Why You Should Try Aquatic Workouts

The best workouts for you to do in water, and what they’ll do to help you.

You’ve probably seen countless articles about all the best ways to lose weight, gain muscle, or get fit. You might not know that there are just as many exercises that you can do in a pool as on land.

In fact, many typical exercises, such as running, have even more benefits when performed underwater.

If you’re looking for a way to improve your fitness, and you’re not a big fan of the gym, aquatic workouts might be just what you need. With a home pool, you can live up to that New Year’s resolution of exercising more, or to lose a little bit of weight.

Why aquatic workouts?

Swimming is a very popular sport and a very beneficial one. It’s an aerobic physical activity, much like jogging or bicycling, that improves endurance. These types of exercise contribute to a healthier and longer life; when doing them in water, people have more endurance and much more fun!

Aquatic workouts, like other aerobic exercises, can decrease the risk of many chronic illnesses. However, aquatic workouts can also provide relief to people who may already be suffering from these types of problems, such as arthritis, since exercising joints in water is gentler, with less impact.

Leona calls it her "swim gym." She has a stressful job and unwinds afterwork with a swim in our R200 swim spa. Part of our RecSport Recreation Series, this swim spa features three custom-designed jets to deliver an airless current with minimal turbulence.

>> Read more about Leona's workout.

Aquatic workouts are also better for older adults and senior citizens. For example, in a seven-month study conducted by the National Library of Medicine, exercise in water was found to improve bone health in postmenopausal women.

Aside from the physical benefits, aquatic workouts have also been proven to help those struggling with mental health. Swimming in general functions to improve the moods of both men and women, and the Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine found that exercising in warm water can help with stress relief, anxiety, depression, and other issues.

Aquatic workouts can also help improve family connections. Pregnant women have reported that exercising in water has had a positive influence on their mental health, and parents whose children have developmental disabilities have been able to grow closer with their kids through activities like swimming that are fun for the whole family.

What are the best aquatic workouts?

It may surprise you how many exercises that you’re used to doing on land can translate well underwater. Activities such as walking, jogging, or jumping jacks can have just as much of a positive impact when performed as aquatic workouts, and the resistance of the water around you only adds to that!

In addition, the water provides you with support so that you are at less of a risk of injuring your joints and muscles while working out.

Shinji is an actor and MMA fighter who clearly takes his fitness seriously. His aquatic workouts include swimming because, he says, "It's so revitalizing! You feel great after a swim." He's found that cross-training with Endless Pools "massively helps all the other areas" of his fighting and his fitness.

>> Read more about Shinji's workout.

Here are examples of some aquatic workouts you may want to try:

  • Lateral arm lifts

  • Knee lifts

  • Leg shoots

  • Leg kicks

Leg kicks specifically can be made easier by using a kickboard; it helps you float so you can focus on your movements. Flutter kicks, scissor kicks, breaststroke kicks, and dolphin kicks are all good exercises with a kickboard.

There are lots of other items that could help improve upon your aquatic workout experience. Small weights for your wrists and ankles or foam dumbbells can increase resistance and help you build up muscle.

A buoyancy belt, life jacket, or some other flotation device for your torso would ensure that you don’t need to worry about sinking if you wish to exercise in deep water. This is especially important if you’re not a very strong swimmer.

Swimming itself is also a very good aquatic workout, however, and something as simple as a brief swim in your pool can positively impact your health.

How to build an effective workout regimen?

What aquatic workouts will work for you will depend on a number of factors, such as what you want to achieve, what you’re comfortable with, and what kind of pool or equipment you have.

However, much like working out at the gym, it’s important to give yourself time to warm up and cool down on either side of the workout so you’re not putting too much of a strain on your body.

Initially Liz was skeptical about her husband Jim's dream of an Endless Pools Performance model in their backyard. Soon enough, the former competitive swimmer was drawn in for frequent aquatic workouts. Now, Liz says, "I enjoy getting back into swimming." She swims so often that, she reports, "I quit my gym!"

>> See more of their deck pool.

Begin with stretching. Following your warm-up, it’ll be time for a drill to get your heart rate up. These workouts should be a bit more difficult than what you did to warm up, but not at the top of your comfort zone. Save the most vigorous activity for your main set. After your workout, continue swimming at an easier pace to let your body adjust.

In terms of swimming, you can divide the aquatic workouts you do in your main set into three subcategories: speed-based, technique-based, and endurance-based. If you’re serious about wanting to get into aquatic workouts and improving your swimming skills, you’ll make sure to focus on all three of these.

The most important thing to keep in mind while performing any workout — aquatic or not — is your health. What’s the point of working out to get healthy if you’re not doing the workouts themselves in a healthy way? So, make sure you stay hydrated, take breaks when you need to, and keep the water at a moderate to warm temperature.

Jessie Graff is a professional stuntwoman, an American Ninja Warrior, and a dedicated Endless Pools aquatic workout buff. "When I run on my Endless Pools treadmill,” she says, “it burns my calves, hip flexors and adductors even more than when I run on the ground, but with none of the impact."

>> See six athletes who cross-train in their pools.

How can we help?

Endless Pools takes pride in providing our customers with pools that promote health and fitness. Our pools are built for the ideal aquatic workout experience, with customizable sizes, depths, and a smooth, adjustable current that can provide additional resistance for better workouts.

If you’re looking for a great new way to exercise, look into aquatic workouts. Whether you want to try water exercise in the Endless Pools environment or in a traditional pool, people have been found to enjoy aquatic workouts more than regular ones, and they deliver all the same benefits.

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