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Why water workouts win
by Jessica |  Jul 15, 2013

No one wants to hit the pavement for a run when the sun's beating down and the temperature reads 80 plus degrees - even if they're rocking the best sneakers like the springboost motion (white). Thank the fitness gods that there are ways to both stay fit and cool in the summer. While I prefer a fabulous soak in the sea, having a pool nearby is a great way to break a sweat without even realizing it. 

She Knows reports a 150-pound woman who swims for half an hour without stopping can burn an average of 270 calories - similar results to walking for an hour at a brisk pace. You'll not only burn tons of calories by swimming, but you'll also help protect your knees and other joints from damage that can arise from other activities like running. Here are a few swim exercises to try this summer.

Side-kick moves
The pros at Real Simple magazine report that for this workout, you need to start at one end of the pool, and then push off the wall with your body facing the right side with your left arm extended in front of your body. Your right arm should rest along the side of your body.  

Once you start moving, use your legs to kick and your left arm to get your body from point A. to point B, keeping your right arm down by your side. Once you reach the opposite wall, go back with your right arm extended. Doing four laps of this all-body workout will get you ready for short shorts in a flash.

Push-ups in the pool
You can certainly opt to get your daily push-ups in at home, but isn't everything more fun in a pool? If you're like me you answered yes. 

For this exercise, head to the deep end and hold onto the edge with your hands without having your feet touch the bottom, the pros at Real Simple recommend. Spread your arms about shoulder-width apart and then start to push up as if you're getting out of the pool on the exhale. Make sure to contract your abs and keep your shoulders down to avoid locking your elbows. On the inhale, slowly start to lower yourself back into the pool and stop when your elbows are at a 90 degree angle. 

Try doing two sets of 15 reps, or start out with 10 if it's been a while since you've done arm workouts. 

Vertical kicks kick your butt 
Looking to get a fabulous butt and toned thighs by August? Then this workout is the one to try. For this exercise, you'll need to start by standing in chest-deep water. Place your hands on the edge of the pool, then bend your elbows to keep your arms at 90 degree angles. 

When you're in position, start moving your body up and down using the pool floor -  similar to jumping on land. Keep propelling your body up for 30-second intervals, lifting your arms straight up above your head when you go up. Do this for a total of eight reps, taking 30-second breaks in between each set. 

Cool-down tips
I sometimes forget just how intense water workouts can be, and my muscles certainly pay for it the next day. Even though water routines are low-impact, they do work your body, so I always try to massage my calves, thighs and arms with elemis sp@home de-stress massage oil to keep aches and pains away after a thorough workout. 

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