Swimming, some of us might be surprised, has been proven to be a very effective way of working out the body and burning lots of calories with less to no impact. Swimming, on its own is a very versatile and great aerobic exercise ideal for getting the body in great shape. This form of exercise works out the whole body, plus, if you are on the search for swimming pool exercises to lose weight, then the good news is that there are a lot of them out there.
An interesting fact to note is that, almost as many calories as running, is burnt in an hour of swimming, without putting stress on your muscles, joints and bones. Swimming pool exercises are quite unique as they provide good firm resistance without the impact other forms of exercise brings.
Apart from the need or desire to do some indoor workouts during wintery months, swimming, unlike physical activities on dry land, enables you to workout with the water’s natural resistance and no gravity. This enables your muscles to work more, without realising it. You get the same cardiovascular benefits as running, even though your heart rate is lower while carrying out an aerobic exercise in the pool.
Knowledge of water-based workouts has massively grown in recent years. Water-based workouts of today are less of a test of endurance but more of a very well-rounded workout for everyone, no matter your level of fitness. Whether you are a pro athlete, an average gym-goer, a pregnant woman or overweight, swimming is an exercise you need to include in your workout timetable. You wouldn’t regret it!
Before looking at the swimming pool exercises to lose weight, let’s take a quick look at the health benefits of swimming;
Benefits of Swimming
Swimming brings along numerous health benefits. These health benefits include:
- It relaxes, de-stresses and improves sleep. Regular swimming has been proven to reduce anxiety, lower stress levels and improve sleep. A reduced level of anxiety and stress is good news for cardiovascular health.
- As mentioned above, regular swimming leads to an improved cardiovascular health. This leads to a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. It also helps to maintain a healthy heart.
- Regular swimming helps to get rid of excess calories and maintain a healthy weight.
- Swimming enables you to workout your abs by strengthening your core and lower back.
- Swimming is a great exercise to get in shape by building strength and toning your muscles.
- It provides a great low-impact therapy for injuries and health conditions such as arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis is a medical condition which affects nerves in the brain and spinal cord, causing a wide range of symptoms. These symptoms include problems with vision, balance and muscle movement.
- Swimming is a great way to improve flexibility, balance, coordination and posture. An improved flexibility leads to fewer injuries and improved physical performance.
- As an exercise, swimming provides an overall body workout because almost all the muscles are used during the activity.
Should you have any health concerns, it is advisable to consult your health care provider to ensure swimming pool exercises are appropriate for you. It is very important you stick to the water depth that matches your ability. If you are part of a swimming class, always ensure you follow safety precautions as directed by you instructor(s). You may use buoyancy aids for certain exercises, but do not rely on them if the water-depth is deeper and beyond your swimming skill and ability.
There is the need to have confidence in the pool, but please ensure you stay safe!
Due to their growing popularity, your search for swimming people exercise to lose weight should be easier than ever. Below are some of these exercises. Add them to your weekly workout routine and observe the difference:
Exercise 1: Pool Running
We all know how beneficial running can be to our overall health. But have you ever considered running in water? Pool running takes dry-land running to a different level. Running through water current and resistance is a sure way to burn calories, strengthen and stabilize your muscles.
This exercise should be conducted in the shallow end of the pool with the water at chest level. Ideally, your aim is to run from one shallow end to the other shallow end. If you don’t fancy going from end to end, you can equally perform this exercise on the spot.
Throughout the exercise, ensure you engage your core and drive your knees up one a time while pumping your arms.
Pool running can effectively be performed in the form of a high intensity interval training. Run as quick as you possible can from one end to the other end and back, and rest for a minute and repeat the exercise.
Exercise 2: One-Legged Balance
This is a great workout for your legs, core and balance. Though it may appear simple and easy, performing this exercise on a regular basis strengthens your lower body and core muscles without the risk of injury.
For this exercise, you ideally need to be in waist-high water, rise your right knee up, keep your hands by your side and hold your balance on the left leg. A variation of this exercise is to place a noodle underneath the raised knee and hold the position for as long as you can. Repeat exercise with the left leg.
You can also choose to push yourself a bit more by placing both hands on your head, rather than by your sides, as you hold the balance position.
Exercise 3: Pool Planks
The plank is arguably the most effective exercise for working out all your abdominal muscles concurrently. A pool plank is just like the one on land, even though it is a bit easier in water. If you don’t possess the upper body strength required to hold the standard plank for long enough to give your abdominal muscles a good workout, then practicing it in water is the way to go.
To carry out this exercise, hold out a noodle with both hands straight in front of you while standing shoulder-width apart in the pool. Press the noodle down while lifting your lower body up until you are straight in the plank position. Please ensure your body is straight and your head is out of the water.
