Dread bringing your workout indoors when summer sun makes outdoor exercises a swelter-fest? No need! Easy swimming pool workouts can tone that hot body and keep it cool at the same time!
Swimming laps is a wonderful, weightless aerobic workout; adding some or all of the below exercises will make for a well-rounded pool workout. Target areas you’d like to tone up and slim down without toweling off. A few of these exercises require props that are easily acquired at your local dollar store….
1. Knees Up
This one’s easy (and can be aerobic, too). Simply jog in place and keep those knees high! You’ll need water that’s about four feet high. See if you can keep it going for at least two minutes.
2. Otter Roll
You’ll need a beach ball for this one. Hug it to your chest and float on your back, legs out straight. Using your whole body – back, core, chest, etc. – roll over until you’ve made a complete revolution. Be sure to breathe in between rolls! Go to one side, then the other, doing 30 seconds of rolls in each direction. How many sets can you do?
3. Double Leg Raise
Lean your back against the side of the pool, arms outstretched gripping the edges. Legs together, raise them up to where your body forms the letter “L,” then lower again. Adding ankle weights will intensify this exercise. Done correctly, this one works the hip flexors and lower abdominals.
4. Scissor legs
Starts in the same position as the double leg raise. Open your legs as wide as possible, keeping legs parallel to bottom of pool, then close them, squeezing your inner thighs, crossing right leg over left. Switch sides.
5. The Frog
Start in a wide-leg stance and then – JUMP! Like a frog, bring your knees to the surface of the water as high as they will go, then lower the back to the bottom of the pool before doing it again.
6. Bicep curls
Even for pool workouts, this one’s pretty self-explanatory. Simply do traditional curls, just keep your arms under water. Changing the trajectory of the curl – doing sets where your fists are out in front of you, then alternating with holding them out to your sides – will ensure you target the muscle from all angles. Using webbed gloves with an open hand or water dumbbells will add resistance.
7. Leg extensions
Got a pool noodle? Take yours out to the deep end and wrap it around your upper back, under your arms. Keeping your legs together and engaged, toes pointed, extend your feet toward the bottom of the pool, then raise them up into a curled cannonball-like position, knees headed toward your chest. Using your abs, hold them here for a beat or two, then straighten them back out again. Try 20 reps to start.
8. Ladder legs
Hold onto the pool ladder and place the noodle under your midsection, extending your legs behind, keeping feet and legs together. Using your core, bend at the waist and lower your legs toward the bottom, creating a 90-degree “L” with your body. Slowly raise them back up to the surface. Repeat for 20.
9. Butterfly kick
Using a kickboard or other flotation aid held out in front, with legs together, thighs to feet, point your toes and kick – using the two legs together like a mermaid’s tail. This one’s an ab crusher, but it’s still easier than doing the actual butterfly stroke! Try it for one pool length and take it up from there based on your ability.
10. Join the resistance
A few very lucky renters, like those at The Streeter in Chicago, have access to one of the coolest pool workouts around: the resistance pool! Walking or swimming against a steady current is phenomenal exercise – a water treadmill of sorts – and you don’t need very much space to get in a thorough all-over-body workout.