More exercises to try. Where I mention the words ‘posture’, ‘soft knees’, ‘breathe’, ‘face muscles’ ‘lever’ and ‘babble while you bubble’ if you are not sure what is meant refer to my article on the Principles of Water Exercise.
It is a good idea to have a plastic bottle of water with you and sip on it occasionally, working out in the water dehydrates your body.
This is to prepare the joints, muscles and heart muscle.
Water walking – preferably in chest high water. Look straight ahead, shoulders back, nice straight alignment of the body. Take a good step forward placing your heel down firmly and rolling though the sole of your foot to the toes. Walk on, concentrating on this action.
What are your arms doing? On land they would be swinging down by your side, opposite arm to leg. Is this what you are doing or are your arms moving same arm, same leg? Do you feel a bit strange with a bit of a rock from side to side as you walk? Don’t worry, two out of five people find this happens at first. Just correct the swing to opposite arm to leg and walk on. Back straight, shoulders back.
Vary the intensity of your movement through the water, firm straight arms (straight lever) is great but if you have problems with your neck or shoulders then bend your arm at the elbow (bent lever) to lessen the resistance and therefore the effort through the water.
This is to strengthen the heart muscle.
Jogging Gerbils – bend your knees enough to keep shoulders under the surface of the water and start jogging, if you are tall your knees might be close to your chin, don’t worry! Build up gradually with some speed, concentrate on your intensity. Move around the pool and if you are with friends jog in and out of each other’s wake. The turbulence you create increases the water resistance and so you work harder. Pump those elbows back and forward.
Now for the gerbil bit – imagine a gerbil (or a hamster) on its exercise wheel. Bring your arms to the front, bend your elbows and place your hands inside an imaginary wheel rolling them forward round and round each other. Keep changing jogging direction, jog backwards and change the direction of your arm movement etc.
Keep this exercise up for ten minutes getting it just right. Experiment jogging forward, backwards, side to side, in and out of your friends, even a little dance. Breathe. Babble while you bubble.
Firms and strengthens.
To improve arm tone this routine is one of my favourites. I call it…
Batwings – legs hip width apart, or further in order to keep your shoulders below the surface of the water. Back straight, shoulders back and push your hips forward slightly. Look straight ahead.
Bring your arms straight out at the side to shoulder height (keep everything under the water though). Holding your arms at that level rotate the whole arm from the shoulder, little circular movements, round and round and round and round.
As you do this gradually move your arms from the side so they are pointing straight out in front of you. Then reverse the circular motion and gradually move your arms back to their original position out to the side.
Keep up for as long as you can comfortably. Then give yourself a big hug to stretch.
Posture, reach one arm straight up above your head, bend the elbow and let that hand drop down behind your head. Take your other hand and place it on your inside arm between the shoulder and the elbow. Gently lift press upwards stretching the inside arm. Hold the stretch for a slow count to ten. Change arms and repeat.
This is a kinder on your joints as often when stretching the tendency is to put a hand on the elbow and pull it back pushing the joint into the socket.
Standing on one leg, soft knee, Bend the other leg and take the knee straight out to the side as far as you can go comfortably. Hold position and notice the stretch along the inside of your thigh. Release and repeat with the other leg. The next time you do this stretch you will notice you can take your leg out more comfortably. This is because you are increasing your flexibility.
This one is good to do with a friend but you can do it on your own as well.
You will need two noodles. Put one behind your head and rest very relaxed arms along the length. Place the other noodle under your ankles and just float. Close your eyes. The other person gently moves you around the pool, only a fingertip is needed to guide the noodle at the head or foot end. Both of you breathe slowly and gently.
Take turns. To change over, the person guiding removes the noodle at the foot end first! I have seen people fall asleep during this.
Enjoy, not forgetting to climb out of the pool carefully.
Read Exercises (Part I) here.