Hold the position for 1 to 2 minutes, rest, and repeat the exercise.
Exercise 4: Pool Flutter Kicks
Flutter kicks is an effective exercise for working out your core muscles, hip flexors and glutes. It is already an exercise that mimics swimming strokes, so performing it in water, as a means of losing some weight and getting fit, should not be a problem.
You can do this exercise while either holding on to a floating device, to keep your upper body afloat, or the edge of the pool.
To perform this exercise, hold on to the edge of the pool with both arms, keep your legs together and extend them straight behind you. Rapidly shallow scissor kick your feet front and back to keep your body in a straight line and afloat. Ensure you are relaxed by stretching out your arms, keep your legs straight and point your toes away from you.
Flutter kick for as long as you possibly can, rest and repeat the exercise.
Exercise 5: The Dolphin Kick
This exercise is simply an attempt to mimic a dolphin’s movement by moving your body in a wave-like motion to propel yourself forward. Don’t get disheartened if you struggle with this exercise as it may take some practice. This is to be practiced in the shallow end from one end of the pool to the other.
To perform this exercise, engage your core, push your chest downwards while keeping your hip and lower body up. You then push your hips downwards while your chest and upper body goes back up.
As stated earlier, this exercise may take some time and practice, so keep trying the technique until you become good at it. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!
Exercise 6: The Spiderman
This exercise is simply performed by walking up the side of the pool wall like a ‘spiderman’. You are more or less climbing up the pool wall with your feet while sweeping your hands back and forth in the water to keep you stable and not floating away from the wall.
Your goal is to walk up the wall as high as you can, walk back down and repeat the exercise.
Believe it or not, this exercise provides a great and unique workout to your back and core muscles. This helps to tone those muscles by burning excess fat.
Exercise 7: Static Jumps, Skipping Or Hopping
Walking or jogging in water has been proven to be a great way to workout your muscle against resistance. Skipping, jumping or hopping in water is an added way of giving your muscles that much-needed resistance workout.
To carry out this exercise, stand at one shallow end of the pool wall and hop or skip to the other shallow end. Try skipping or hopping from one end to another for 10 times, rest and repeat the exercise.
Instead of hopping from one end to another, you can choose to perform static jumps. You can also choose to push yourself further by doing squat jumps.
To perform the pool squat jump, you squat down with arms extended shoulder-high and jump as high as possible while raising your arms over your head. Do the squat jumps for 10 straight times, rest, and repeat the exercise.
Exercise 8: Pool Tricep Dips
This is a great upper body workout. It targets your arms (triceps), shoulders, chest, upper and lower back. Performing this exercise in the pool is a great way of adding some resistance to your strength training.
To perform this exercise, stand in the shallow end of the pool with your back against the pool wall. Place your palms on the edges behind you with your fingertips facing downwards; you then straighten your arms and lift yourself out of the pool, lower yourself back down in a controlled manner and lift yourself back up. Do 10 reps (a raise and lower is one rep), rest and repeat another 10 reps.
Exercise 9: Swimming With Butterfly Strokes
The butterfly is basically a swimming stroke swum on the chest, with both arms moving symmetrically, accompanied by the butterfly kick.
This type of swimming stroke can help you strengthen your core and burn more calories compared to the other types of swimming strokes.
Exercise 10: Do More Lap Workouts
To target all the major muscle groups in your body, incorporate different swimming strokes and swim up and down the length of the pool for 30 straight minutes. You can also perform this workout in a form of a high intensity interval training. High intensity interval training raises your heart rate and brings it down repeatedly. This results in an increase in the fat-burning potential of your body.
Swimming non-stop laps or performing high intensity swimming is an efficient way to burn fat and challenge your muscles.
For weak swimmers, use the shallow end of the pool, and swim from one end to the other with the help of a buoyancy aid.
Performing this form of swim workout, 3 times a week, on a regular basis will result in your body burning more calories and improving your overall level of fitness.
Swimming is definitely a great way to lose weight, improve and maintain your overall fitness level. If you happen to be particularly concerned about how heavy you are, then you might want to consider adding these swimming pool exercises to lose weight, to your workout timetable.
You don’t need to perform all these swimming pool exercises everyday, you just need to alternated between a few of them and perform them with a high enough intensity. The more intensity you bring, the higher the fat burning potential of your body.
As stated at the beginning of this article, always stay safe and ensure you consult your health care provider should you have any health concern.
There are other swimming pool exercise to lose weight, please feel free to leave your suggestions and comments below. Thank you!