Strength Moves

Cooking Light Fitness Expert Gin Miller creates a bone-building routine for a swimming lover.

Works triceps, chest, and back
Push-ups
Face side of pool with hands on top of pool edge about shoulder distance apart, fingers spread and arms extended. Push down on side of pool, lifting upper body out of the water, but stop halfway, maintaining a bend in elbows. Press shoulders back and down, and drop chin slightly. Hold for three seconds, lower body back into water, and repeat. (If you can’t hold yourself mid-lift, flutter your feet to help your body stay out of water.)

Engage the core
Alternating leg kicks
Stand in chest-deep water, and pull alternating knees to chest while treading water with your hands. Keep toes pointed down, and bring knee toward chest, not chest to knee. Extend leg straight out in front of your body. Return leg to start position, and repeat with opposite leg for one set. Maintain a tight core (abs and lower back) throughout the move. You can perform the move slowly for more strengthening benefits or increase speed for a cardio element.

Target core, chest, and shoulders
Side swipes
Stand in chest-deep water, and assume a pliè squat position (feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointed out at a 45-degree angle). Extend arms straight out in front of body, hands clasped, then sweep them together across the body to one side, then back across to opposite side. Arms should stay together and below surface of water throughout the move to create resistance. Maintain squat position, and keep hips facing forward, core engaged, and back straight throughout the move.

Tone arms, core, and thighs
Bowl and hook
Stand in chest-deep water in a split stance (one foot in front of the other), and lower into a beginning lunge position, making sure forward knee does not extend over toes. Arms should be extended in front of body at chest level, palms down. Keep arm on the side of forward leg stationary, while slowly drawing the other arm down to side and back as if preparing to bowl. Lift arm up and out to side, parallel to bottom of pool, and bring arm back to start position. Scissor jump legs to bring opposite leg to front position, and repeat move with opposite arm. Keep arms below the water surface throughout the move to create resistance.

Make a cardio routine
Turn this strength workout into a cardio routine by condensing the number of repetitions you do for each move to one set of 18 reps, and supplement with one of the cardio segments described below. Be sure to begin with a warm-up and end with a cooldown (as described on the Water Works workout main page).

Perform each strength move, then add a five-minute cardio exercise before executing the next move.
Beginner: Jog the length of the pool, or in place, wearing hand and ankle weights.
Advanced: Swim one lap of the pool without hand weights, any stroke.
Challenge: Swim one lap of the pool wearing hand weights, any stroke.

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