Whether you have a backyard pool or belong to a club, time spent poolside can be very sedentary. While we’re all for relaxing with a good book, pool time is also a great time to sneak in an enjoyable workout! Why exercise in the pool? Water provides more resistance than air, enabling you to move your body with more intensity and greater range of motion with less impact. And of course, water also helps to bear about half of your body weight, reducing strain on muscles and joints.
So, the next time your kids are occupied with a raucous game of Marco Polo, explore this 20-minute routine to burn calories and tone muscle.
Cardio (6 minutes)
Stand in neck-deep water and bounce in place for two minutes, allowing your body to acclimate to the water and movement. Your arms can be elevated in a T-shape, or down at your sides. Next, jog in place for two minutes, gently increasing your pace until you feel slightly out of breath. Raise knees to hip level and drive the elbows briskly back and forward. Finish with two minutes of T-Jacks. These are like regular jumping jacks, but your arms stay underwater; raise them from your sides to a T-shape as you bring your legs from center position out to slightly wider than your hips.
Core (6 minutes)
Start with two minutes of knee lifts. With your back flat against the side of the pool and your elbows hooked over the sides, tighten your abs and lift your knees to a 90-degree angle. Actively tuck your low ribs in; this will keep the work in your core, rather than in your low back. Next, do two minutes of shoot-outs. Keeping your back and arms where they are, flex your feet and bring your knees into your chest. Now, zip your feet together and push your legs straight out, just below the surface of the water. Repeat. Follow with two minutes of pikes. Keeping your legs straight, your feet together and back flat against the wall, bring your legs up to a 90-degree angle. Repeat, being careful not to let the back arch.
Resistance (6 minutes)
Start with four minutes of scoops, which target the shoulders, biceps and triceps. Start in neck-deep water, with your arms by your sides, palms facing out. Scoop the arms up toward the surface of the water. At the top, turn the palms down and push the arms back to the starting position. Repeat this two-minute routine by scooping your arms out to the sides. Finish with two minutes of T-Flys. Starting with your arms in a T-shape, palms facing forward, bring your straight arms to meet in front of your body. Push arms back and repeat.
Cool-Down (2 minutes)
Starting in the deep end of the pool, tread water lightly for two minutes.
Congratulations—you’ve officially earned your time in the lounge chair!