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Aqua Aerobics - Water Aerobics Exercises

Rita Putatunda Mar 12, 2020
Aqua aerobics, or swimming pool exercises, is a great way to get fit without the usual risks of injury and pain associated with conventional aerobic workouts done on land or in a gym.
Aqua aerobics, also referred to as water aerobics, is one of the most effective and safe ways to get yourself into shape. Basically, these are exercises done in a swimming pool. Usually, an instructor stands on the deck of the pool, demonstrating various arm, leg and core exercises, which a class of exercisers, standing in chest deep water, follows.
These exercises are usually done to rhythmic music. Weights can also be included in the workout. Each workout session runs for about 45-60 minutes.
It begins with a warm-up session, which incorporates slow cardio and stretching exercises to get the muscles ready for the increased activity to follow, and ends with a cool-down, where the limbs and other parts of the body are stretched and relaxed. According to estimations, about 500-700 calories are burned in a whole session.
Like other forms of aerobic workouts, swimming pool exercises have benefits like helping you in losing weight, lowering blood sugar levels, reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, and so on. However, aqua aerobics has additional benefits over other forms of aerobic exercises.
Since the buoyancy of water supports 90 percent of the body, practically anyone can do aquatic exercises, regardless of factors like fitness levels, obesity, age, and health conditions. For instance, swimming pool exercises is an ideal way to start for newbies just beginning an exercise program.
It conditions all the major groups of muscles, as well as the lungs and heart. Plus, it is a gentler way of building cardio-respiratory and muscular endurance.

Is Aqua Aerobics for Overweight People?

People who are overweight also find aerobics a great way to exercise. One of the reasons overweight people get quickly discouraged from continuing an exercise program is the great stress their joints and ligaments undergo in conventional aerobics, which can result in injury and pain.
However, because the body gets buoyant in water, and less stress is put on joints and ligaments, it not only reduces the chances of injury, but overweight people can actually enjoy their workout. This can be a great motivating factor for them to stick to their exercise routine, and thereby shed their excess weight.

Water Aerobics for Injured

Water aerobics is also excellent for people recovering from an injury or surgery, or with health conditions like heart problems, arthritis, backache, osteoporosis, and so on. This is because the cushioning effect of water makes the exercises gentler on the body, while providing an effective workout.
As a matter of fact, many sports personalities with injuries use water exercises to rehab. For instance, one can safely strengthen muscles by jogging in water, since it cuts out the stress of heavy impact when it is done on land, which can actually exacerbate the injury.
Besides, apart from getting an overall workout, exercises concentrated on the injured part can also be safely done, thus helping to quicken recovery.

Water Aerobic Exercises for Pregnant Women

Aqua aerobics is particularly beneficial for pregnant women. With the added load in their belly and the increase in weight during pregnancy, most women find conventional forms of exercising quite difficult. Besides, there is the higher risk of sustaining injury in the hips, back, or other parts of the body.
The fear of injury, in fact, often results in pregnant women being too cautious about exercising, or giving it up altogether. However, this is the period when they need to be at their fittest, in order to have a better birth process, and be a healthy mother to a newborn child.
The buoyancy of water alleviates the fear of injury, which relaxes pregnant women. Plus, it also helps them to perform movements which they would find hard to do on land.

Can Aerobics be Practiced by Aged?

Another group of people for whom aqua aerobics is ideal is senior citizens. Many people in this age group have age-related conditions like brittle bones.
Besides, if they have not been exercising, conventional aerobics done on land can be pretty tough on their aging bodies, increasing their chances of either injuring themselves or worsening a health condition like heart disease.
Water's buffering effect protects them from such risks. Besides, the group activity that aerobics provides is also an additional benefit for this age group, for it gives them an avenue for overcoming loneliness by meeting new people and forming friendships.

Aqua Aerobic Exercises

To derive a great cardiovascular workout, one has to push the body through the water and work through the resistance. Most of the water aerobics exercise do not require any equipment, however, water weights, benches, noodles, etc. can be used for a good workout.
It is recommended, that one does the exercises without any equipment in the initial stages and add weights to increase resistance after a certain period. Some of the exercises, which can be a part of the workout include:
Marching / Jogging: Depending on fitness level one can either choose to march or jog in the water. It helps in strengthening the lower body including the thighs, hamstrings and quadriceps. For better results, one should interval train, with each interval spanning 30 to 60 seconds with a break of 20 to 30 seconds between two intervals.
K-Tread: This is an exercise for the upper as well as the lower body, as it works the arms, back and chest as well as buttocks and hamstrings along with the abs. Stand on one leg and make small circles with the other leg. As you do this cup your hands and resist the buoyancy of water with your hands. Repeat the same with the other leg.

Repeat the exercise for 30 seconds before you switch sides and repeat it 3 times on both the sides.
Leg Raises: This is a core strengthening exercise. To do this exercise, one will have to stand with the back against the pool wall and the hands on the wall behind. Slowly lift both your legs up, as though you want to touch your knee to your forehead. Hold the position for a few seconds and then release your legs. Repeat the exercise for 10-12 reps.
Kicks: People with weak knees or those who want to tone their thighs should do kicks in water regularly. There are three types of kicks, which can be performed in water, namely the side kicks, forward kicks and back kicks. Begin the exercise by standing closer to the edge of the pool. To do the forward kick, lift the leg and extend it straight in front.
Likewise to do the side and back kick extend the leg either backwards or to the sides. Finish 10 reps of side kicks on one leg and then switch to the other leg. Similarly, do the repetitions of the other kicks.
Jumping Jacks: If the primary aim is to shed some pounds, then this is the exercise which certainly should be a part of the workout. It will work the entire body. The buoyancy of water will ensure you do not injure yourself, yet get a good exercise. It is seen that doing jumping jacks in water gives better results, as compared to doing them on the ground.
On the whole, aqua aerobics can be a fun way of working out, which the participants usually look forward to with enthusiasm and anticipation. Besides getting into better shape, due to the well-known therapeutic powers of water, aquatic exercises can be a form of relaxing and de-stressing.