Exercising in water is a fantastic way to get and stay fit. Aquatic exercise is a low-impact activity that provides a great full-body workout without the risk of injury as the body is almost weightless in the water and it takes the pressure off your bones, joints, and muscles.
Water also offers natural resistance, which can help strengthen your muscles and keep them lean and toned. Exercising in water with pool exercise equipment is an excellent alternative for individuals who can’t tolerate the stresses of land-based exercises and also works as a form of physical therapy if you are injured.
Regular aquatic exercise can improve cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory fitness, muscle strength and power, agility, flexibility, and bone density. Let’s take a look at the benefits of water workouts and the best pool exercise equipment to use to maximize your aqua workouts.
Aquatic exercise is a low-impact activity that provides a great full-body workout. US Marines working out in the pool by USMC- 08381 / Wiki Commons (Public Domain)
What are the Benefits of Pool Exercises?
Working out in the pool can make some exercises that you do on land more challenging because water offers heavier resistance than air. Heavier resistance can engage your muscles to their full capacity, which in turn, burns more calories during your workout and strengthens your muscles over time.
Aquatic exercise with pool exercise equipment provides a fantastic cardio workout that increases your heart rate and improves flexibility, endurance, and strength. The buoyancy of water also provides extra cushioning and support for your joints and muscles and joints and allows you to work out harder while putting less impact on your body than you would on land.
It’s Low Impact Exercise
Aquatic exercise with pool exercise equipment is a very low impact form of exercise as the water’s buoyancy reduces the impact that many land-based exercises have on your joints and muscles. It is an excellent form of exercise for people who have joint conditions, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or fibromyalgia. It’s also a gentler form of exercise for women who are pregnant.
Enhances Your Balance and Coordination
Exercising in water can go a long way towards improving and enhancing your coordination and balance. It helps to build core stability, build muscle strength, and flexibility – all key elements of balance and coordination. Water-based exercises are also a good option if you suffer from vertigo or ear imbalances as there is no risk of losing balance, falling over, and injuring yourself.
Improves Your Cardiovascular Strength
It is a known fact that regular exercise improves overall cardiovascular fitness, cardiorespiratory fitness, and heart health, and aqua exercise is no different. When you are in the water, the pressure of the surrounding water can help with blood circulation. Better blood circulation reduces your blood pressure, which puts less strain on your heart as it pumps blood. Over time, your heart becomes stronger, and your cardiovascular strength improves.
One of the main benefits of water aerobics and other water-based exercises is that it helps improve flexibility. Water has a high resistance, and this makes your muscles work harder when exercising in the pool. Over time, working against this resistance during aqua exercises, particularly if you are using pool exercise equipment, increases your flexibility both on dry land and in water.
Water-based exercises help improve flexibility. An aqua aerobics class by Tim Ross / Wiki Commons (Public Domain)
Builds Physical Endurance
A water-based exercise is a fantastic form of muscle resistance training, which works with a variety of different muscles in the body. Continued resistance work in the water will increase muscle strength and overall endurance, which, in turn, improves cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory strength, and heart health.
Burns Calories, Tones Muscles, and Helps with Weight Loss
Water-based exercises can help you burn up to 1,000 calories per hour and even more if it is in cold water as your body will burn more energy to keep warm. The more calories you burn, the more weight you lose. In addition to losing weight, aqua exercise is great for muscle toning.
Aids Recovery for Injuries
Exercising in the water is one of the best forms of therapy for injuries. The low-impact, high-resistance environment of the water is an ideal place to begin exercising again after an injury as the water keeps any weight or impact of the injury. It also helps to build muscle strength again without compromising the injury or the joints, tendons, muscles, or limbs around it.
As mentioned previously, it is also an excellent form of exercise for people who have joint conditions, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or fibromyalgia.
Mental Health Benefits
Water is a soul-soothing element and exercising in water, whether it is swimming or exercising using pool exercise equipment relaxes your body, mind, and soul, and boosts your mental health in numerous ways.
It can help with insomnia and sleep issues; it reduces anxiety and stress; it increases concentration, and it can relieve depression (especially in cold water).
Water is a soul-soothing exercise that is good for body, mind, and soul.
Do I Need Pool Exercise Equipment?
In short, yes. Exercising in the water is far more effective if you have a few pieces of pool exercise equipment to work with. This will not only make your workouts more interesting but also allows you to work different parts of your body and get a full-body workout.
Here are some ideas for pool exercise equipment and how to use them to enjoy a complete body workout in the water.
Aqua dumbbells are an important piece of pool exercise equipment if you want to work your arm muscles. They are made of foam, super lightweight, and very buoyant. The trick to using aqua dumbbells is that instead of picking them up as you would land dumbbells, you need to push these under the water and try and keep them there. Water-resistance will make this difficult, which gives your arms an awesome workout.
