I loved water aerobics even before I was pregnant, but even more so once I was well into my second trimester. Now that we have a pool at home, I am excited to be able to do water aerobics around my own schedule and not the instructors
You could easily do water aerobics in a lake near a dock or at your own community pool.
Below, I’ve outlined a simple routine that you can do with minimal gear. You can purchase water weights or simply a “noodle” and cut it into small lengths to serve as your weights. You will also need a beach ball for some of the moves, and arm/ankle cuffs if you need the stability (most people do). I bought this set from Big 5 for $40 that has a water jogging belt, cuffs (I’m using the ankle cuffs on my arms), and weights. I bought my beach ball from Walmart in the clearance section for 50 cents. It’s really cool ;) I need to figure out a good way of taking photos of myself doing this - for now you’ll have to enjoy my stolen photos from fitness magazine
Holding water weights in hands, legs extended, swim length of pool using only your legs, chest in the water. Return to the other end of the pool, in reverse, with your back in the water. Repeat for four returned lengths.
Hitler kicks for the length of the pool. Holding your water weights in both hands, do high kicks in the water, bringing the opposing arm up to water line while you kick. Imagine doing “heil Hitler” but only bringing your arm to the surface of the water.
Reverse the motion and return to the starting side of the pool. Repeat for two returned lengths.
Arm Circles.. In chest high water, bring both your arms up to the side level with your shoulders, palms down. Circling forwards, make small circles getting larger then back to small, for 30 seconds. Repeat circling backwards for 30 seconds. Then repeat forwards and backwards with your palms up, 30 seconds each.
“Blue Line Specials” – I have to give credit to Kate Livingston ofForest ParkSwimCenter for that name and perhaps for this whole sequence.
Wearing arm cuffs for buoyancy – hold water weights stretched out to the side (your body making a “t”). Using your abs, pull your legs up beneath you as if you were sitting. Shift your weight to the left and extend your legs to the right – swim for eight counts. Without lowering your legs, shift your weight to the right and your legs to the left – swim for eight counts. Repeat on each side for six, then four, then two. Repeat the entire 8-6-4-2 sequence for 5 full counts on each side. Abs should be screamin! [It’s called blue line special because the intent is to stay in a straight line, at the community pool there are lane lines, at home not so much, but I still try to stay in a line]
Water Curls – holding onto the pool edge with one hand, arm extended, do the following on each side:
- Row – for 12 counts
- Bicep Curl – for 12 counts (bring weight to surface of water only)
- Cross Over Row – for 12 counts (same motion as a row, bringing the weight across your body to your opposite hip
Repeat for 2 full sets on each side.
Wall Hangs – grasping the wall with both hands, use your abs to pull your feet up underneath you, toes against the wall. Straighten back, loosen neck and drop shoulders away from your ears. Using the strength of your abs, keep your arms extended and drop your legs (keep your toes pointed, feet together) to form a “” from your arms through your legs. Your legs should be just inches above the bottom of the pool. Quickly, pull your legs back up to the wall for a slight tap (not a push) and repeat the motion for 12 counts.
Single Arm Wall Hangs – similar to the motion in the above wall hangs, grasp the wall with out outstretched hand. Facing sideways and keeping the arm on the wall extended, bring your legs up to the wall. Use your free arm to stabilize you as you move your legs through to the side. IE: if you are holding onto the pool edge with your left hand, you will sweep your right hand in towards the pool wall while you extend your legs out to the right. Remember to keep your abs tight, feet together, toes pointed. Just as before, tap the wall without pushing off. You want to use your abs to perform the motion, not momentum. Repeat for 12 and then switch sides for 12.
Catch your breath. Holding water weights in hands, legs extended, swim length of pool using only your legs, chest in the water. Return to the other end of the pool, in reverse, with your back in the water. Repeat for two returned lengths.
Jumping Jacks. With the water weights in each hand, jumping jack your way across the length of the pool and then back to your starting position. Remember, you are only facing one direction, so rather than turning around, you will want to jump backwards on your return.
Otter Rolls – I found this one on Fitness Magazine, online. Here is their description: Hugging beach ball to chest, float on back, legs extended, feet together. Roll toward left and over top of ball (like an otter spinning in the water), using entire body — shoulders, back, core, legs — to make a full revolution, returning to start. Take a breath. (Beginners can rock from side to side with head above water throughout.) Continue for 30 seconds, alternating direction of roll. I did 50 rolls to each side rather than counting the seconds.
Ball Lever – I also found this one from Fitness Magazine. Holding beach ball with arms stretched straight in front of you, float facedown in chest-deep water so legs are extended behind you, feet together. Keeping arms straight, pull ball underneath you, drawing it as fast as you can through water toward thighs in an arc. (As the ball is pressed underneath, it will lift you out of water to take a breath; beginners can keep head above water throughout.) When ball reaches thighs, bend elbows to bring it back to surface and press it forward to return to start position. Continue for 30 seconds. Again, I counted the reps rather than the seconds. I did 15.
Ab Burners – Again, have to thank Kate Livingston for this one. Following the same set up as “blue line specials” except rather than doing a count of 8-6-4-2, you will simply do 1 left, 1 right, repeat til you hate your life for 30 counts to each side.
Holding water weights in hands, legs extended, swim length of pool using only your legs, chest in the water. Return to the other end of the pool, in reverse, with your back in the water. Repeat for two returned lengths.
If you have arm cuffs, you can put them back on for one last cool down. I have dubbed this water savasana. Simply let the cuffs hold your weight (you can also hold the weights in your hands, arms extended to the side, if you feel it provides you more support). Letting your weight be completely supported, do the same as you would do to wind down from yoga: bring your awareness of any tension in your body and breath into it, letting it all go. Start at the top of your body and move your way down, considering where you are tight, where you are sore, and breath slowly and deeply making a conscious effort to “open” those areas of your body. Close your eyes and float. When you are ready, slowly come back to reality by opening your eyes – starting at the bottom of your body this time and working your way up: wiggle your toes, kick from just your ankles, then from your calves, then from the hip, bending at the waist, paddle your arms out like butterfly stroke (you still have the weights in your hand).
And, you’re done!