Cardio Exercise in the Pool

Cardio Exercise in the Pool

Attention: It’s hot outside.  We are in the summer months of the year, which means it may appear unbearable outdoors.  It is not common to see people outside jogging at three or four in the afternoon and you certainly will not find many cycling to work.  Since we are in the dog days of summer, what options do you have to get your cardio in?  Do you run indoors on a treadmill or cycle in a spin class?  While working out indoors is a great option, consider taking a trip to your outdoor pool or the local community pool for your next cardio exercise workout. There are interesting dive computers to measure your diving.

Cardio Exercise in the Pool

Swimming is a popular activity.  In fact, stand up paddle boards is the fourth most popular sports activity in the nation and for many is a great way to get cardio without risking heat stroke [1].  But swimming in a pool is not nearly as hard as running outdoors is it?  Yes, actually it is harder in some aspects.  Because there is a vast amount of surface area in water when compared to the air in which we run, if you tried to run in your pool at waist-deep water, you are more likely to use more calories than from your jog outside on the sidewalk.  An average 30-minute workout in the swimming pool burns about 300 calories, or ten calories per minute.  This is probably one of the most important benefits for getting cardio in the pool.

Benefits of a Workout in the Pool

Additional benefits of working out in the pool include joint protection (the buoyancy of the pool prevents the knees, ankles, and hip joints from being jarred as when running outdoors), exercise diversity, and overall stress management.  Depending on your particular needs, consider the pool this summer for your cardio exercise; you may work harder than you would from your workout outdoors.  The workout below is a sample workout you can do in the swimming pool, whether you swim in a public or private pool.  Follow the pool exercises in order to and try to complete the entire workout as described below.

  1. Warm-up. Every workout requires a warm-up and the pool is no different.  In fact, you need to make sure to get a good warm-up in the pool because it can be rather difficult at times to elevate heart rate, blood pressure, and warm the muscles.  Start out with jogging around the pool or jogging with high knees.  Start with about four to five minutes of pool jogging and follow with some big arm circles and light swimming to warm the shoulders, pecs, and back.
  2. Brisk Swimming. Your workout will start with a brisk swim the length of the pool and back.  Keep a brisk and steady pace with the overhand stroke and make sure to kick your feet.  Rest 30 seconds following one set and repeat two more times for a total of six laps of brisk swimming.
  3. Leg Kicks. Following your brisk swimming, grab ahold of the side of the pool with your hands and let your body rise to the top of the water, or around the top.  Vigorously try kicking the feet hard, causing the water to splash.  Kick your feet hard for 60 seconds and rest your body for 30 seconds.  Repeat this for a total of three reps.
  4. Bicycle Kicks. This is a slight variation from the previous kicks; however, you are doing the opposite, so to speak.  Your elbows or arms are now on the side of the pool with your back against the wall and you kick the feet out in front as if you are riding a bicycle.  View this image here for getting into proper form.  Kick your feet for about 60 seconds and rest the body for another 30 seconds.  Repeat for a total of three sets.
  5. Breast Stroke. A swimming pool is great for adding pectoral strength and one way is to perform the breast stroke the distance of the pool.  Complete one lap the distance of the pool and rest for 30 seconds.  Repeat this for a total of three sets and if you have a short pool, complete two laps before your break.
  6. Pool Hops. Bring your body to about chest-deep water.  Start with the feet spread shoulder length and drop into a squat position.  On your way up, jump the body so you are almost completely out of the water.  Complete 15-20 jumps, trying to jump as high as you can.  Rest 30 seconds between sets and complete three sets.
  7. Lateral Shuffling. To work the hips, start with side shuffles the length of the pool and make sure to keep the legs and shoulders facing the side of the pool at all times.  Side-shuffle the length of the pool and back, then rest for 30 seconds and complete three sets.
  8. Brisk Swimming. Just as you began, swim briskly the distance of the pool using an overhand stroke.  Swim the distance and back and rest for 30 seconds.  Complete two more sets for a total of three sets.

References

[1] http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/health_benefits_water_exercise.html

[3] http://www.mensfitness.com/training/cardio/plunge-cardio-how-swim-calories

[5] http://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/burn-calories-pool-no-laps-required

 

 

About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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