You can use aqua dumbbells for a variety of water exercises, ranging from bicep curls, tricep push-downs, and jumping jacks to shoulder raises (with the emphasis on the downward push) and walking or running through the water while holding them beneath the surface of the water.
Check out these cool ideas for water exercises with aqua dumbbells: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deX_XCxapgg
Aqua-Jogger Classic Belt / Aqua-Jogger Pro Belt
Water jogging is the same as jogging on land without the hard impact on your knees, hips, and other joints. Jogging against the resistance of the water gives you just as good a workout as jogging on land without the risk of injury and it burns calories! Researchers (Reilly et al, 2003) found that runners who train at low to moderate intensities in the deep end of the pool get a better, more efficient cardiovascular workout than on the treadmill.
An aqua-jogger or water-jogging belt is a foam belt that clips around your waist to give you some added buoyancy while jogging. These belts are made from thick, long-lasting foam that is comfortable around the waist and is secured by a clip belt to ensure a secure fit.
A water-jogging belt can be used for all types of water exercises, particularly if you exercise in the deep end of the pool and need an extra measure of buoyancy.
Here is a great video on how to use the aqua belt and some ideas for jogging and deep water running: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_PEHX9vkJ8
Pool noodles aren’t just for kids – they are a fantastic piece of pool exercise equipment to use in the water when doing water-based exercises. It can be used as a flotation device for children and adults who are learning how to swim, as well as adults who need extra buoyancy while doing aqua aerobics or exercises in the pool.
You can use a pool noodle for a wealth of exercises in the water from noodle tucks and twists to side-to-side kicks, in-water sit-ups, jumping jacks, and jogging or jumping in place.
Here are some great ideas for water exercises with a pool noodle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNepsYNb3L0
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Aquatic webbed gloves or aqua gloves are a great way to increase resistance while doing water aerobics or other water exercises. These webbed gloves help your hand to catch the water correctly and give you extra pull power when moving your hands through the water.
There are several types of webbed gloves for water exercises ranging from open or closed fingertips to ones with adjustable wrist straps for a universal and secure fit.
Check out these fun exercises to enjoy with your aqua gloves: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77Z_QoA5z1A
AquaLogix Resistance Fins may look like something out of a science-fiction movie, but they are an invaluable piece of pool exercise equipment for building core, arm, or leg strength and toning muscles. The odd-looking has blades attached to a Velcro strap that wraps around your ankles or wrists.
Boasting four blades of varying resistance (different colors indicate the different resistance levels), the resistance fins work hard to stabilize and strengthen muscles, no matter which way you swing, kick or move your arms or legs.
AquaLogix Resistance Fins are a must in the water if you are looking for a workout with maximum intensity and resistance with minimal impact. They are available in two different sizes and resistance options – blue for maximum resistance with six-inch blades, and green for low-resistance options with four-inch blades.
Watch this video to see how the AquaLogix Resistance Fins are used to work out in the water: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BDu7423QJw
The Aqua Versa-Tube is a waterproof resistance band that can be used in the pool for water-based workouts. The resistance band is similar to those used in dryland exercises however, it has a waterproof and chlorine-resistant coating that protects it from chemical damage. Each band handle is covered in water-resistant material and has plugs at either end to keep water out.
The best way to use the Aqua Versa-Tube is to stand on one end of the tube and take the other end handle with the opposite hand and perform exercises like stretching out the arm holding the handle as high as you can and then gently bring back down. You could also stand in the middle of the tube, grab both handles, and simultaneously lift both arms.
Here are some ideas on how to use the Aqua Versa-Tube in the water: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veJN-XyYoiM
Foam Swim Aquatic Cuffs
Swimming aquatic cuffs are foam cuffs that can be worn on the ankles or the wrists and provide flotation while you are working out in the water. The lightweight, foam cuffs give you extra resistance to your water workout to make it more challenging and to work your arm and leg muscles harder. They have adjustable straps to ensure a secure fit for all ages.
Take a look at this video to get some ideas of fun exercises to try with your water cuffs in the pool: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myUeg_VLmC4
Water Exercise Discs
Water exercise discs are another great resistance tool to use in the water while exercising. Made from super-soft, flexible, and buoyant high-quality foam, the discs feature a comfortable grip and are held by hand underwater while doing arm exercises
The easy-grip opening can be used with or without the thumb hole and is comfortable to use for all forms of water-based exercise, aqua aerobics, and aquatic therapy.
Here is a video with some exercises using water exercise discs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kKHobdxNV8
A pull buoy is a flotation device that is designed to fit between your legs and prevent you from kicking while swimming. It also provides flotational support for the lower body so that you can focus on upper body training in any depth of water.
Although technically used for swim training, a pull buoy can be used during water exercises as well. You can place the pull buoy between your legs while doing arm exercises for extra buoyancy.
Check out this cool video on how to improve your swim stroke with a pull buoy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITK0chbKegI