For a good workout that focuses on the rectus abdominis, which flexes the spine, focus on sit-ups and crunches.
To continue on with internal and external obliques at the sides of the rectus abdominis, incorporate some twists at the waist (or with crunches) or sideways bends at the spine (or with dumbbells) to exercise the internal and external obliques, also known as “nature’s girdle.” Be careful of using “jerky” motions, though, especially with past back injuries. Use easy, smooth repetitions instead.
Continue on to YOUR sides or the transversus abdominis, below the obliques, also known as the “lower abs.” Basic exercises that are good for this area are raising the legs, instead of the upper body.
Here is a 9-minute workout for indoor or outdoor pools, for a little variety with your ab exercises. This method offers a lot of benefits over floor and machine workout. You get a high-intensity level, muscle-shaping, strength-building fitness regime that burns lots of calories. And the best part is, water is very gentle on your moving parts yet creates a natural resistance over 700 times greater than air. The exercises both tone and strengthen your major muscle groups. And they sync both the upper and lower body for maximum weight shedding.
- Workout in water that is navel- to chest-deep.
- When possible, wear water shoes.
- To increase resistance and add more intensity to your exercises, use aqua equipment.
- Keep your posture / form as you increasing your speed so that resistance is intensified.
- For beginners, do your upper- and lower-body moves separately.
3-MINUTE SCOOP-FROG MOVES
Focus on your upper-body movements next by placing your hands together in a scoop at the water’s surface. Scoop down. Then scoop back up without breaking the surface. Repeat. As you do each one, alternate your movement so that you move first left, then right. This exercise works your obliques. Use water gloves or paddles for increased resistance work. Then focus on your lower-body movements by standing in the water with your legs wide apart. Then leap like a frog, having your knees breach the surface, then go back down, settling briefly on the pool floor. Repeat.
3-MINUTE SOUR GRAPES
Focus on your lower-body movements by standing with your legs wide apart. Then begin lifting one knee at a time in front of you, stomping or pumping your legs one at a time, alternately left and right, like you would do it you were stomping grapes. Note: Make sure to reach the pool bottom each time. This movement helps your rear and thighs.
Focus on your upper-body movements by spreading your arms out wide in front of you. Bend them a little so there’s not too much stress on the elbow joints. Then push one arm down hard to your hips and bring it back up. Switch arms and push the other one down, then bring it back up. Keep alternating and doing repetitions. This movement works your upper back, the back and front of your arms and your shoulders. For greater intensity, wear water gloves.
3-MINUTE SKI MASTER
Focus on your upper-body movements by reach ing and extend your arms out to the sides at the water’s surface. Press your shoulders back and down, with your elbows slightly bent (don’t want to lock them and put undo stress on the joints). Then lower your arms down to your sides, and raise them back up to the surface. This movement works your shoulders and back.
Focus on your lower-body movements by stepping into the lunge position; placing one leg behind the other – don’t lock knees. Then flex your knees, hop and switch legs, like when you’re sking. This movement aids you rear and your legs.
Notes: Increase resistance with any of the exercises above by using water paddles, water gloves or aquatic hand buoys. And rest upper body as needed during exercises.
Results: If you do each exercise for 3 minutes, then jog for 30 seconds between exercises, these water workout exercises for the abs should burn about 100 calories in just 10 minutes. Of course repetitions burn even more calories.
Goal: Do a water workout two or three times a week, if possible.