Gymnastics in the pool

Gymnastics in the pool

Have you noticed that by the middle of winter, it became more difficult to make yourself get up for morning exercises, and nightly jogs often have to be cancelled because of the frost and snow? Then it’s time to think about buying a membership in a… pool! Water makes miracles to our body:

  • tones well,
  • relieves stress,
  • helps to relax,
  • brings back the memories of summer.

If you are a good swimmer and feel like a fish in water, you may limit your workouts simply to swimming, after having a prior consultation with the instructor. He will explain:

which muscles receive the greatest load in different styles,
how to keep your head,
how to breathe correctly.

If you want strengthen your muscles and obtain a beautiful body and lose weight, water workouts in the pool will have to be done on a regular basis – at least three times a week. Optimum load is to swim non-stop for forty minutes, during which you should pass the distance of about a thousand meters.

Ideally, the swimming style should be changed every 100 meters, because each of them gives a load on certain muscles.

lap swimming

Take a few lessons in swimming and master crawl – it is the most energy-intensive style, and it is perfect for those, who want to tighten the muscles of the arms and legs.

And if you do not swim?

If you are not quite a good swimmer, but what to get the most and from the pool, do not despair. There does exist an option for you – aqua-gymnastics, i.e. gymnastics in water. It has almost miraculous properties:

aqua gymnastics

improves the overall tone of the body,
strengthens resistance to colds,
helps improve the body,
strengthens muscles
helps to lose weight,

All these effects are due to the fact that even the simplest movement requires much more effort and energy in water, than on land.

What you can do in the pool without an instructor?

Perform the most simple set of exercises, putting maximum effort. Main stand for those, who are not afraid of water – on the shoulders level.

  1. Standing sideways to the edge of the pool and keeping your hand on the rim, make 8-10 swinging movements back and forth with each leg alternately.
  2. With your back to the wall of the pool, grab hold of the edge, lift your legs, rotate hips to the side and make the movement “bicycle” – 15 times in each direction.
  3. Stand up straight, bend your arms at the elbows and lift them at the chest level. Make 20 quick steps, lifting your knees high and making boxing motions with your hands.
  4. Swim like a dog, waving your arms and legs – first rapidly, then more slowly, finish the exercise with calm swimming.
  5. To strengthen the muscles of the abdomen and thighs, swim without using your hands. To do this, take a ball or a board, and swim, swiping feet on water.
  6. Great exercises for strengthening the muscles of the back, hips, and legs – are 1) bringing your arms together with your hands turned inside (repeat 8-10 times); 2) lifting up arms, joined behind the back in a lock (10-15 times, in a brisk pace).
  7. To reduce the weight, in addition to running in water (exercise 3), jumping also gives good results: jump out 10-20 times up as high as possible; you may do this exercise with turns, as well.
  8. Standing in the same position in the water up to your shoulders, spread your arms out to the sides and make 10-15 circular motions with them.

For those, who keeps well afloat – exercises that help strengthening the abdominal muscles:

  1. While keeping afloat upright, pull your hands in front of yourself, sharply bend both legs, pulling your knees to your stomach, and slowly unbend them (12-15 times). Raise the legs forward, fingers touching the toe, then back to your original position. Raise the straightened legs forward, make circular motions 5-6 times in each direction. Turn the arms with your hands down, tilt to the sides, pushing water with your hands (5 times in each direction).
  2. For having rest and exercising the heart and lungs – breathing exercises: breathe deeply through the mouth, put your face in the water and exhale through the nose and mouth as slowly as possible.

And for those who does not know how to swim – exercises in shallow water:

  1. Lean hands on the floor, legs should barely touch the water: beat the legs on water, raising splashes (strengthening the abdominal muscles).
  2. In the same position, squeeze with your feet a rubber ball and try to put down the straightened legs with the ball under the water (repeat 10-12 times).
  3. Lying on your back, with your hands on the floor, make circular and scissors-like movements you’re your legs alternately up and down (crawl).
  4. While standing on a shallow place, make splashes with long, strong arm movements.

What makes it so cool?

Aqua-gymnastics is not only pleasant, but also effective – all these thanks to water.

Firstly, fitness in the water is the safest sport: it is almost impossible to hurt yourself of get an injury here.

Secondly, through the buoyant force, water reduces the load on the joints, making the water workouts are extremely beneficial for people with excessive weight, pregnant women and athletes recovering from injuries.

Thirdly, the additional resistance of the medium in the pool contributes to the mild increase in the load on the muscles, developing their strength and endurance, the toning of the entire organism.

The impact of the water environment promotes high consumption of energy and  trains greatly the cardiovascular system: the more active the motion, the higher the water resistance and the effectiveness of the exercise.

aquaaerobika

And, fourthly, the hydrostatic pressure has a massaging effect that helps reduce muscle pain after strength trainings. This improves blood circulation, relaxes muscles, reduces heart rate, improves the function of the kidneys, and decreases the amount of fluid in the body.