The pool isn’t just a great place to cool off– it’s an opportunity to strengthen your legs and ankles in an environment that’s especially kind to joints. So jump in, and try these easy, gentle exercises.
Leg Swings: Stand in chest deep water with your left side facing the edge of the pool, holding onto the wall for support. Raise your right leg as high as you can comfortably without bending your knee, and hold it there for five seconds before swinging back into place. Start with 10-30 reps–whatever works with your fitness level– then switch sides and repeat with the other leg.
Aqua Jogging: This is a cardio exercise that helps strengthen your legs, like more traditional jogging. The water both offers gentle resistance and takes the pressure off your joints and points. It’s easy as it sounds– just jog slowly in chest high water! Check out this video for proper technique.
Lunges: You may have bad memories of these from gym class, but don’t worry! We promise they’re more pleasant in the pool, and will help strengthen your thighs. You can see the proper technique here.
Bicycle Kicks: Lean with your back against the pool edge and pedal your legs as if your are pedalling a bike. This is a nice alternative to lounging, especially if you get bored quickly just drifting around. Plus, it can offer cardio benefits.
Just remember: it’s a good idea to consult your physician or specialist before embarking on any new exercise program to make sure it’s a good fit for your body. This is especially true if you are recovering from an injury.