Underwater Workout | Easy workouts you can do this summer

iStock-913323832.jpg

Jump in the pool for a fun, effective workout

Can you hear that? It’s the sound of sparkling blue water calling your name! Spray some sunscreen, tie your swimsuit, braid your hair and get ready for some classic summertime fun. Growing up in Texas (AKA, the state with two seasons: hot and not-as-hot), anywhere with a swimming pool was my favorite place to be. When that refreshing, cool water washes over you – it’s pure bliss.  

Over my 26 summers, I’ve spent countless hours diving into the water, stretching out on a floatie and chasing my own littles around the water. Now I have one more reason to make a splash: pools are great places to work out! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, swimming improves your mental health, lowers your risk of chronic illnesses and leads to decreased muscle and joint pain. You don’t have to have a Michael Phelps-level of rippling muscles (girl, stop drooling!) to exercise in the water – anyone can do it. Just grab a pool noodle, a beach ball and a towel, and try out these easy moves next time you are in the pool.

Warm Up

Start simple: swim a few laps. Don’t worry about perfect form or timing, just get comfortable with your body moving in the water to raise your heart rate. My personal favorite is the breast stroke: while above-water, you move your arms and legs in a circular motion (like opening curtains with both hands), then bring both hands together at your chest and extend them straight ahead while putting your head underwater. Do the same with your feet, then repeat. Switch it up on the way back with a freestyle or backstroke. Warmed up? It’s time for step two!

Abs

Target your abs and core with a few moves on the side of the pool. While in the water, back up to the wall and outstretch your arms on either side of you, grabbing onto the pool ledge. From there, bring your feet up near the surface and do bicycle kicks. Focus on tightening your abs as you pedal your legs. Next, put both legs straight together, and bring them up and down – the resistance from the water will make this move even more effective. Finally, with your legs touching, bend both knees to your chest and straighten out again. Do each move 20 times; repeat two more times.

Arms

Tone your arms by using a few props. Squeeze a beach ball or pool noodle in between your legs and swim a few laps. Without the help of your legs, your arms will be doing more work and building muscle! Next, stand in the shallow end and place both hands on the edge of the pool. Stand at an angle so you can do push-ups in the water (note: if this is too easy, just get out and do regular push-ups on a towel lying next to the pool). Finish the set by standing in water up to your chest, extending your arms and doing arm circles. Do each move non-stop for 45 seconds; repeat two more times.

Legs

Building strong legs in the pool is easy! Start with flutter kicks. Either hold the side of the pool and extend both legs out behind you to kick, or hold a beach ball out in front of you and swim laps using just your legs. Next, stand in the shallow end and squat down, then jump in the air. These jump squats can also be done outside the pool, if you prefer. Lastly, do leg lifts. Stand in chest-level water and hold the side of the pool with one hand, while raising the opposite leg as high as you can. Turn around and do the other leg. Do the flutter kicks for 45 seconds and the jump squats and leg raises 20 times each; repeat two more times.

When you are done, wrap up in a towel, lay on a beach chair and refuel with a delicious homemade fruit smoothie or glass of sweet iced tea – you deserve it.