What any exercise do is help to warm up your body and then strengthen your muscles. By following any exercise regime every day, anyone can gain endurance and live a healthy life. When it comes to sports, it differs from one sport to another because each sport has a unique set of techniques, and these techniques focus on different muscle groups.
In swimming, several exercises are done before and after entering the pool. Before entering the pool, mostly the swimmers need to do the stretching exercises to warm up the body, and it helps to prepare the muscles for the long toll it is going to endure.
Swimming Stretching Exercises
Those stretching exercises are leg stretches, neck stretches, shoulder stretches, push-ups, crunches, squats, pull-ups, etc. These are basic exercises, and during the off-season, swimmers do power training to develop endurance and strength.
Swimmers should focus on full-body exercises because they need to use their whole body effectively in swimming to achieve the best performance. Also, a swimmer should maintain their body weight to swim well. The athlete should do more calorie-burning exercises than the workouts done during the swimming practice sessions.
When considering which swimming exercise to do after entering the pool, it has been identified that doing exercises inside the pool is more challenging. Because in water, the water resistance is a lot more than the resistance caused by air on the land. This resistance helps to engage every muscle in the exercises and burn more calories. These aquatic workouts mostly come under the cardio workout category. Also, these workouts help to gain more strength, endurance, and flexibility. The other advantage of aquatic exercises is there is less impact on the body, fewer injuries and less equipment are needed.
Engaging in pool exercises is beneficial as the whole body is involved in those exercises while increasing the heart rate without stressing your body. It also tones your muscles, and also pool exercising builds strength and builds endurance.
Pool exercises help to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system in the body. It makes your heart and lungs strong. Researchers have found that swimming exercises can lower blood pressure, and these exercises can control the sugar levels inside the body.
Some swimming pool exercises are walk in water, water arm lifts, lateral arm lifts, leg shots, jumping jacks, high knee extension, leg kicks, etc.
Figure 1- Walk-in water is a good exercise that any swimmer can perform with resistance. It targets the core muscle, muscles of arms and legs. This exercise can be started in the shallow water, and when it goes to advanced levels, it can be done in the deep water. This can be done by keeping the arms beside the body and moving them as you walk. Increasing the speed or using weights can speed up the calorie-burning rate.
Water Arm Lifts
Figure 2- Water arm lifts helps to increase endurance in arms. This exercise helps in drawing more water to yourself and pulling. You can also use dumbbells to perform this exercise with more resistance. First, you need to stand in the swimming pool, water up to your shoulders, and then you need to hold the dumbbells with your palms facing up. Rotate your wrists to turn your palms face down. Lower your arms back to the starting position and repeat it back.
The exercise ‘Lateral arm lifts’ focuses on the athlete’s upper body. When it’s done with dumbbells, it increases the endurance more. Using the dumbbells, this should be done at a water level where water is up to your shoulder level. This exercise can take the dumbbells up to the water level from the sides and lower them back.
Leg shoots exercise focuses on the lower back, legs and core muscles. Tuck the knees into the chest level, press your feet explosively fast with legs out in front, float flat on the back, and draw your knees back into your chest. You have to keep your feet off the bottom of the pool during this exercise.
Jumping jacks exercise works effectively on your upper and lower body. To perform this workout, you can stand in the water up to the chest level and start with the feet together and arms beside the body. Then start to jump by moving the legs outward and at the same time bringing the arms back to the head level and repeating this exercise back. The resistance can increase with wrist and ankle weights.
High Knee lift Extension can strengthen your core and lower body muscles. In this exercise also, adding ankle weights can increase the difficulty. First, you should stand in water at your waist height to perform this workout. Engage the core and lift the right leg, bending the knee until the leg is in level with the water. Pause the leg lifted for a few seconds. Extend the leg straight out and hold this position for a few seconds. Slowly lower the leg down, keeping it straight. Repeat this move with the other leg and do the same.
Leg Kicks exercise works on the core muscle and lower body area. The athlete can increase the resistance and difficulty by using more weights and other equipment. This can be done using a kickboard or holding the pool gutter.
Water helps to relax the muscles after aquatic exercises. These exercises are the basics of pool exercises. When the workouts get advanced, swimming drills are also considered part of the pool exercises. In many water sports, participants were asked to stay in the pool for some time for the proper relaxation of the muscles.
Some of the advanced exercises are pool planks, forward and side lunges, underwater swimming, one leg balance, deep water bicycle, pushups, holding the breath underwater, doing pulls-in underwater etc.
Pool plank can be performed by standing on the pool floor. Hold a long cylindrical piece of foam that floats vertically in both hands, press it straight down into the water, and lean forward until the body is on an even incline. This can be held up to 1-2 minutes or even longer.
Forward and side lunges can be performed by standing near a pool wall or the pool gutter for support. And then take an oversized lunge step in a forward direction. Return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg. For a side lunge, face the pool wall and take an oversized step to the side. Keep toes facing forward. Repeat on the other side. The more reps you do is, the more calories you burn.
Figure 3 – Underwater cycling is one leg balance exercise; you need to stand on one leg while raising the other knee to hip level and hold as long as you can up to 30 seconds and switch legs. A kickboard or a pool noodle can be taken as support for this exercise.
The exercise ‘deepwater bicycle’ can be done in two ways. One way is to place the cycling machines in the water and ride it inside the water with the resistance of the water. The other way is holding the gutter and moving your legs as if you are riding a bicycle.
Figure 4 – Push-ups can be performed in the water while standing by the poolside pool and placing arms shoulder-width apart on the pool edge or the pool gutter. Press weight through the hands and raise the body up, and halfway out of the water, keeping elbows slightly bent and holding it for 5 to 10 seconds and press back.
Wearing water shoes or paddles in hands can be used to increase the difficulty by more resistance to the body, and it helps to strengthen the hands and legs while burning the calories.
Under water swimming with tied up arms and legs
Underwater swimming with tied up arms and legs these exercises help to stabilize the body balance, strengthen muscle power, and burn more calories. The underwater breath-holding exercises, kicking and pulling strengthen the lungs and increase the lung capacity. That helps to hold your breath longer in any situation. When performing aquatic exercises at an advanced level, the hands and legs can be tied up together. This tying up process must be done according to the focused muscle group and perform the exercise. This encourages the focused muscle group’s better usage and engagement, burns more calories than the routine exercises and strengthens the body.
Swimming exercises are known as fast cardio workouts because even the body temper goes high in the pool, but there is no way for sweating. So even when the athlete comes up from the pool, calories are burning. So as a safety tip, it is a must that an athlete should always drink more water to prevent dehydration of the body.
If someone wants to burn fat in the lower body, they can hold the gutter and kick faster continuously. If someone wants to burn calories of the upper body, they can do pulls with a kickboard. These exercises can strengthen up the muscle groups and burn calories more.
Swimming is also known as a full-body workout that burns more calories, and it has its effects on every muscle in the body. Fast swimming in the pool while keeping the heart rate at a top-level like 160 can heat the body and burn more calories than running on the ground. If the athlete swims long distances at a moderate phase duration, it will burn calories. If the athlete swims short distances in a fast phase with a short interval, that will also burn more calories.