While the pool may be the home turf of one of the best exercises in the world, not everyone is comfortable enough performing that exercise. Swimming can be a challenging and complicated task, but that shouldn’t deter those unfamiliar with it from getting a good pool workout in any one of a variety of other ways.
The first question to ask is what the goal of the workout is. Some people have very specific professions for which the use of a pool can help in their training tremendously. Lenny Dykstra, professional baseball player from 1985-1996 used to swing a baseball bat underwater in his home pool 100 times every day. The density of the water provided a natural resistance which allowed him to get stronger without compromising the actual mechanics of his swing. Following in his footsteps, one could assume that any task from swinging a golf club to throwing a boxing punch or working on a tennis backhand can be executed easily and with higher resistance in a pool.
One of the most universal activities that can be performed in a pool of virtually any depth is walking or running. Although this task will be more difficult in deeper pools, it is effective in water anywhere from waist to neck deep. The resistance of the water makes the seemingly easy task of running 25 yards incredibly difficult, providing those who perform it with a surprisingly vigorous workout.
Finally, many fitness clubs and gyms will offer water aerobics classes 2-3 times a week, often times free with membership. The goal of these classes is to perform anywhere from a 30-60 minute aerobic routine that relies heavily on the natural resistance of the water instead of hand weights for strength training. These workouts are an effective, challenging, but most of all, fun way to get a workout.
Whether or not you swim like a fish or sink like a stone, chances are better than good that there is a pool workout that is right for you.