Want Better Workout Results? Just Add Water!
As we hit middle age and beyond, it can become harder to workout (with stiff, sore joints), and see results. After all, better workout results come from working harder, right? Not always the case. Working smarter is key. Whether committed to cardio or dedicated to dumbbells, you might be surprised at how the transition from the gym to the pool can boost the benefits of your exercise routine.
According to Mark Grevelding, training specialist and consultant with the Aquatic Exercise Association (AEA) and founder of Poolfit water workout streaming app, taking your exercise routine to the pool can dramatically improve fitness and strength.
“The way water delivers better workout results is multi-layered,” he explains. “Firstly, water provides a low-impact, zero gravity effect that supports you as you move through the exercise, reducing risk of injury.”
The viscosity of water also provides resistance, which means each movement has strength-building benefits, too. This viscosity often allows you to work both sides of a muscle.
“If you were doing an arm curl on land, you would only be using your bicep. However, if you perform an arm curl in the pool you work both your bicep and your tricep thanks to the water’s resistance.”
Here, four water routines that will provide better workout results, every time.
Aqua Yoga is gaining momentum globally as a fabulous alternative (or complementary workout) to yoga studios. And, if you’re new to yoga, starting in the pool is a great way to dive in. Water provides a supportive environment that allows people to go deeper into the postures without the fear of falling. “This can really help yoga-newbies gain more confidence and get better results,” says Mark.
Begin with a simple workout, such as Aqua Yoga Basics, which will introduce you to the foundations of yoga practice in the shallow end of the pool. Then try progressing to a more active yoga workout, such as Dynamic Water Yoga, or take the challenge to the deep end of the pool with Deep Water Yoga Core Workout. Try mixing your yoga up with in-water and in-studio sessions and see the benefits for yourself.
If you enjoy kickboxing in the studio or gym, you may well find you get better workout results by taking the routine to the pool. Why? The water’s resistance is ideal for toning your arms and legs with the punches and kicks.
“You don’t need equipment for kickboxing in the pool because the water’s viscosity is equipment itself, explains Mark. “But you can add webbed gloves for extra upper body resistance, or ankle drag fins for a lower body challenge.” Aqua kickboxing comprises high-energy kicks, punches, jump roping, battle ropes and more, and is great for anyone who wants a challenging and results-driven exercise session.
Who doesn’t love aerobics? It’s so much fun, the music is awesome and the good times are intensified when you’re in the pool. So are the benefits!
“Aerobic exercise in the pool, deep or shallow, allows you to go harder and faster, simply because you don’t sweat as much,” says Mark. “The best part is you don’t have to worry about wear and tear on your joints and the water’s resistance provides extra toning benefits.”
When it comes to aerobic exercise, the hottest workouts right now are High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). HIIT Workouts can be performed in either shallow or deep water. A fun 45-minute workout a few times a week can see you getting fitter and stronger within a month of splashing around.
As mentioned above, the water itself acts like resistance equipment as muscle pairs on both sides of the joint are targeted with every movement, resulting in better muscle balance and healthier joints. “If you want to add more resistance, there are plenty of equipment options, including foam dumbbells, noodles, webbed gloves, drag equipment, kickboards and more,” explains Mark.
Whatever exercise format you try in the pool, your body will grow and thrive once you add some water to your workouts.
I’m having a pool built soon, and with weak ankles, and sore knees, I can’t wait to stop pounding the pavement and start getting Poolfit, with water’s gentler, cushioning effects. Do you do water workouts? Do you use an App like Poolfit to vary your workouts? Let us know in the comments below.