This fourth of July holiday turn your pool time into gym time by adding dumbbells and strength training to your swim.
Below are five exercises to challenge yourself while in the water. They come to use form Laird Hamilton of Men’s Journal. You can read his original article at mensjournal.com/health-fitness/health/laird-hamiltons-pool-workout-strength-training-in-the-water-20140625.
Stand in water, holding a light dumbbell in each hand (stay light at first and build up weight over time). Put your arms out to side and keep your feet on the pool floor. Explode upward but bring your arms down to your sides as you break the surface to take a big breath. Exhale, sink back into the water and repeat. Hamilton recommends you go for 25 of these jacks. A great way to kick off the workout!
Hold a heavier dumbbell tucked into one of your arms, like you’re holding a football. Swim underwater, propelling yourself with opposite arm and both legs across the entire width of the pool. Switch hands and swim back. Repeat the Ammo Box exercise just once.
Go to the shallow end and stand in the water so your head is just above the surface. Place a 10 or 15 lb. dumbbell between your thighs. Squeezing the weight to ensure it stays in place, raise your leg straight out in front of you. Swim Forward across the width of the pool and back using only your arms.
Bring yourself to one end of the pool and raise a 10 or 15 lb. dumbbell overhead with just one hand. Sink underwater and swim forward as far as you can while keeping the weight above the surface. Hamilton calls this one the “cell phone” because it mimics the movement you would use trying to get your cell phone from one end of the pool to another. At the end of your walk, switch the weight to your other hand and repeat once.
Last but certainly not least. Stand submerged in the deepest part of the pool with a 15 to 20 lb dumbbell in each hand. Ensure your right leg is lunging forward. Push off the floor to explode up and break the surface. Take a very deep breath as you scissor your legs to land back on the pool floor and now make your left leg lunge forward. Repeat this movement quickly and aim for 20 lunges on each side.
And there you have it! A great way to ensure you don’t miss a day, even if you’re lounging in a pool sipping a delicious drink. Hamilton does recommend a few things including using rubber-coated weights like the Body-Solid’s SDR Rubber Hex Dumbbells and of course, be careful. If you’re feeling winded, fatigued or tired stop immediately and rest.