Doing leg exercises in the swimming pool is a great way to tone up, especially if you have joint problems, as it’s low impact the whole time, unlike jogging, jumping or stepping in traditional aerobics routines. The water provides support for your body and extra resistance, not to mention helping to keep you cool.
Show off your beautifully trim and toned legs in shorts or skirts this summer, and keep them in shape by adding a few simple exercises to your regular aerobics routine, or do them as a warm up before you go for a swim. You can also try these exercises with ankle weights if you want to work your muscles even harder.
Stand with your back to the pool side so you can hold on to the edge for support and balance. Lift one leg out straight to the side as high as is comfortable, hold for a second and return to your standing position. Repeat for ten lifts initially, before swapping to the other leg. You can vary this exercise to work your inner thighs by lifting your legs to the other side (crossing over your standing leg). You don’t need to be in deep water to do this, as long as the water comes up higher than you can lift your leg, to ensure water resistance throughout the lift.
Squats and Jumps
Squat jumps work on yourquadriceps and hamstrings in the same way as they would doing them on land. Ensure that the depth of the water means it won’t come over your head as you squat! Position your arms out straight in front of you or to the sides, and squat down, making sure your knees don’t come further forward than the tips of your toes. Hold for a second or two, the raise your arms above your head and jump up, coming down to land in another squat, and repeat.
Treading water is great for almost all your muscles, but especially your thighs. Keep your core abdominal muscles tight, and try treading water with your hands by your sides to increase the work your legs are doing. Once you’re confident doing this, try raising one leg up to waist height, making a 90 degree angle with your other leg, and alternating legs, to really work on your inner thighs. For a fun alternative, try doing star-jump legs while you’re treading water too.
Bicycle Legs and Flutter Kick
Hold on to the edge of the pool with your arms extended so that you’re floating on your back. Pedal your legs at the surface of the water. Turn over so that you’re on your front, still holding on to the edge with your arms out straight. Kick your legs alternately, making small but fast movements.