5 interesting pool workouts

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With the summer sun beating down, working out outdoors can be a difficult and sweaty endeavor. That is, unless you can jump right in the pool afterwards. Or, even better, do the entire workout in the pool. Here are five exercises you can complete without ever leaving the water, which will not only keep you cool, but also protect your joints from wear and tear.

  1. Noodle crunches. Even if you find crunches on dry land totally torturous, you might not mind the aquatic equivalent. Since the water helps support some of your weight, they’re not quite as strenuous as crunches on dry land, and you have the buoyancy of a pool noodle for extra support. Slip the noodle beneath your shoulders, suck in your belly, and move forward to “crunch.”
  2. Water-jogging. Pick a part of the pool where the water hits at least at your waist (or higher), and get moving. Walk forward 10-20 steps, then backward 10-20 steps, moving a little bit quicker with each set. You can also jog in place and pick up the speed to really boost your heart rate and kickstart your workout. Go back and forth between walking and jogging in place in 30-second intervals for five minutes to put your body to the test.
  3. Water-biking. For this move, you should use the edge of the pool or a noodle or two to support your arms. Make sure you’re in water deep enough to allow full extension of your legs. Once you’re in position, simply begin pedaling like you would on an actual bike. Keep pushing for about five minutes, then take a break and continue on to another move. Your legs will most likely need some downtime after this high-intensity (but still low-impact) exercise.
  4. K-treading. Treading water organically is as effective a calorie-burner as running 10-minute miles—you can burn 10 or 11 calories per minute. But if you want to transform the typical treading into a full-body workout, try the K-Tread. This take on treading incorporates a more polished style; no flailing required. Once you’re in the deep end, cup your hands and begin making small circles while you tread with your legs the way you normally would. Then, raise your right leg until it’s horizontal and straight in front of you, at the same time stretching the toes of your left leg toward the bottom of the pool. It should create a 90-degree angle. Hold this pose for 5 seconds, then switch so that your left leg is straight out in front, your right leg positioned straight down. Keep alternating back and forth for 30-second sets, taking breaks in between.
  5. Otter roll. If you’ve ever seen a real otter at the zoo or a cartoon otter basically anywhere, you know that they love rolling around with a good beach ball. Find a beach ball of your own and clutch it to your chest as if you were one of the furry little creatures yourself. Then move so you’re laying flat atop the water, face down, and quickly twist so that you dip below the waterline (make sure to blow bubbles so as not to get water up your nose!), then come up and back around. The ball will stay in relatively the same place, but as you propel yourself around it, you’ll be working muscles you might not have even known you had.

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