Improve your pool or swim spa workout with these tips

Water is a great environment for fitness tools, and can make the process much more fun when you’re splashing around with your family. Aquatic exercises burn fat, loosen stiff points and soothe stubborn aches and pains. These tailored workout tips will transform your body and brighten up your workouts.

Get your whole body working

Because water provides more resistance than air, moving through it requires you to use every major muscle group, especially your core. A great way to work your muscles from multiple angles is to switch up your strokes during workouts. The freestyle stroke is generally the easiest stroke to master and yields an average 250-400 calories burned in about a half hour, with the butterfly averaging a bit more. To give your core and hips a good workout the backstroke is a good option, it requires your torso to be tightened and your hips to be in line. If you want your legs to be firmer, try the breaststroke. It requires bigger, more powerful kicks than any other strokes meaning your inner and outer thigh muscles are hard at work.

Keep an eye on your form

If your form is slightly off, it can hugely impact your experience as you swim through water. To be quicker you need to stay streamlined and efficient. You need to be continuously engaging your strong muscles and pulling your ribs in, almost as if you’re trying to close them together. You should also make sure your head, neck and belly button are aligned together with your hips, knees and feet. Finally, keep your hands fully extended, fingers closed and wrists straightened. No matter what stroke you do if you maintain this three-point form your body will remain firm, leading to maximum fluidity.

Incorporate intervals

When working out in your Swim Spa, think of it as you would any fun interval workout. If you were to do a 30-minute routine, try spending 5 minutes warming up at an easy pace, then flip flopping intervals of 20 minutes. Also think about going by time, alternating ten 90 second sprints with 30 seconds of rest in between. Or maybe distance, sprinting one length and recover as you come back. Or perhaps increase your effort each lap, take the first interval at an easy pace, second at a moderate pace and third at a hard pace with a repetition three times and a final push.

Think beyond laps

Using an exercise bar is a great way to sculpt your body. For example, pushing yourself up 20 times, getting out of the water deeply strengthens your shoulders and triceps. Also look into exercise equipment specifically made for water use, things like webbed gloves, weighted barbells, and bungee cords can all help keeps things interesting while you work out.