Summer is officially here, which means its time to shed those layers, get outside and enjoy warm-weather workouts! One of the best ways to stay cool and fit all summer long is by diving into a pool workout.
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Water-based exercise is an effective low-impact way to get a full-body workout that challenges your muscles and your cardiovascular system at the same time. Make a splash with these 10 fun pool exercises.
Read more: 7 Tips to Become a Better Swimmer
1. Jog in Place
One of the best places to begin your water workout is by jogging in place. The water will offer resistance to your lower body (aka you won't be able to move your legs very fast), but you'll elevate your heart rate and begin to warm your body up for the rest of your pool exercises. This low-impact cardio move will be nice and easy on your joints.
- Begin in waist-deep water with your arms above the surface.
- Jog for one minute, rest for 30 seconds. Repeat for a total of three rounds.
2. High Knees
Once you've warmed up by jogging in place, it's time to increase your speed.
- In waist-deep water , raise your right knee as high as possible as you pump your left arm.
- Alternate this movement quickly.
- Repeat for 30 seconds and rest for 30 seconds, for a total of three rounds.
To make high knees more difficult, submerge yourself in chest-deep water to challenge your upper body as well.
3. Tread Water
While treading water is a basic skill when learning how to swim, it's also a great move to include in a full-body pool workout.
- In the deep end of the pool, keep your body vertical in the water with your head above the surface
- Move your arms back and forth in the water while kicking your legs in a flutter or frog-like manner.
- Tread for one minute, rest for 30 seconds and complete three sets.
4. Jumping Jacks
The water will act as resistance for both your legs and arms, creating a great full-body, low-impact pool exercise.
- In chest-deep water, begin with your feet together and hands by your sides.
- Jump your feet outward while raising your arms up and out of the water overhead so that your body is in an "X" formation.
- Return to start and repeat for three sets of 20.
5. Leg Raise
Just like on land, leg raises increase core strength and recruit your quad muscles, too.
- Prop yourself up on the edge of the pool with your elbows, stomach facing the sky.
- Engage your core and raise both legs up to the edge of the water, then lower down.
- Repeat for three sets of 10.
Read more: 12 Moves for Washboard Abs
6. Squat Jump
Underwater squat jumps up the intensity, taxing your glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves.
- Begin in waist-deep water and submerge yourself fully in a squat position.
- With all of your power, jump up and try to propel yourself as high as possible out of the water.
- Catch your breath as you jump out of the water and repeat for four sets of five reps.
7. Flutter Kick
Work your leg muscles while upping your heart rate with this fast-paced lower-body movement.
- Hold onto the edge of the pool with your stomach facing the water.
- Flutter your legs back and forth as quickly as possible.
- Kick for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds and complete three rounds.
8. Bunny Hop
Bunny hops specifically target the calves, but they're also a cardio challenge.
- In waist-deep water with both feet together, push off and take small hops forward as quickly as possible.
- Complete three sets of 20 reps.
Much like bicycle crunches on land, this ab move will challenge your core — and your hip flexors, too.
- Rest your elbows on the edge of the pool with your stomach facing toward the sky.
- Begin to cycle your legs as though you were riding a bicycle.
- Repeat for three sets of 20 cycles.
10. Tuck Jump
The tuck jump is one of the best cardio moves for the pool, and you'll feel this plyometric exercise in your glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves.
- In waist-deep water with your feet hip-width apart, dip your body into a quarter squat.
- Propel your arms up as you jump up as high as possible, raising your knees into a tucked position.
- Lower back down to the ground and
repeat for three sets of 10 jumps.