Jenness Reeve - Exercises (Part I)
Read more from Jenness here.
Try these exercises out. Where I mention the words ‘posture’, ‘soft knees’, ‘breathe’, ‘face muscles’ ‘lever’ and ‘babble while you bubble’ if you are not sure what is meant refer to my article on the Principles of Water Exercise.
At first really concentrate on getting the movement right and very soon you won’t even have to think about it.
You can practice on land or laminate the exercise and take it to the poolside.
Warm Up This is to prepare the joints, muscles and heart muscle.
Stand in water to mid chest, lift heels off the ground alternately, leaving toes as if stuck to the floor. Keep the movement regular, a gentle bob from foot to foot. Focus on the movement going on in your toe joints, ankle, knee and hip joints. One easy, simple exercise does so much. This movement is preparing your joints for exercise by encouraging the secretion of synovial fluid that lubricates the joints. Face Muscles
Imagine that your arms are pistons and push your hands down by your side keeping an even rhythm with legs and arms going at the same time. Focus on the movement - hands are parallel to the floor to push the water down with some force. Elbows bend as you raise your arms and notice how your shoulders move. Intermittently rotate your shoulders several times forward and the same number of times backwards.
Aerobic This is to strengthen the heart muscle. Cross-country or spotty dog:
To derive maximum benefit it is important to get the action right on any exercise. First stand upright with your feet together. Take a large step forward so now you have both feet on the ground
, one in front one behind. Now jump and change those feet around so they are both on the ground
but the foot that was in front is now at the back and vice versa. Keep legs a good stride length apart. Back straight and shoulders back.
Repeat this movement fluidly and notice what your arms are doing. Take them straight down by your side, keep a straight lever
and swing them back and forward through the water firmly. If you find you are rocking from side to side a little, check that your arms are moving opposite arm to leg as they do when you are walking on land.
Keep this exercise up for ten minutes getting it just right. Experiment by increasing your speed, your intensity (the strength of the push through the water). A slow and intense movement can be as aerobic as fast movement. Breathe. Babble while you bubble.
Endurance Firms and strengthens.Scissors
– this is for inside and outside thigh:
If you have a noodle or woggle, a length of tubular foam, rest your head on the noodle and your arms can be wherever you are most comfortable as you float on your back.
Legs are straight lever
, knees together and toes pointing to the ceiling. Take legs out to the side as far as you are comfortable and then bring them together. Make this a firm movement, push out, pull back in, repeating for ten minutes. Don’t forget to breathe. The harder you push the more the water resists you the more you get from the exercise.
Stretching Many technical reasons for stretching are given but most of all I do it because it feels good.Simple arm stretch:Posture
, raise arms up, fingers towards the ceiling. Imagine your whole spine and head is being drawn upwards. Very slowly stretch arms out to the side reaching as far as you can. When parallel to shoulders, bring them to the front reaching out and then give yourself a big hug, holding the hug to feel a back stretch.Simple leg stretch:
Standing on one leg, soft knee
, bend the other knee to your chest, extend the leg, point your foot then flex it (as if you are pulling your toe towards your nose). Hold position and notice the stretch along the back of your leg. Release and repeat with the other leg.
Not everyone wants to relax after a workout but, as long as you are warm enough, I recommend including this part of the session as it contributes to that amazing sensation after water exercise of feeling tired and exhilarated at the same time.
Close your eyes, sink low into the water and sway your arms from side to side, letting the current of the water move gently around your body. Stop all movement and thought. Breathe slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth. Do this for as long as you like.
Open your eyes and get out of the water carefully
. You are moving from buoyancy to gravity and may be a little disorientated.Read Exercises (Part II) here.