Aquacise Exercises

Aquacise Exercises

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You do not have to know how to swim for shallow water aerobics.

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Water exercise can be as energizing and dynamic as land aerobic workouts. Your aquacise workout is led by a fitness instructor who guides you through the warmup, cardiovascular, strengthening, core-conditioning and cool down portions of your exercise. Whether you are in shallow or deep water, you burn calories, improve your health and strengthen your muscles.

Make a Splash

Most pools have shallow and deep ends. Aquacise in the shallow end of the pool is beneficial if you do not know how to swim, as you keep one foot on the floor at all times. Shallow water exercise is performed in waist or chest deep water. During the aerobic portion of the workout, expect to do exercises such as running, walking, jumping jacks, front kicks, forward and backward jumps, knee raises and heel touches. Kickboxing moves are also used during water exercise. You can do side kicks, punches and boxer shuffles.

Go Deep

Deep water aerobics reduces the impact on your joints, as you wear a suspension belt and do not have contact with the floor. Aerobic exercises in the deep are similar to those in shallow water such as running, jumping jacks, front kicks, knee raises and cross-country skiing. Since you remain in a vertical position with your legs underneath you, you have the freedom for different movements. For example, you can flutter kick, twist, and do scissor kicks in which you criss-cross your ankles.

Tone it Up

Aquatic exercise has many different tools to strengthen your muscles. Specially made dumbbells either float and you pull against the floatation, or have holes that create resistance as you move them through the water. Others are filled with water and can be used above the water's surface. You can use beach balls, noodles, kickboards or wear special webbed gloves for other training tools. The exercises are similar to those performed on land such as arm curls, arm extensions, shoulder lateral raises, chest presses, chest flys and back rows.

At the Core

Abdominal training in water provides a comfortable environment for your back, plus you move against the resistance of the water for increased strengthening benefits. Crunches are performed lying face up with your legs straight in front of you. Your body is supported by a noodle across your upper-back, or you can hold onto the side of the pool. If you are a confident swimmer, you can float with your arms out to your sides and gently move your hands back and forth to maintain the position. You bend your knees and pull them toward your chest. Core-variations include hanging knee or straight-leg raises, horizontal twisting, or side to side crunches for your obliques.

From A to Z

The warmup and cool down portions of your aquacise use lower-intensity forms of the other exercises. For example, you walk instead of run, step forward and backward or side to side to increase muscle temperature. At the end of class, your movements are slower and larger to aid in flexibility. Specific stretches may also be performed for your legs, back, chest and arms.