Yoga and Pilates are easily transformed from land to water exercises. The main purpose of these activities is to strengthen breathing, increase concentration, develop core body strength, and encourage self-discipline. To make the exercises even more enjoyable and unique, incorporate a surf or paddle board into your routine.
These exercises allow you to slowly transition your body into new stages of movement control and ever more challenging body positions. And you’ll enjoy long-term health benefits for your cardio-vascular and immune systems. The water provides support for your body, emphasizes good alignment and posture, and allows those with physical limitations or injuries to enjoy the benefits as well.
You can harmonizes the body with the mind through breathing techniques, postures, and meditation. Yoga challenges your body and develops your core muscles while relieving stress and teaching you self-discipline. Each pose is held for a set duration until the body adapts, then the time is increased.
Similar to Yoga, Pilates utilizes the muscles in your abdomen, lower back, inner and outer thighs, butt, and more. This discipline increases strength, flexibility, muscular endurance, balance, good posture, and coordination with a lower chance of injury compared other methods of exercise.
Warm-Up and Cool Down
Moving Pilates and Yoga into the pool is simple and only takes practice for it to become fluid and yield the same results. Pools let you complete these exercises in a low-impact environment.
Tip: Use the pool that suits your needs. A larger, inground pool means that you can do more!
There are multiple progressions, which means that you will never get bored and your body can continuously develop. The key to making these exercises successful is to include warm-up and cool down sessions last at least five minutes. For instance, try walking from one end of the pool and back again. If you have a lap pool, do a few laps before your workout.
Standing in the center of the pool, place your surf or paddle board in front of you, and rest your hands firmly atop it. Your feet and hands should be shoulder-width apart. Spread your fingers for optimal weight distribution and press down on your heels, pulling yourself upward using the muscles of your abdomen. Pull your chest back through your shoulders.
Advanced: Don’t push the surf board under the water. Keep your weight balanced and focus on strengthening your muscles. This is more challenging and will further develop your core.
Standing in the middle of the pool, spread your legs about two feet apart. Turn your right foot outward and your left about forty-five degrees in the same direction. Extend your arms out to your sides and breathe in deeply as you slide or reach to the right to place your hand on your thigh. Lift the opposite hand toward the sky and turn your head to face the lifted hand. Breathe deeply, hold, and then repeat in the opposite direction.
Seated Pilates Roll Up
This exercise allows you to develop muscles for balance and coordination.
Wade out into the middle of your pool, and hop up onto your surf or paddle board. Get yourself balanced in the middle, and practice by swishing your feet in the water. From this position, extend your legs out in front of you as high as you can while trying to keep your back straight. Reach toward your toes and exhale. Inhale while pulling your arms back to your chest and setting your feet back into the water.
This technique requires practice and should be repeated eight to ten times. For an extra challenge, hold your hands out for longer periods.