Exercising in a gym can have a lot of high impact on our bodies, compared to swimming and other aquatic exercises in a pool. While gym work can be risky for those working on rehabilitation or have pre-existing injuries, when you are in the water at chest height, your body weight is approximately 10% less than normal. This can make some exercises easier, however by adding resistance, it can make them harder too! When you exercise in a plunge pool, it means you are able to combine high resistance activities that are low in impact. Regular training sessions in your plunge pool can increase your strength and cardiovascular fitness too! All without burning-out or risking injuries like you are more likely to do in a gym workout routine.
Even though you can complete a workout in any sized swimming pool, a plunge pool is a great addition to your backyard, if you have space restraints. Plunge pools are also easier and cheaper to heat. Which most people choose to do- unless you are wanting to stick to a traditional ‘cold’ plunge pool!
Not only are plunge pools used for your family’s health and wellbeing, they are used leisurely for relaxation and entertaining too. You don’t need to exercise in your plunge pool every single day to experience an increase of the tone in your muscles and an improvement of your overall fitness, and the benefits of exercising in a plunge pool are endless. Plunge pools are not just for retirement villages anymore! The great news about getting fit in a plunge pool is there are NO SWIMMING LAPS!
Here are 5 simple ways that you can get fit in your pool:
When you are in the water, slowly walk a few steps forward, and then walk backwards. Repeat this, increasing your speed as you go. You can alternate between walking and jogging each 30 seconds.
2- Upper body exercises
Once submerged up to your neck, extend your arms to shoulder height, then start rotating them in forward circles at a moderate speed. Complete about 20 repetitions (or when your arms get tired!) forwards, and then repeat backwards. You can also add weights to increase the intensity. Press-ups and dips
Using the edge of the pool, press yourself up and out of the water. Use your triceps (back of the arms) to reverse the movement back down into the pool. You can slow it down for a more intense burn. Complete 10-15 reps- the slower the better!
3- Lower body exercises
Lunges (and/or) squats
Do these just as you would on land. In shallower water so you can squat lower. Knees go over the toes, as you have the 90 degree bend in the knee. You can add in a jump out of the water between each squat to train for explosive power. If you choose lunges you can stay on one leg for 20 reps each side, or alternate between legs if you need some rest.
Squat pulls using a pool noodle
In the deep end, use pool noodle under your feet and bring your feet up as if you were doing a squat, then extend back down into a straight legged position.This will add an element of balance to your training too. You can also have another pool noodle under your arms and lean back to extend your feet out straight on more of an angle. Both exercises will engage your core. Complete 20-30 quick repetitions of either (or both).
Using a small ball
Hold a ball straight out in front of you at chest level while bouncing on one leg for 30 seconds and then switch legs. Complete this exercise, alternating each leg for 2-3 minutes each side. To make it easier you can bend your arms, or to make it harder you can add weight by using a heavier ball, or even holding weights instead.
Keep your feet in a split-stance, with both arms straight out in front of you but just below the water’s surface. Rotate at your core from side to side. Add weights for additional resistance to make it more challenging, or stand up out of the water to make it easier. Complete 15-20 repetitions each side.
For best results you can complete the above 5 examples in a circuit of 2-3 sets of each exercise. As with all exercise advice, please consult your healthcare professional if you have any preexisting conditions or concerns. If you experience pain or abnormal discomfort, please reconsider the movement/action.You should always complete some full body stretches outside of the pool. And note there should be an element of discomfort- as you know what they say ‘No pain, no Gain’- but be smart and listen to your body.
Cool down, warm up and stretches
Make sure you spend at least 5 minutes prior to exercise, and also after your workout to restore your heart rate to resting, by walking slowly and breathing deeply. A full body stretch before and after training is crucial to prevent injury. After your workout, it is encouraged to eat/drink some protein to assist recovery.
Keeping healthy utilising your own backyard has never been easier. There are plenty of variations and ideas online to keep you motivated in your plunge pool. Alongside an exercise routine, it is recommended for us to balance our work routines, and our food habits to lead healthy lives with balance. Eat clean by adding in more fruits and vegetables, and reduce the packaged/processed foods. Another tip is to choose grass fed (over grain fed) meats. Protein will help your body recover from your training, so make sure you fuel your body with protein after you finish your workout. Another part of balancing our life is keeping a healthy social life by looking after our mental health. Getting outdoors and into your plunge pool is proven to be great for our mental health, and if you do it with a friend, you will be increasing your social life too! Contact our team at Factory Pools Perth or visit the website and we would love to assist you in your plunge pool planning.