Legs in the Water: Adductors!
Everyone feels better in the summer time. We get more sun, which means we get more Vitamin D (it absorbs best through the skin!). And with an abundance of sun and life and Vitamin D, our energy levels are higher, we feel better, our skin and hair looks and feels better, and we are at our highest and best in our athletics as well.
However, sometimes there are little problem areas that we can work harder at, while eating well, getting lots of sun and exercising (strength, endurance, flexibility and aerobic exercises). One of them, for many folks, is the insides of the legs — the adductor muscles.
The great thing about these muscles is that when we engage them, our lower abdominal muscles automatically contract along with them (wow!), so even when you don’t know it, you could be getting better abs too.
There are seemingly endless opportunities for swimming in the summertime with community pools, backyard pools, and lake and ocean vacations, so here are a few great exercises to do in the water while you’re hanging out with friends and family this summer. Best part?! No one will ever know that you’re toning up your legs (and abs!) while you’re doing it. Or maybe they will, but you can all have fun and do it together while you stay cool.
Pool adductor exercises!
Hip Hip Hooray
Strong hip muscles will improve your balance, decrease risk of injury to the knees and back, and make you look good in your skinny jeans. Strengthen the hips in the pool or hot tub by standing up tall, holding on to the wall for light support. Slowly move your left leg out to the side 10 times, pushing against the water on the way out and in to tone the inner and outer abductor and adductor muscles. Then, do 10 repetitions of hip flexion by bending your knee up toward your chest followed by 10 reps of extension by bringing your leg behind your body. Rest before performing a second set. Add extra resistance by putting a float around your ankle.
Jumps and Hops
Increase the intensity of pool and hot tub exercises by jumping or hopping. Stand in chest-deep water and jump feet apart, landing softly before jumping legs together again. Jump feet together to return to start. It’s kind of like doing Jumping Jacks, but without the arms. Jump for 30 seconds before resting, and repeat two more times.
Up in Arms
Tone up arm muscles in both the pool and hot tub with a set of float dumbbell weights. Hold one weight in each hand while standing in chest-deep water. Target biceps and triceps with curls. Start with your arms straight down by your sides; bend at the elbows to bring the weight up to your shoulders and then push back down against the water to straighten arms. Repeat 10 times or until fatigued for a total of three sets. Train the shoulders by lifting arms straight out to the sides at shoulder-height; push down to bring weights to your sides. Repeat 10 to 15 times for three sets.
Phew! Feel the burn, while keeping cool.