When the weather is warm, there is nothing quite like going for a refreshing swim at the local pool. To add to the benefits, you can use it as an opportunity to work on those stomach muscles. The water provides natural resistance, making the pool a great place to do stomach exercises to flatten out that tummy. Despite the greater resistance water has than air, aquasizing is low-impact, meaning less strain on joints. Try out these exercises next time you take a trip down to your pool. Remember, consult your doctor before beginning a new workout routine, and always warm up properly to prevent injury.
The first set of exercises to try is called the jump and dig. There are two moves in this set, one for the upper body and one for the lower body. The former is great for your obliques, and the latter works on your abdominals. To start, stand in water that is between your belly button and chest. To work the lower body (including your abdominals), put your feet shoulder width apart, then jump so your knees come up to the surface of the water and back down. Picture a frog as you do it; this will help you get the form right. Next, to work the upper body, begin by making a scoop with both hands at the surface of the water. Bring your hand scoop below the surface, then scoop up and to one side. Continue to alternate sides to work the obliques on both sides of your core. Start by doing the two moves separately for three minutes each. Once you have mastered the form, do them at the same time to exercise both sets of stomach muscles at once.
As you build strength and endurance, you can add water gloves to increase resistance. You can also do the exercises faster, packing more reps into each three minute period. Remember: form is important. Do not sacrifice form for the sake of speed. It is better to do it properly than quickly. Also remember to set fitness goals and work toward them at a gradual pace. Do not push yourself too hard, too fast. You may want to see results fast, but an injury will seriously delay your workout goals. Start small, know your limits, and build gradually.
As long as you are working on your midsection, here are a three additional tips:
- Proper diet is essential to any fitness routine. A great, hard workout can be completely negated by improper eating habits.
- Stay hydrated both while working out and in everyday life. A good rule of thumb is to take your body weight in pounds, divide it by 2, and drink that number of ounces of water each day. This helps to keep the body functioning at its highest level.
- Rest up. This means not only getting plenty of sleep, but also getting the right kind of sleep. Spend all night sleeping on your stomach, and you will wake up with a sore back, making it difficult to do your stomach exercises. Also be sure to schedule off days into your routine to give your muscles a chance to rest up and rebuild. Now you already have a great start on a toned, flat stomach!