In a swimming pool, each time someone pulls, push, or kick the water, they are performing resistance training and ideally mimicking a cardio session, which is done in the gym. Swimming is a great full-body workout routine. Engaging in these exercises effectively boosts cardio fitness, burns calories, and strengthens the major muscle groups in the body.
If someone wants to tone up the body and strengthen muscles using weights, water weights are the perfect solution. These water weights are similar to dumbbell weights and ankle weights. When using water dumbbells, it’s essential to keep them in the water, and when you take them out of the water, water provides resistance to these dumbbells. When dumbbells come out from the water, the resistance is less on the dumbbells. So, when doing dumbbell exercises, the dumbbell should stay inside the water to take maximum advantage of the resistance. When increasing the depth of the dumbbell curl and when increasing the movement, there will be a more resistance impact on it. If the athlete wants to increase the resistance, the athlete can increase the depth and the movement with the dumbbells when exercising.
The athlete needs to put more strength when doing pool exercises to overcome the resistance. As a result, the strength of the body will be increased. This is very advantageous to an athlete. Using weights in pool training is a method of training where the more significant the resistance, the stronger the muscles groups get, which will transcend into better performance in competitive events. First, the athlete should maintain balance while training with the water weights. The athlete doesn’t have to deal with gravity like regular weight training. This feels different to a beginner, but with time the athlete adapts to these types of training eventually. Perfect upper body exercises which can be done with water weights are karate punches, bicep curls, shoulder shrugs, triceps push, rows and flies.
The exercise’ karate punches’ affects many muscle groups in the arms. You have to hold the weights close to your chest and punch them out into the water and pull the weight back.
Bicep curls are another exercise that can be done using weights in the pool. This can be done as the regular dumbbell curl and with the palm facing up, contracting the biceps,to pull the weights up to the shoulders. And then you have to lower them back down slowly.
Shoulder shrugs are a good exercise and a better way to release the tension. You need to stand with the arms at the sides of the body, slowly raise the shoulders with the weights, and pull them back.
Triceps pushdown can be done with the ankle weights using the gutter and with the usual way of doing triceps push down with dumbbells. This can be done using the angle weights too. Here, the ankle weights must be tied up on the ankles and the gutter must be held with both hands with the reverse grip, and the back should be attached with the wall. And then, you need to raise the body with the support of hands and again lower the body into the pool.
When using the weights, you need to stand up with weights by the chest with the elbows bent, palms facing each and push the weights down into the water while the arms are straight. After that, bring the weights back up to the chest.
It is the same as the karate punches when doing rows in the pool. Put the arms out from the body with palm facing down and take it back to the chest using the arms and shoulders.
Barbell flies is an exercise that can be performed with weights in the pool to make your chest muscle well defined. This can be done by taking the weights to the front of the chest and stretching the arms while the palms face each other. Then pull the shoulders back, move the arms out, and bring the weights back to the started position.
Like the upper body workouts, lower body workouts can be performed with water weights. Many injuries and impacts happen when athletes engage in lower body workouts. So, the trainers recommend doing underwater exercises to their athletes to reduce injuries and reduce the body’s harmful impacts. The athletes can build muscles by doing pool exercises, toning up the skin(due to exposure to sunlight) and burning unwanted calories. The advantage of underwater exercises is having a resistance of water that results in better performance of the exercise. Some of the popular lower body pool exercises are underwater running, underwater jumping jacks, squats, swimming, walking with footpads, etc. these can be done using weights to increase the resistance and thereby get more results.
Underwater running has more impact exercise than regular running. In the pool, this can be performed using ankle weights. Ankle weights give extra resistance, which affects the leg muscles and strengthens the leg muscles.
Underwater jumping jacks can be performed with ankle weights, which gives extra resistance, affecting the hip, legs, and foot muscles.
Squats in the pool can be performed underwater with a resistance challenge with water weights that push the body back up toward the surface.
Using kickboards and pull boards can be used to increase the resistance when swimming. While using the pull boards the upper body muscles start to work as the pulling effect is created and while using kickboards, the lower body muscles start to work as the kicking effect.
Walking with footpads need extra power to walk in the pool, which helps build muscular legs and a strong hip.
These exercises that can be done using the pool weights are separated as upper and lower body exercises. There are full-body workouts also. Some of them are jogging in the pool, sprinting, swimming, etc. By applying the weights for these exercises, the resistance can be increased, and thereby more power is needed to perform the exercises.
Jogging inside the pool is more effortless than jogging on the ground. But when weights are applied, it gives more resistance, and the athlete needs more force. The weights can be attached to the ankle for the pool jogging exercise.
Sprinting in the pool is a moderate-level swimming pool workout; the sprint works with the advantage of the water-resistance. It helps burn more calories in the core area and strengthen the mid-section of the body. Also, this exercise boosts the metabolism and causes the loosing of some pounds in the body.
When performing this exercise, the athlete must be in an area where the water reaches the athlete’s shoulders. Then lean back against the pool edge with the elbows and with both legs together, extend them straight while lifting them slowly until they reach the water surface. Then lower them slowly until they are straight and reach the pool floor. This exercise heats the body, and as a result, this helps burn more calories.
Swimming is also a full-body workout that can help in burning more calories. When weights are applied for the swimming, more energy is needed for the athlete to move the body. Water resistance and the resistance that comes from the weights make athletes challenging to swim. When the athlete puts in more energy, the whole body starts to burn more calories while strengthening the body, especially the arms, legs, core area and lungs.
The exercises which are done in the pool affect in many ways. These exercises can be categorized according to the goal of the athlete also. If the athlete wants to develop and strengthen the upper body, they can do exercises mainly focused on the upper body area. If the athlete wants to increase the strength of the lower body area, they can do the lower body focused pool exercises.
If someone only needs to burn calories and tone up the body, the pool exercises that activate the whole body are suitable.
Suppose a person with injuries needs to build muscles and shape up the body with less impact. In that case, that person can do pool workouts with the weights because it’s a less impact exercise and suitable for the old, disabled people and the people who are having injuries.
When using pool weights, it is essential to work with the range of motion, unless these exercises can cause injuries to the athlete.
These pool workouts with weights are usually done in the offseason because it takes more time to recover the body, as safety tips must be considered. When performing these exercises with weights, there should be a partner because if the athlete gets an imbalance in the body, that can cause injuries to the athlete. If the athlete is a beginner to the pool weight exercises, the speed of the movement should be slower, at least until they learn the correct techniques.
While exercising in the pool, sweating happens more than a typical workout session on the ground; therefore, the body can quickly dehydrate. So, before the athlete starts the workout and after the workout, the athlete should drink more water to stop the body’s dehydration. While working out in a pool, remember not to work out in heated pools because it can cause the athlete to have heat strokes due to the high temperature during sunny days. If the athlete cannot swim properly, the exercises should be performed in the shallow area of the pool. Going through the above-mentioned main safety tips, you can stop and reduce the harmful impacts and injuries that would be caused due to pool weight exercises.