If you haven’t given water workouts a try, I’ve got news for you: you’re missing out on one of the best low-impact workouts you can do! Swimming and water aerobics are the ideal way to get your heart rate up while being easy on your joints. The buoyancy of water lessens the pull of gravity, making you feel lighter and more balanced, while also reducing the impact on your knees. (This also makes the same moves that would be difficult to do on land feel easier in the pool.) This particular water workout will help you burn calories and build strength at the same time by combining high intensity cardio moves with plyometric exercises. In less than 30 minutes you’ll blast fat and add muscle—no swim caps required.
Benefits of Water Workouts
There are so many reasons to take your workout to the pool this summer (not to mention it offers you a way to get outdoors)! Working out in water helps you burn fat, build stamina, and is easy on your joints. Next time you’re feeling bored with your workout routine and want a fun, new challenge, remind yourself of these benefits of water workouts:
It’s Low Impact…
It’s not just senior citizens that benefit from the low-impact option water workouts provide; whether you suffer from joint pain, you’re just getting back into exercise after some time off, or you simply want a lower-impact form of exercise to offset some higher-impact activities you do (running, HIIT workouts), water workouts are perfect for you.
…But Offers Added Resistance
Still, don’t confuse low-impact with low intensity; the water acts as natural resistance for each of your moves. Resistance in water can be anywhere from 4 to 42 times greater than on land, making a pool or body of water a natural weight training machine! Unlike machines, though, water provides resistance to movement in any direction.
Burns Mega Calories
Because of the added resistance in the water, you’re actually working harder than you would on land to complete the same movement, even if it doesn’t feel like that. Water exercise can effectively burn more calories than land exercise when doing the same movements. (Walking, for example). Plus, water workouts combine strength movements with cardio, and we all know that when your workout combines cardio and strength it’s more effective at helping you lose weight.
Builds Cardio Endurance
Not only will you tone your muscle through water workouts, but you also increase your cardio endurance. When you’re in cooler water, your blood moves through your body quicker in order to warm you up. When you pair that with aerobic exercise, you get improved cardiovascular endurance.
Makes You More Flexible
The way your body moves through water, when paired with the resistance it provides, naturally stretches out your muscles. Whether you’re not naturally flexible or you have a limited range of motion due to a recent injury, arthritis, or other conditions, water workouts can help increase your flexibility over time.
30-Minute Pool Workout To Blast Fat
Now that you know the amazing benefits of taking your workout to the water, it’s time to dive into this 30-Minute Pool Workout that will blast fat and build muscle. (PS: Don’t worry, if you don’t have a resistance band, we’ve got another awesome pool workout for you at the bottom of the blog that doesn’t require one!)
What You’ll Need:
- A pool where you can stand in chest-deep water
- A resistance band; I like SPRI’s Xertube ($15; spri.com)
- A waterproof watch, timer, or heart-rate monitor to time sets
- Start with a 2-minute warm-up of treading water or easy swimming.
- Do each circuit three times.
- Between each circuit, do 1 minute each of cardio moves (included over on the full workout at Prevention.com!)
- Cool down with 1 minute of full-body stretching.
Total workout time: 30 minutes
1. Tick-Tock With Upright Row
Targets: Legs, shoulders, upper back, abs
Stand on band with both feet, right handle in left hand and left handle in right hand (a). Lift right leg out to side, pulling handles toward shoulders (b). Return to start, and repeat with opposite leg. Continue alternating legs for 1 minute to complete 1 set.
2. Squats To Overhead Shoulder Press
Targets: Legs, butt, shoulders, abs
Stand on band with both feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart, holding one handle in each hand. Squat as though sitting down in an imaginary chair, keeping knees behind toes (a). Pause; stand up, pressing hands overhead (b). Repeat for 1 minute to complete 1 set.
Related: The Beginner’s Guide To Swimming
3. Chest Fly
Targets: Chest, shoulders, abs
Stand with right foot 2 to 3 feet in front of left foot, left foot on top of band, holding handles at chest level with elbows bent (a). Press handles forward, extending arms in front of chest (b). Return to start, and continue for 1 minute to complete 1 set.
4. Overhead Pull With Knee Lift
Targets: Arms, shoulders, back, abs, legs
Start with arms extended overhead, shoulder-width apart, one handle in each hand and band wrapped around hands to reach desired resistance. Lift left knee (a). Lower hands toward water while pulling band out to sides, squeezing shoulder blades together. Simultaneously switch legs, lifting right knee (b). Repeat for 1 minute to complete 1 set.