7 Powerful Exercises for Fast Fat Burning
I don’t know about you, but I hate to be caught in the gym when the weather outside is beautiful. And walking and running in the heat and humidity is never my first pick. If you also are looking for a more manageable way to sculpt your body, try the cool and easy way: the pool. And no, I’m not talking about swimming endless laps, which to be perfectly honest, I’m not very good at.
So what’s the benefit of exercising in the water? First, water provides the perfect natural resistance; it has the benefit of less impact on the body than the same workout on land. In water, you may feel like you are moving slower due to water resistance, however, speed isn't the key to a great, calorie burning workouts. By doing certain moves slower, you also develop better coordination, which can actually help you to perform those same moves better on land. This is why professional athletes often recover from injury by first performing their exercises in the pool. Research has demonstrated that aqua exercises can be used as a recovery tool to help damaged muscles repair after hard workouts.
What I love about water training, is that you have little to no damaging impact on your joints and muscles during training. Unlike walking or running on pavement, water actually disperses 90 percent of your body weight. And this isn't just important if you're injured—gravity-less exercise simply lets your body move in a different way, providing another angle to tone those muscles. If performed vigorously, water aerobics can get your heart rate up, which leads to healthy metabolism and a healthy heart.
Your water exercise guide: perform the first three exercises for 1 set each and then repeat the circuit five times, resting for 1 minute between each set. Then, perform the next four exercises repeating each set 5 times.
To build up your endurance, plan to repeat your exercises in the pool 2-3 days a week. Otherwise, add 1 day a week of pool training to your existing exercise routine. As you increase your strength, you can add the number of repetitions to each set.
Total Time: 25 minutes
You will need: pool noodles or other flotation device, water dumbbells. Optional: swim paddles, and don’t forget your Viakix water shoes.
EXERCISE 1: Shoulder Curls
(works shoulders, upper back)
Using Water Aerobic Paddles (or you can keep your hands cupped, as shown) stand with feet hip-width apart, knees bent so that your shoulders are just under the surface of the water. Bend elbows so arms and hands are parallel to the bottom of the pool.
Keeping elbows at sides, sweep arms outward, then pull back inward, so that hands just cross over.
EXERCISE 2: Bicep Curls
Gripping Water Dumbbells in each hand, stand with feet hip-width apart, knees bent so that your hands are just under the surface of the water. Relax your hands at the side of your body and have the dumbbell parallel to the bottom of the pool (and next to your hips).
Keeping bent elbows at sides, curl the dumbbells up towards the top of the water surface. Before the dumbbells break the surface, lower your hands back down towards your hips, keeping your palms facing up.
EXERCISE 3: The Water Bicycle
(works legs – quadriceps and calves)
Standing in chest-deep water, wrap noodle around back and under arms, holding ends with hands. Kick your legs to propel yourself across the pool bottom (as shown).
As you are moving back and forth across the pool, pump your arms up and down.
EXERCISE 4: Water Planks
(works arms, abs, chest)
Start floating with feet on pool ladder, holding noodle with both hands shoulder-width apart, arms extended in front of you. Engage abs to stabilize and push noodle toward pool bottom, keeping arms straight, in plank position (as shown).
Hold for 30 seconds. Return to start for one rep. Do 10 reps.
EXERCISE 5: Leg Thrusts
(works legs, abs, butt)
Stand with feet hip-width apart in waist-deep water, holding noodle on water's surface with both hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Press both arms down as you raise left leg behind you until parallel to pool bottom (as shown).
Return to start for one rep and switch legs. Do 10 reps for each leg.
EXERCISE 6: Water Walking/Running
(works legs, arms, shoulders)
Start off in waist-high water. As you walk, swing your arms. Keep your back straight, and tighten your abdominal muscles to avoid leaning too far forward or to the side. Once you're comfortable walking in waist-high water, try walking in deeper water. To help you stay above the water, wear an exercise buoyancy belt. For more intense workouts, increase resistance by wearing hand webs or holding water dumbbells. Water shoes can help you maintain traction on the bottom of the pool.
For a more intense workout, consider jogging in deep water. This is more advanced and you need to wear the buoyancy belt to stay afloat.
EXERCISE 7: Ab Crunches
(works abs, hips)
Position yourself at the end of the pool with both of your arms outstretched on the pool deck. Keep your back pressed against the side of the pool. Bring both legs up to form a 90 degree or L shaped angle (as shown). Hold for 30 seconds in the 90 degree angle and then lower your legs back down. This is one repetition.
Repeat for 15 more repetitions without rest. As your muscles get stronger, you can proceed to hold each repetition for 45 seconds and then 1 minute.
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