4 Underrated Benefits of Water Exercise

Aquatic workouts are a fantastic way to step up your cardio levels, strengthen your legs and core, and challenge yourself (all while staying cool!). Strap on a flotation belt and head to the deep end of the pool to experience a workout that’s full of cardio highs and resistance strength building. If you still aren’t convinced that aqua jogging is what you need in your workout routine, then educate yourself about the benefits of the vigorous sport:

Woman works out in pool with hand buoys.

Great for:

Cardio

Aqua jogging workouts are known for producing resistance, resulting in a great cardio workout. Because water is 800 times denser than air, your body (and heart) must work harder to run in an aqueous environment. Burning about 11.5 calories per minute, according to The Sunday Times, aquatic exercise is looking pretty good when compared to land running at 8 calories per minute.

Instead of taking time off from the track or gym, many dry-land athletes find it extremely beneficial to cross train in the water. Aqua jogging can help keep fitness levels up without putting stress on lower body joints. It’s a great way for a runner to take a break from the treadmill, both physically and mentally.

Core Building

Many athletes might be surprised to learn that water jogging can actually help strengthen the core. Certain jogging belts actively push the user forward, which requires them to engage core and postural muscles to stabilize the body. Because of this, you’re working muscles without even targeting them in your workout.

Rehabilitation

Aqua jogging is a great way for rehabilitating athletes to keep their fitness levels up while recovering from injuries. Because water jogging is a low impact sport, many injured runners, cyclists, and weight-lifters find working out in the pool to be a great way to ease back into their sport. In fact, studies show that injured runners are able to keep up their pre-injury fitness levels for at least 6 weeks with the help of aqua jogging. And, because water applies hydrostatic pressure to the body, blood flow is stimulated, allowing injuries to heal more quickly.

With so many benefits of water exercise, you really have no more excuses to put off aqua jogging. Pick up a flotation belt and dive in head first to the fun and challenging world of water exercise.

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4 Water Exercises to Refresh Your Routine

Are you new to water aerobics? An old pro looking to spice up your current workout? Either way, you’ll want to strap on your water jogging belt and check out the under-utilized water exercises below:

Belted Jumping Jacks

For Elevating Your Heart Rate

Not only can you use your flotation belt to jog, but you can perform deep water ‘jacks’ as well. Jumping jacks are a great way to keep your heart rate elevated when you’re burned out from water jogging. Just like on dry land, swing your legs out in a wide V stance and throw your hands up to the surface of the water. Return back to starting position in a forceful, rapid motion. Remember: if your arms are above the water, you’re not benefitting from the water’s added resistance.

Side Step

For Improved Balance and Coordination

Instead of sticking with a stale forward or backward movement, try incorporating some side stepping into your next workout. Pretend that you’re stepping over a big hurdle just to your right. Move one way all the way down the pool before switching sides, or mix it up by jumping back and forth over imaginary hurdles on your left and right side, alternatively.

High Knees/Butt Kicks

For Long, Shapely Legs

Changing the position of your legs and knees can make your normal water jogging workout feel brand new. Next time you’re in the water, try lifting your knees high for a miliary-style water run. Or, work the opposite side of your legs by kicking your buttocks with each leg movement. Each of these easy-to-adjust alternatives gives you a more exciting, more challenging workout.

Slalom Crunch

For Toning Your Core

At the end of a cardio session, mix in a few ab exercises for a full body workout. For the slalom crunch, tuck your knees towards your chest. Then, with a purposeful movement, straighten your legs out to one side of your body. Bring your knees back, and straighten them to the other side. The movement will resemble skiing down a giant slalom and will build core strength in no time.

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