And, hey, we get it: Most people hear water workouts and imagine a montage of senior citizens moseying through water aerobics. But you can get a kickass workout underwater—take it from Orlando Bloom and Laird Hamilton.
“Aqua training is starting to become a buzzword in fitness, and I’m not talking about your traditional water aerobics classes,” says Alex Isaly, P.T., a nutritionist and LifeTime ambassador.
In fact, doing resistance training in the water can actually be more effective than heaving heavy metal on land.
“There’s been a ton of new research on the benefits: increased core stabilityand balance; less muscle soreness; better joint mobility in the hips, spine, and shoulders; enhanced muscular strength and endurance; and increased lean body mass,” Isaly says. “Aqua training is also considered one of the most effective cross-training workouts because it significantly decreases impact on your joints due to water’s buoyant properties. Performing traditional strength and bodyweight moves can also drastically improve joint mobility in your hips, spine, and shoulders.
How to add underwater resistance training to your workout regimen
Isaly suggests adding two to three aqua training sessions a week in your training program.
“I recommend timed intervals with active recovery between. Try doing 30 seconds of work, immediately followed by 15 seconds of active recovery, like jogging in place,” Isaly says. Perform anywhere from 3-5 sets. If you’d rather complete exercises by reps, and you’re a bit more advanced, shoot for 15-20 reps for 3-4 sets.