An exercise routine to strengthen your core and trim the belly is more than endless crunches and monthly plank challenges.
And if you are spending 15 minutes on a mat with your hands tucked behind your head, you are missing out on the benefits of exercising in the water.
A Master Spas swim spa takes advantage of water’s natural properties to give people a safe, fun place to exercise. The buoyancy of water helps improve movement and reduce impact, while the resistance makes the simplest of movements more effective.
Training your core in a swim-in-place pool
Did you know that water can have 12 times the resistance of air? And depending on the speed of movements, it can be greater.
In a swim spa, also known as a swim-in-place pool, you can target the muscles of your core. Activities such as swimming and treading water force you to engage your muscles, which will lead to a stronger core. Water walking or aqua jogging against the current of the swim spa require core strength, as you use those muscles for balance and stabilization.
Plus, you can perform effective exercises that target belly fat and strengthen your core — without putting undue pressure on your neck or affecting your low spine. (Yep, a crunch can do that.) Many traditional ab exercises can be modified for the water, such as flutter kicks, knee tucks and wood chops. But the swim spa environment also allows for more dynamic movements that benefit your core.
Master Spas swim spas come with a complete guide to exercising in the water. From walking to arm curls, the programs target the entire body — abs included.
Dr. Rick McAvoy, physical therapist and aquatic fitness expert, shares dynamic exercises that target the entire trunk and help improve stability and balance. Perform them as part of a complete program or try them on their own. After a warm up, of course.
Benefits of a strong core
Strong ab muscles aren’t just about having a six pack or looking good in a swim suit. Strengthening the muscles of the trunk can significantly improve your physical health.
According to Harvard Health: Weak or inflexible core muscles can impair how well your arms and legs function. And that saps power from many of the moves you make. Properly building up your core cranks up the power. A strong core also enhances balance and stability. Thus, it can help prevent falls and injuries during sports or other activities. In fact, a strong, flexible core underpins almost everything you do.
So when you do an aquatic ab workout in the swim spa, you aren’t working toward looking better. You are helping yourself move better throughout the day.
Some of the benefits of a strong core:
- Prevent injuries
- Ease back pain
- Improve posture
- Improve balance and stability
- Breathe easier
Water aerobics core exercises
Any workout should begin with a warm-up. Even when exercising in a swim spa, it’s important to take 5 to 10 minutes to gently move your body and activate the muscles. A warm-up also helps to slowly increase your heart rate and prepare your body for exercise.
Since you are in the water, you can start with gentle swimming or walking against the current. The warm-up is also a great time to get out the kick board or fins for kicking drills.
Ready to start the workout? Try these water exercises for the core. Do each exercise for one minute before moving on to the next. And don’t forget to include rest intervals, too!
Hold one X-Blade loose with both hands, keeping wrists straight. Stand with feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. Keep head straight and arms extended in front at chest level. Rotate using hips, while keeping chin, chest and bell in line as you rotate slowly from side to side. Keep core engaged. Repeat.
Stand with feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent, holding one bell with arms
out at sides. Keep elbows straight while bringing bell in towards the chest, pass bell to other hand and return to start position. Repeat sequence. Keep core engaged and do not rock body.
Open arm core rotation
Stand with feet shoulder width apart, head straight and arms out from sides in line with ears. Hold bells loose, engage core and rotate body using hips from one side to the other. Repeat.
For more swim spa workout ideas, download a resource guide.
How to buy a swim spa
Do you want to be able to exercise at home? Having a Master Spas swim spa allows you to work out without the impact of land-based activities. You can click here to find out more about the benefits of hydrotherapy and relaxing in a swim spa. Or, contact your local Master Spas retailer to learn more about swim spa ownership. Wondering how much a swim spa costs? You can request a quote here.