Water Cardio Exercises
By: Sharlie Peterson
1. POWER JOG: This is a high knee jog, with alternating arms pushing the water forcefully forward and then drawing the arms back, using the shoulders as well to push and pull the water. Palms face upward to increase the level of resistance hitting the hands and arms. If a participant has arthritis or weak wrists, have them slightly slant their palms forward instead of straight up and down in order to prevent harm from bending at the wrists.
2. KNEE TAPS: While performing a high knee jog, tap the opposite hand to opposite knee, making sure to drive the knees up as high as possible. You should not have to reach down very far to tap the knee. Perform this at a regular pace or speed it up to really get the blood pumping.
3. OUTER KNEE TAPS: The opposite hand reaches to tap the outer side of the opposite knee, slightly twisting at the torso to reach. Alternate at a regular pace or speed it up for more of a challenge, keeping the stomach muscles tight.
4. SOCCER KICKS: Imagine kicking a soccer ball – this is typically performed with the side of the foot kicking the ball forward. A soccer kick is alternating kicks forward, facing the inner side of each foot forward and kicking as fast as possible. This kick can be performed down lower to the pool floor or up higher so that the kicking leg is coming to knee level and kicking across to the other knee.
5. OPPOSITE HEEL TAPS: Start with feet on the ground in a wide stance. Jump straight up, squeezing the legs together in a straight formation. As soon as the heels touch, come back down into wide stance. While jumping up, either clap the arms together down in front of the hips, or squeeze them to the outer sides of the hips before going back out to a neutral position at the sides of the body.
6. BUNNY SHOVES: In a slightly squatted stance, face the entire body to the right. With palms facing up, shove both arms forward in front of the body, as if pushing the water away from you. As you do this, squat down slightly lower than you were. As soon as the shove is complete, jump the entire body over to the left side and repeat the shove. This is a high-impact cardio move that is nonstop on jumping left and right
7. TUCK JUMP: Keep the legs together and jump up, bringing both knees to the chest, crunching the abdominals forward while doing so. Keep the back neutral and not arched. For more cardio, focus on jumping higher while tucking the legs. For more core and for those who cannot jump as high, keep the body lower in the water in a slightly squatted position, water coming up to shoulder height, and use the core muscles to bring the knees up to chest and back down. Arms hug around the knees.