There are so many great ways to get a good cardio workout in the pool WITHOUT DOING A SINGLE LAP! Jennilee Toner, Alpin Haus Fitness Center Manager and International Yoga & Anatomy Teacher, shares with us 7 fun ways to get our hearts pumping, our blood moving, and our cells oxygenated while enjoying our pools this summer.
1. Warm-Up in Shallow End with In, In, Out, Out (1-2 minutes)
In the shallow end, warm up your body with right foot into midline, left foot into midline, right foot out wide, left foot out wide repeatedly. Arms can be in a nice loose jogging action stance. This is so nice early in the morning or after work to get all the knots and kinks out of the muscles and joints. Maintain a light bouncing action, breathing in and out of the nose with a nice even flow. ***Your warm-up can also be jogging or jumping/skipping an invisible rope.
2. Jumping Jacks (1-2 minutes)
Jump your feet wide and then close together repeatedly. The same action happens at the arms – arms wide when legs are wide, arms close to body when legs are close together. This can be done in both the shallow and deep ends of the pool. If in shallow end, you can choose to keep arms in the water or bring them all the way over head while jumping feet in (bringing them to water height when you jump feet wide). In the deep end, only open arms water height and then pull them down to your side waist when legs come together!
3. Cross-Country Skiing (1-2 minutes)
Scissor your feet front to back alternating which leg is forward and which one is back. The same action happens at the arms – send one arm forward and send one arm back (usually the arms are opposite of the legs). This can be done in both the shallow and deep ends of the pool. If in shallow end, you can choose to keep arms in the water or bring them higher. In the deep end, only to water height do you bring your arms up.
4. Hamstring Curl to Hand-to-Heel (In Back) (1-2 minutes)
Start with hamstring curls – lifting heel to sitting bone (butt bone) and alternating right and left repeatedly. You can stay with this or start bringing opposite heel to opposite hand behind you (heel to opposite sitting bone). Alternate and feel free to pick up the pace. Easier to do in the shallow end!
5. High Knees to Heel-to-Hand (In Front) (1-2minutes)
Start with high knees (marching or running). You can stay with this or start to open hips and, keeping knees bent as you lift, bring heel to opposite hand in front of you. Alternate and feel free to pick up the pace. Easier to do in the shallow end!
6. Wide-Leg Kicks with Clap Under Thigh (1-2 minutes)
With wide high knees, add a side kick. Think “knee then heel” as you alternate left leg kicking out to the left and right leg kicking out to the right. Feel free to add a hand clap under the thighs. This will add extra core work to the exercise with abdominal crunching.
7. Frog Jumps (1-2 minutes)
As you jump up pull knees out to the side like a frog. Simultaneously, reach both hands down to touch both heels as the feet stay together as you jump up. This is great for the core as well as you are doing a bit of an abdominal crunch as you reach for the feet. This can be done in the shallow or deep end.
Because water offers more resistance than air, while doing these 7 exercises you’ll notice what a great cardio workout you’re getting in the pool. Make sure to take a few minutes to walk around the pool at a nice leisurely pace to cool down. Nice long, slow, even breaths to regulate your heart and your lungs. Such a great pool workout! Next month we’ll be doing Yoga Stretches in the Pool!
- Serving in the U.S. Army as a medic at 21 yrs. old
- Became a licensed massage therapist at the age of 27
- Fitness and yoga instructor since 2003
- Author of The Perfect Chaturanga: A Comprehensive Guide to the Human Body Through the Practice of Vinyasa Yoga
- 2012: she created the Hot Warrior Yoga 200-hour teacher training
- 2016: she created the Inner Sanctum Yoga 300-hour advanced and the 300-hour advanced trainings for Buti Yoga
- Currently studying to be an Acupuncturist
Jennilee helped establish the hot yoga studio at Alpin Haus Fitness Center and soon after in 2016 joined as an instructor. Since 2017, she has been the Group Exercise Program Coordinator, leading a group of over 25 instructors. Jennilee was promoted to Alpin Haus Fitness Center Manager in March 2021.