your body (and lose weight possibly?) that don't involve laps. There are classes offered in water aerobics, but they cost extra money and I'm not in a place to spend too much right now. I've heard of water jogging--what does that involve?
Answers (5)
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Sorry, but.... I think the best exercise in the pool is swimming laps. Water aerobics seems to be done by old women who aren't in great shape and need gentle exercise. Laps don't have to be boring or horrible. If the issue is that you are not good at them, you might want to take a brush-up swim lesson or two. Once you start to understand the subtleties of improving your swim stroke, you might find lap swimming much more interesting and challenging. I certainly don't ever find it boring.
Aqua Jogger. My parents used to have a pool in their backyard, and they bought a set called "aqua jogger" which was a water resistance weight training product. You strap pieces to your arms and legs, then place a buoyancy belt around your waist. I used it several times, and found that it actually worked well to sort of "lift weights" while floating. The set comes with a video to teach you the exercises. It might be a little bulky to carry into the gym pool, but it certainly provides a different workout than just swimming laps.
I taught deep-water aerobics awhile back and began with hesitation. It was simply class that needed an instructor so I filled it. I was converted. I noticed a difference in my stomach quite quicky- which makes sense. The minute you try to stay in a standing position in the water (your body immediately wants to float on your stomach or back) you engage your abdominals. I would suggest checking out a class, even observing the instructor on the edge as she instructs, and then putting on a belt- hopping into a lane and getting to it. I love to do this even now. I jump into a lane and do one full length doing something like cross country skiing- watch that you do not rock your hips. Engage your abs and keep your feet flat. Different arm movements really engage your chest or back. There are tonnes of different movements. Then, when I get to the end of the lane, I do one minute intervals to really bring up my heart rate- Flutter kick while "rolling" my hand under the water (that probably needs a demonstration- sorry) or treading water and trying to bring my shoulders out of the water as high as possible. When the minute is over, I do another lap. If you give it a try, let me know what you think.
Water aerobics are for Old ladies, huh, Stephanie? Have you every really tried a water aerobics routine? I didn't think so! I have been to a few Water Gym classes and trust me when I tell you that it took alot of work for my 20 something self to keep up with the old ladies in need of gentleness you speak of! You can do it with the belt (for the old ladies like me) or on your own and try to stay a float(for the stephies), either way, you get a really good work out. I have seen people of all ages lose weight, nurse an injury and tone up. Not to sound like a commercial, Kristen, but check it out, it's you can even just watch the video clips they have and try doing some of the moves on your own. Good luck!
Your post didn't sound like a commercial at all Elizabeth. In fact, I did give it a look. I'm interested in a product like it, as I'm a back injury sufferer and the idea of being able to go through the motions of running and kickboxing in the water, without such a tough impact that the body would endure on the road or in the gym, is exciting.
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