Ever woken up in the morning to go running and then remembered how your knees protested last time? Or maybe it’s the middle of summer so the only way to beat the baking sun is to get up at the crack of dawn (way before your brain is alive…).
It’s O.K.; you’re not the only one.
So what should you do? Many people have taken up water exercising as the solution. The density of the water slows your movements so you can’t jar your joints, while at the same time providing resistance to work against. And you can swim in or out of doors depending on the weather, so no more baking
So you’ve decided water exercising is the way to go, but where do you start? There are so many different accessories to use for so many workout variations it can be quite overwhelming.
Here to help you make heads and tails of it all is a list of the main water workout gear and what it’s used for. Then you can pick and choose depending on the type of exercising you want to focus on. And don’t forget to check out what your local pool has for you to borrow; then you can try it out before deciding to buy it yourself.
1. Pool Shoes
These are recommended for anyone doing water aerobics, aqua jogging, physical therapy, etc. They not only help to protect your feet from the rough pool floor but also give you added traction and more weight resistance to work against.
2. Webbed Gloves
These are great for water aerobics. The webbing causes you to push against more water, which is harder for your arm. This makes them great for arm strength training. And you can pretend to be a frog!
3. Resistance Cuffs
These are available for both ankles and wrists. They’re basically just extra weight to strap to your limbs to increase resistance and make exercises harder. Good for aerobics and strength building.
4. Water Belts
These are designed to give additional floating help. This means you can float in water deeper than you are tall and still have your head above water. The possible number of exercises you can do increases when wearing one of these belts. Some water aerobics classes provide them, but if not one like this would be great.
5. Pull Buoys
These are pieces of foam designed for swimmers to hold between their legs. They allow a swimmer to keep their legs up without having to kick. Swimmers are then able to focus more on improving their stroke.
6. Hand Paddles/ Feet Fins
While these two things look different and go on different body parts, they accomplish similar goals. Both increase resistance to the hands/feet to help build strength in those areas. They also help propel a swimmer faster. This means a swimmer can focus less on moving forward and more on proper technique.
A kickboard is the companion to a pull buoy. It allows a swimmer to keep their arms up without stoking, meaning they can direct more attention on improving their kick.
8. Foam Dumbbells
These look a lot like normal hand weights, but they don’t weigh as much. Their foam construction means they naturally float. These are great for arm workouts where you push them underwater and resist them popping back to the surface.
9. Waterproof watch
These are great for swimmers timing laps if the pool doesn’t have one.
10. Waterproof iPod
Don’t forget your Underwater Audio shuffle! Stave off the boredom of repetitious workouts with your favorite music on a small, easy-to-use device.
Which accessory would you suggest to a newcomer?
Which one gives you the best workout?