High-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercise regiments have become gradually popular with fitness enthusiasts in the last couple of years. These types of cardiovascular workouts involve periods of very activity which is very intense (working portion) which are followed by a recovery period. This is then repeated. At times – when people hear the word “HIIT” – sprinting or cycling comes to mind. An aqua HIIT exercise plan may seem like an unexpected selection at first, however when you take your workout off land and into the pool, you’ll exercise benefits that you never thought possible:
- When we perform exercises in the water, we actually add resistance to the moves that we are performing. This makes them increasingly more difficult.
- Another addition to water-based HIIT workouts is that exercising in the water is low impact. This makes performing HIIT underwater (as opposed to on land) a much more beneficial choice for those who may be have any joint issues.
The key, when all is said and done, is to find exercises in the pool that – when performed – require near maximal exertion for the working portion. For people whose fitness levels are more advanced, stepping up resistance even further may be required for the working portion of the routine. Swimming weight vests or, alternatively, water weights are both excellent options for increasing resistance.
All workouts in the water are great for those who don’t want a high-impact workout, as we’ve mentioned before in this article. The benefit of working out in the water is that you have the resistance of the water surrounding your entire body which adds an additional element of intensity. Just the same as any other pool workout, the key is to ensure you’re moving and moving hard in order to get your heart racing.
An example of a HIIT workout in the pool
Swimming lengths in the gym pool are great HIIT workouts on their own. However, if swimming isn’t really your thing try these alternative HIIT workouts in the pool in order to get the maximum benefit of working out in water.
- Start with standing in the shallow end of the pool. Jog in place for between two and three minutes.
- Run around the perimeter of the shallow area of the pool. Make sure that your knees are high. Do this between two and three minutes. With each step that you take, drive your knees upwards and towards your chest.
- Perform flutter kicks for between two and three minutes. Hold onto the sides of the pool with your arms in a fully extended position. Kick your legs.
- Carry out each exercise in the shallow end of the pool for a period of 45 seconds. Follow this up with a 15-second rest. The key is to make use of near maximal exertion and to do as many repetitions as possible for the 45-second period.
- Once you finish an exercise, move on to the next one. Finish the total circuit of moves twice.
Exercise 1: Jump Lunges
- Start in a lunge position with your back knee nearly touching the ground.
- Jump, with your arms swinging as you switch leg position to land with the opposite leg in front.
- Ensure that you are landing in full lunge position. Make sure that your front knee is bent and the back knee is nearly touching the ground.
- Repeat the movement. Swing your arms as you switch leg position to land with opposite leg in front.
Exercise 2: Jump Squats
- Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart and in a full squat position.
- Jump explosively – into the air – as high as you can.
- Land fully into a squat position.
Exercise 3: Knee Tuck Jumps
- Start by standing with your knees slightly bent and your arms extended at the level of your chest, with your palms positioned towards the ground.
- Lower your body swiftly into a squat position. Jump as high as you possibly can while driving your knees towards your palms. Land in a standing position. Repeat.
Exercise 4: Single Leg Lateral Hops
- Begin by standing on one leg. Bend your knee slightly.
- Jump to your left, as far as you possibly can. Land on the jumping leg.
- Immediately jump – as far as possible – to your right side. Land on the jumping leg. Repeat. In the first circuit, carry out your repetitions making use of the left leg. In the second circuit, carry out your repetitions using your right leg.
Exercise 5: Broad Jumps
- Begin by adopting a standing position along with your feet a bit less than shoulder-width apart.
- Bring your arms back as well las behind you.
- Lower yourself into a quarter-squat position. Jump forward as far as your possibly can. Drive your hips and arms. Land in a soft, athletic position. Repeat.
It’s important to note that it is essential to have a bottle of water at the side pool so that you stay hydrated. You will still be sweating even though the exercises are being performed in the water.
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