We're all about taking the term "beach/pool bum" very literally—lying motionless on a towel, basking in the glory of summer (layered in SPF of course), a summer lemonade in hand. The thought of performing any kind of physical activity is far, far away. But when we learned that we can squeeze in an insanely quick and effective workout while slipping into the pool or ocean for a cooling dip, we were all ears. Who doesn't love some efficient multitasking?
We tapped Alex Figueroa, aquatic fitness instructor at Sports Club/LA in Boston to share his water workout secrets. Follow his five minute circuit and score some serious underwater burn. Then plop back down on your towel and get back to your bumming ways.
1. JUMPING JACKSThis gym class favorite is easy on land, but hop in the water, and you have yourself a challenge. Cup your hands to double the resistance and keep the focus on speed, doing jacks as quickly as you can to get your heart rate up. "In addition to the burst of cardio, you'll strengthen and tone the outer thighs and shoulders," says Figueroa. Do a set of 20. 2. CROSS COUNTRY SKIINGKeep the arms and legs as straight as possible by squeezing the triceps and quads. Alternating right and left, swing them forward and back in opposition: right arm front with left leg and vice versa. "This move is a total-body transformer, hitting quads, core, arms, and back," he notes. Do as many as you can for 30 seconds. 3. HIGH KNEES Standing in waist-deep water, kick up knees to waist, running forward for 20 steps. Then immediately move backwards for 20 steps, so you travel against the current created by the first set. "You want to remember to keep knees high up to the waist and maintain quick footwork to get the most out of this move," Figueroa notes. Do two sets.
4. DEEP WATER POWER WALK Similar to the running with high knees, this move gets you using upper and lower limbs, but without touching the floor. Moving arms in breast stroke motion, move legs up and down in a slight circle, like you would on an elliptical. Move forward 20 steps, then quickly backward for another 20. "This move can be tricky for beginners, so focus on staying tall and moving legs quickly," says Figueroa. Do two sets. 5. PENDULUM PRESS Place a noodle under the armpits to stay afloat. With feet flexed, engage the core, and swing the hips to the right with fully extended legs, keeping them just below surface of the water. Move back to center and repeat to the left. "The faster you press the legs from one side to the other, the greater the glutes and core will be challenged," he says. Do two sets of 20. 6. AB CRUNCH Place a noodle under armpits and recline back until the legs are fully extended and the toes come out of the water. Keeping the toes out of the water, pull the knees to the chest in a controlled motion, and then return the legs to extended position. The trick is to not let the toes drop below the surface of the water. Do as many reps as you can for 30 seconds and increase the time to up the burn.
Image Credit: Fotolia/Andres Rodriguez