Imagine a workout that is easy on your joints, ligaments, and tendons, while providing your muscles with a serious workout. Now imagine that this same workout will increase your balance, flexibility, and endurance. It would have to be innovative, revolutionary, and ground-breaking, right?
In fact, if you walk into your local gym it’s likely that you’ll glimpse a handful of these workouts being performed at any given time, by an array of people. We’re not going to waste your time hashing out why these exercises are beneficial to you. All we want to do is show you an easier, and more comfortable way to get the same results as those grunting over various exercise machines, without all of the sweat and pain. We want to show you how to build muscle without the pain.
We’re throwing out the outdated idea of “No Pain, No Gain” and suggesting a better model to follow, “Gain Without Pain”.
So what’s the big secret?
Just add water.
Seriously. Take your gym workouts and transform them into water exercises and see how much easier your body begins to move through the resistance that the water provides, after just a few workouts. Since these workouts can be altered to directly match your abilities, but are low impact by nature, they can be performed by anyone from athletes to senior citizens.
How To Build Muscle With Water Exercises
Water has unique physical properties that create the ultimate workout arena. This is because when you’re in water you have virtually no gravity, which relieves your joints, ligaments and tendons of ninety percent of your body weight. At the same time, the density of water is much greater than that of air, so it provides about twelve to fourteen percent more resistance, when you move.
To get the most out of your water exercises it is suggested by professionals to perform your exercises in warmer water. The temperature should range between about eighty and eighty five degrees. This ensures that your body does not need to focus additional energy on keeping your vital organs warm, and will not continue to store body fat to aid in this process.
Best Water Exercises To Build Muscle
Swimming laps provides an aerobic exercise that improves your heart and lung capacity without putting unnecessary pressure on your joints. Much like other types of aerobic exercises you’ll want to aim for about thirty minutes of activity three or four times per week, to reduce cholesterol and increase the strength of your heart. Swimming puts less of a strain on your heart than aerobic workouts performed in the gym, which means that if you’re tracking your target heart rate you should expect it to be about 10 to 20 beats lower per minute during water exercises, than you would expect it to reach in the gym.
Water weights are designed specifically for use in the water. Some can be strapped to your ankles, mid-section, and wrists, while others come in the form of dumbbells. Due to the added resistance that water exercises provide over the traditional forms, when lifting the same amount of weight in the water that you would in the gym, you are actually building stronger muscles. The lack of gravitational pull on your body aids in limiting the amount of pressure felt, reducing the risk of strains and injuries.
Swimming is not the only type of aerobic workout that can be performed in the water. Any aerobic activities that you can perform in a gym, on their machines, or in their classrooms, can be performed as water exercises and provide the same results, while feeling less pain. Examples of aerobic exercises that build muscle when performed in the water include: a variety of dance classes, high intensity interval training programs, running and cardio workouts, core strengthening exercises, tabata, and low to moderate intensity interval training programs.
Not all water exercises need to take place within the water to build muscle. Paddleboarding is both a relaxing activity and a full body workout that takes place on a body of water, without your body being submerged in the water. This exercise requires the use of your entire body to stabilize your weight on the board, while your arms use long and heavy paddles to navigate through the water and propel yourself toward your personal fitness goals.
Kayaking & Canoeing
Kayaking and canoeing both offer the opportunity to sit during your water exercises, but that doesn’t mean that they are any less intense than the rest of the list. These activities can be performed on calm or rough water to alter the difficulty and intensity levels. Your upper body and torso are the primary muscle groups used during both of these water exercises, while your legs are used as stabilizers.
Surfing is another example of out of water, full body, water exercises. Although you spend the majority of your time out of the water while surfing the water is a necessary component, so it counts. While your arms build muscle as you paddle out to wait for the perfect wave, the majority of your workout comes as you push yourself up to a standing position on the board and ride that wave in towards the shore. During this time your legs, torso, and arms work cohesively to achieve the balanced posture necessary to surf.
What are your favorite water exercises? Let us know in the comments below.
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