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Here I have highlighted a few things to remember from time to time when you are exercising in the water. I may refer to them when describing exercises and I always use them during my classes.
Posture, for many of the exercises, occasionally give yourself a quick check – back straight, shoulders back and, if the exercise is stationary, feet generally hip width apart and hips pushed slightly forward. (Don’t worry, you are under the water, no-one can see this ungainly stance and it is doing you good!)
The better your posture during an exercise the more benefit is derived.
Soft knees, never ‘lock’ your knees during an exercise, always let your stance be ‘soft’, bob in the water a little to see what I mean about ‘soft’.
Breathe, essential! Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, especially during the aerobic part of the session. Many of us completely forget to breathe when we are concentrating on a particular exercise, I often find myself holding my breath but not for long!
Face muscles, SMILE, SMILE, SMILE. Smiling encourages the production of endorphins, the happy hormone. Exercise in water does the same thing and if you add music it is like a triple whammy. No wonder at the end of a workout you will feel pleasantly tired and at the same time quite exhilarated, a wonderful combination.
Babble while you bubble – you should always be able to talk easily to the person next to you, even at the height of a workout. If you can’t talk when you are exercising in water, then you are working too hard.
This is because exercising in the comfortable medium of water can be very deceptive. How so?
Hydrostatic pressure (the pressure of the water on your body, especially your lower body) increases the amount of blood returning to the heart, increasing cardiac output (the amount of blood the heart expels with each beat) by up to 35%. This in turn strengthens the heart muscle. Hard to imagine but you really don’t have to be sweaty and out of breath to be working aerobically.
Another thing to remember when you are in your aerobic section, don’t suddenly stop exercising you might feel a little light-headed so wind down before coming to a stop.
Lever, straight lever is a leg or arm straight (remember soft, never locked at the joint). A bent lever is the arm or leg bent to a comfortable angle to lessen the resistance from the water. We do this to reduce the stress on a less than perfect joint.
Exercises start next time.