The following article was featured in the June/July 2010 issue of AKWA, the official publication of the Aquatic Exercise Association (AEA).
Katina Brock, Water Aerobics instructor, North Valley Family YMCA, Northridge:
1. For a cardio boost, try tuck jumps. Start by having your feet on the bottom of the pool, water about chest-high. Push off the bottom and go into a tuck position, bringing your hands to your shins, like you’re doing a cannonball. If you pull your arms down hard, you’ll feel it. Then release the arms as the feet shoot down to the bottom. It’s better to do this quickly – don’t rest on the return – to get your heart rate up. A quicker tempo will work the legs more too. To make this move more difficult, start with one leg lifted in the tuck position and alternate legs coming up into the tuck position instead of both coming up at the same time. Consider this interval training – do it for a minute or two minutes, gradually increasing the time.
2. Jumping jacks are also good for cardio and working major leg muscles. Start with your feet together, touching the bottom of the pool, arms by your side, water about mid-chest-high. Jump out so the feet are wide, and the arms come up straight out to the side. Jump back to a standing position, and repeat, but don’t land stiff-legged – land with some softness in the knees to absorb the small amount of impact to the legs.
3. For a faux cycling workout, put the noodle floating device between your legs for buoyancy and move your legs as if you were pedaling. You can move your arms in a breast stroke or a paddling motion, and even cycle backward. Add some visual imagery to it too – pretend you’re in a group cycling class and lean back like you were going uphill, or lean forward slightly as on a downhill. Even if you are a cyclist, by doing this in the water you’ll be using some slightly different muscle groups. It’s just different enough, but it allows you to keep or improve your training endurance and skills.
Excerpted from Workout in the Water by Jeanine Stein, The Los Angeles Times. June 15, 2009
* Interview with Katina from Jennifer Von Eber's blog, "Slim-shoppin"