Water Exercise Tips

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Swimming vs. Running

Are you a fan of swimming? If so, you're about to become an even bigger one.

Studies have shown that Swimming is 4x more effective than running in regards to burning calories (based upon individuals who had just begun doing exercise, as well as individuals who were accustomed to different types of exercise). The water acts as a resistance, so your whole body has to push and pull to get you through the water. If your goal is to burn lots of calories during a workout, swimming for a half-hour is a great way to do it, and will exercise the entirety of your body.


Swimming and Back Strength

Swimming is a great way to enhance your cardiorespiratory endurance, a.k.a. your type1 muscle fibers' ability to sustain muscular contractions (your Type 1 muscle fibers are for endurance, Type 2A are for strength, Type 2B are for Explosive Exercise). It is also incredible for strengthening the muscles in your back. This is due to the fact that the muscles in your back are the one that do all of the 'pulling' motions for your body. Therefore as you swim and you are pulling your arms past you through the water, your back muscles (especially your Lats, Upper/Middle/Lower Trapezius, Erector Spinae group, Rhomboids, Teres Major/Minor) are the ones working and getting stronger as you do it.

The general population in America has rounded or 'forward' shoulders and an incredible lack of back strength. Swimming is a natural way to strengthen the muscles of the back to help the shoulders be pulled back to a closer Anatomical Neutral Posture. For those of you that feel some back pain during the day, it is probably due to bad posture because of weak back muscles. Start swimming and in a matter of weeks the pain will more than likely get better.

How many calories do I burn swimming?

Swimming Calories

Get ready to burn calories during swimming and water aerobic exercises! An average 150 lb swimmer burns about 9-1/2 calories per minute--slightly less than running but more than cycling, and enough for a good cardiovascular workout.

Is swimming good for people with arthritis?

Water Exercise Helps Joints

Water aerobic exercises and swimming allow people with joint problems and other medical conditions to get a good workout without pain and jarring. People with arthritis should do water exercises in a warm pool, while those with multiple sclerosis need cool water.

What is deep water running?

Deep Water Running

Try running in the deep end of a pool, wearing a flotation belt, for a more intense water exercise workout. Use your ordinary upright running style. Deep water running is good for rehab and for athletic training, as you can work hard with no impact. This is different, and more vigorous, than water aerobics exercises, which are generally done in the shallow end.


Alternating between Upper and Lower Body

If you are swimming and have become somewhat bored with just swimming laps, try switching things up. Perform whichever stroke you like and only use your upper or lower body. For example, begin by warming up with 2 regular laps. Then just use your legs one lap, then just your upper body for another lap, and back to 2 laps with your whole body. This will put more pressure upon your legs and arms, making you work your cardiorespiratory system more and stress your muscles differently as well. As you get better, you can perform more laps with just your arms or legs.

What are aqua shoes?

Aqua Shoes

Aqua shoes don't refer to the latest hot color for spring! If you do a lot of swimming and water aerobics exercises, pool walking, etc., consider getting aqua shoes, which are designed to give stability and traction under water. And they look good poolside or at the beach.

Can I get stronger by using weight training equipment in the pool?

Water Workout Gadget Warning

Before you try ankle weights in the water, re-watch murder mystery movies where the victim gets tossed overboard with ankles weighted down. Use only paddles, plastic bells, or other devices made specifically for water exercise workouts by reputable companies. People have drowned using things like weighted belts and ankle weights during water exercises in the pool.

What is a good shoulder stretching routine for swimming?

Stretching Shoulders

Swimmers should stretch the back of their shoulders, but not the front. They need some muscle resistance for leverage during water aerobic exercises, and stretching the front of the shoulders (anterior deltoids) can loosen them up too much. Some competitive swimmers have injured themselves by this inappropriate stretching.

What can I do to improve my swimming for triathalon?

Triathlon Training

Are you the weakest link when it comes to exercise? Don't give in to the Fear Factor! Swimming is the weak link for many triathletes. That's all the more reason to practice swimming and water aerobic exercises. If the race is in open water--lake or ocean--don't do all your water exercise training in a pool. If you're not confident in open water, swim where it's shallow or have a friend come along with a boat or board.

Will my swimming experience make me a good runner?

Adding Land Exercise

Think you're like the Marines, fit and powerful by land, sea, or air? If you're primarily a swimmer and want to add running or triathlon, work into it slowly while still doing your water aerobic exercises. Your legs may not be as strong as your cardiovascular system although water exercise does work the leg muscles.

What´s good dry land practice for a beginning surfer?

Balance Board Training

Before you shoot the curl, dude, try hanging ten on land. Good surfers know swimming and water exercises without proper balance can lead to a wipeout when you're catching the waves. Get a balance board and you can hone your surfing reactions on dry land.

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