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Staying active with water workouts

Sarah Wassner Flynn is a New York City-based writer. She's contributed to magazines such as CosmoGIRL!, National Geographic Kids, Runner's World, Women's Health, Prevention and MetroSports New York. She is also the author of The Book of ...

Water workouts that work

Want to blast away mega calories this summer? Jump into your pool and pump out a few water workouts! Because of the extra resistance that water provides, aqua-based athletics are an awesome way to tone your muscles without jarring your joints. Plus, there is no better way to beat the heat than chilling in a pool. So grab your suit and towel and try these body shaping aquatic moves.

 

AQUA JOG FOR AN AMAZING BODY

Looking to lose those last 10 pounds without tying up your running shoes? Aqua jogging will get you there fast -- and without the grueling impact of jogging on cement. You burn about 400 calories in just 30 minutes of moderate to intense pool running. So strap on a buoyancy belt (or, just wrap a Styrofoam noodle around your waist to keep your head above water), jump in the deep end, and run for 30 minutes. Move your legs using the same motions you would for land-based exercise.

Keep your torso taut, your posture tall, your ankles and feet flexible, and slice your hands through the water. For more intensity, pump up your pace to an all-out sprint for one minute. Rest for 30 seconds, then repeat five times total.

WALK THIS WAY TO Get TONED

If you are looking for a more mellow workout, you can always aqua walk. Start in shallow water and walk across the pool until it gets about chest-deep. Turn around and stride back to your initial position, then repeat. Go back and forth until you reach the 30-minute mark, at which you'll have burned a good 150 calories. To protect your feet from a harsh concrete pool bottom, invest in a pair of water shoes.

WATER JUMPING JACKS WILL GET YOU FIT FAST

Celebs like Julia Roberts get their perfect physiques through water-based moves like jumping jacks. But you won't need a celebrity trainer to try these at home or at your local public pool.

Stand in chest-deep water and do 25 jumping jacks as you would on land; rest, then repeat. To maximize the challenge to your muscles, don't raise your arms above the water's surface. This increases the resistance, giving you an even better workout.

HAVE A BALL -- AND TONE, TOO

Who says stability balls have to stay on land? Take yours into the pool for a killer core workout.

First, let some air out of a small stability ball and hop in chest-deep water. While walking or jogging backwards, submerge the ball in front of you, then let go. As the ball pops, quickly catch it in the air (you can also try this with a kickboard). Continue for a set of 25 repetitions, rest, then repeat the set.

The motion of pulling the ball down then catching it will not only work your core muscles, it will also tone your arms and give you a nice cardio session while you run around the pool.

And if swimming laps is more your thing, work in some lap swimming into your summer schedule! Regardless of the water-based exercises you choose to do, your pool workouts will give you a full-body workout that will shred calories, strengthen and tone your muscles, boost your core strength and improve your cardiovascular health.

More about swim fitness:

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