The thing I love about water exercises, I get such a great workout with minimal impact on my joints. A great advantage for me, having had a history of knee problems.
It’s also useful for the elderly, to protect joints and bones. But I want to get away from the idea that water aerobics routines are only useful for the elderly or injured. Actually I want you to get it completely out of your mind.
Water aerobics, aqua aerobics, water exercises.. They all mean the same thing, and they’re becoming more and more popular. Why? Because people of all ages and fitness levels are realising the benefits.
The buoyancy of water means you don’t have the same restrictions as on land. You can do any movement in water (that you wouldn’t dare do on land!). Your imagination is the only limitation. But you’re in the right place to get some ideas.
Water provides assistance (helps build flexibility) and resistance (helps build strength). There lies the magic of water aerobics routines.
Here are the 4 most basic full body exercises for your water aerobics routines. They are a good starting point, in order of easy to hard:
1) Walking… walk on the spot in waist high water. Be sure to touch the floor with your whole foot, from heel to toe. Lift your knees up high, rather than forwards. Lift your arms up to the sides to keep balanced.
2) Jogging and Sprinting… jog on the spot in chest high water. Push off with your toes, landing on the balls of your feet. Use the same arm action as you would in normal jogging, keeping fingers straight to cut the water. Keep lifting knees high.
Pump your arms and legs as fast as you can to sprint. Good technique is keeping your head high and core tight.
3) Jumping Jacks… stand with feet together and arms by your side in chest high water. Jump up, spread feet apart and lift arms to shoulder height. Land on balls of your feet. Then jump again, bring feet back together and arms back down. That’s one repetition.
4) Cross Country Skiing… stand in chest high water with your right leg forward, left leg back and toes facing forward. Left arm straight out in front, right arm bent by your side. As you move your right leg back and left leg forward, punch your right arm ahead and bend your left arm back. Continue this action in a smooth movement.
I hope you enjoy the challenge of creating and doing your personal water aerobics routines. It really is the best type of cross training I’ve come across.