If you want to get stronger, don't lift weights— put on a swimsuit and get in the pool. Water aerobics is a whole-body workout, and since water adds at least 10 times the resistance of air, strength can be built faster than if you trained on land.
Take a simple triceps press, for example. Using foam dumbbells designed for water aerobics, you start by holding the dumbbells at the water's surface, press the dumbbells against the water down toward your stomach, all the while contracting the triceps. To return to the starting position, you pull against the water. It is this push-and-pull resistance against the water that quickly builds muscle strength and endurance.
Water creates a special three-dimensional resistance-training environment that also works different muscles groups at one time. If you were to stand next to a wall and lift your leg outward, you would only get resistance against the outer thigh, since you're only pressing against air. The same movement in water is trickier. You push against the water to lift and lower the leg, but to prevent the water from pushing the leg forward or backward as it is lowered, different muscle groups have to be used. You are getting resistance from all directions and working more muscles.
Wearing fins or water shoes adds even more resistance to a water aerobics workout. Make sure you have some good athletic swimwear, like long torso or chlorine-resistant swimwear, and get going!next article >>