Thursday, May 27, 2010

Get In Shape For Summer With Aqua Fitness!

This summer if you are looking for a way to get outside, be active, and get away from that hot, smelly gym, then look no further than your nearest pool!

Aqua fitness is the latest craze in alternative exercise and is great for those with muscle and joint problems. Water provides a natural resistance helping you build muscle and lose weight without the strain of a high-impact workout and is an excellent choice for those just beginning a fitness regimen as well as the more seasoned exercise fanatic.

Because water fitness is great for all skill levels, an aqua fitness routine can be as simple as walking in the pool or doing a full on intervals training session. When you are ready, water weights and buoyancy aids can be used to increase your workout and build more muscle tone. The Body Glove Aqua Fitness collection it perfect for those looking to up their workout. As with any exercise the most benefits come from doing short intervals of strength training and cardio. If you are unsure how to start a water training regimen there are many resources on the Web or you can contact your local gym.

Below is a suggested interval training exercise from the Aquatic Exercise Association.

Innovative Aquatic Intervals

•Interval training is designed to alternate between periods of work and periods of active recovery or rest (less intense segments of training).

•Pace yourself; exercise should be challenging, but not painful! At the same time, push yourself to train hard, you should be breathing harder and faster on the work segments.

•Begin with about 1 minute of work and 2-3 minutes of recovery. When that feels easy, increase the amount of activity while decreasing the amount of recovery.

•It is important to stretch your muscles before and after you work out to help prevent injury.

STRETCH – 5-10 minutes

WARM UP – 5 minutes

Heel High Jog: Travel in a Box Pattern - 8 to 10 Rreps.
Jumping Jacks: 8 to 10 Reps.
Jacks in 3’s: Jump Out, In, Out & Bounce Out / Jump In, Out, In & Bounce In - 8 to 10 Reps.
Ankle Reach Front / Heel Reach Back: Reach opposite hand toward foot but maintain tall posture throughout - 8 to 10 reps. on each side


Jumping Jacks: 8 to 10 Reps.
Level II Jack: Bend at knees & hips as if sitting in a chair, shoulders at water’s surface; gently touch the pool bottom, but do not jump - 8 to 10 Reps.
Level II Jack & Tuck: Tuck the knees to the chest as the feet come together for each Jack, concentrate on contacting the abdominals as you tuck - 8 to 10 Reps.
Tuck Hold: Tuck the knees to the chest maintaining the feet off the pool bottom by sculling the arms vigorously; gradually increase the time you stay suspended - 8 to 10 Reps.

Knee Lifts Front: 8 to 10 Reps.
Knee Lifts Corner: 8 to 10 Reps.
Heel High Jog, Legs Wide: 8 to 10 Reps.


Knee High Jog: 8 to 10 Reps.
White Water Run: Run as fast as you can, pulling the elbows behind your body as you pump the arms. Create as much turbulence, “white water”, as you can - 8 to 10 Reps.
Level II Tire Run: Drop into seated position and run with the feet Out, Out, In, In as if running through tires - 8 to 10 Reps.

Jog or Walk around pool with various strides:
•Side Steps
•Giant Steps
•Walk a Tightrope


Ski Variations - 8 to 10 Reps. each
•Cross Country Ski (Lead with the palms for more resistance as the arms swing at the sides.)
•Cross Country Uphill (Dig deeper with the arms, increase the stride length, tuck the knees as the legs switch positions)
•Downhill Moguls (Jump side to side; feet together & knees slightly bent)
•Level II Moguls (drop to seated position, but increase the distance between jumps and tuck the knees to the chest as you alternate sides!)

Level II Jack with CC SKI ARMS: Alternating arm swings front & back - 8 to 10 Reps.
Level II Ski with JACK ARMS: Lift arms laterally & return to sides - 8 to 10 Reps.
Water Walking

STRETCH – 5-10 minutes