How to Do Aquatic Abdominal Exercises

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Below are some simple exercises you can do to work your abdominal muscles in the pool. They are outlined from easiest to hardest. Since the water makes you buoyant it is crucial to really contract your abdominal muscles and control your movements, This will help to isolate the muscles better and protect your back from injury. Be careful to not just float in the water. Really push and pull your body through the movements.

Things You'll Need

  • Water buoys or if you do not have them you can use empty water or milk jugs.

Abdominal rolls

  • Hold onto a pair of buoys or empty water jugs. Stretch your arms straight out to the side. Your arms will be working to hold you up, but do not move the arms during this exercise.

  • Lie on your back and extend your legs straight out to the front. Then tighten your abdominal muscles and pull your knees into your chest.

  • Next roll over onto your stomach and extend the les straight out behind you. Then tighten the abdominal muscles and pull your knees back into your chest.

  • Continue to roll back and forth. Focus on not using the arms and really contracting your stomach muscles to pull the knees into the chest.

  • The closer your feet and legs are to the surface the harder this exercise is. If your back is sensitive keep the feet closer to the pool floor during this exercise. Repeat for eight to twelve repetitions.

Reverse Crunches

  • Place the buoys or water jugs under your armpits. Let your legs hang straight down underneath you. For this exercise keep your body very straight.

  • Then tighten the abdominal muscles and pull the knees to your chest. Do not let the back round.

  • Then with control straighten the legs back down.

  • Do 8-to-12 repetitions. Focus on using the abdominal muscles to lift your knees up. Do not let the body rock back and forth.

Noodle crunches

  • Straddle a noodle. Squeeze one end of the noodle between your knees. The rest of the noodle should be behind your back and try to have the other end under your head. Stretch your arms out to the side for balance.

  • Tighten the abdominal muscles. Pull the knees towards your chest as you bring the chest to your knees.

  • Then straighten your body back out.

  • This exercise can really challenge your balance so make the movement small until you get the feel of it.

  • Do 8-to-12 repetitions.

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