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Aquatic Gym Workout

This workout consists of land callisthenics such as push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, squats, or flutter kicks, and water exercises such as pool sprints, treading water, buddy and rescue swims, swimming with fins, and a variety of other lifeguard and overall water comfort exercises.

You should be confident in the water and able to swim fully clothed for 50 meters without stopping, dive down to a depth of 2 meters, and tread water for 5 minutes.

For this training to be effective you require three sets of clothes. If you are organising this as a competitive event, make sure all participants wear similar clothes.

  1. Lightweight Swim Clothes
    T-shirt and shorts, unlined rain pants, and anorak or cagoule.

  2. Heavyweight Swim Clothes
    Long sleeve cotton pullover or fleece shirt, hoodie without zip, jogging pants or jeans, socks and clean pool shoes.

  3. Session Breaks
    Nylon poncho or hiking cape with sleeves. Keep warm during any breaks of more than a few minutes. Wrap up in a poncho or cape to retain heat. Relax on the poolside or go into the warm-up pool. We call it a "poncho break".

Part 1: Fun Warm Up

T-shirt and shorts are worn for this part.

Each session begins with a warm up that gets the circulation going. Athletes know that to get the most out of their bodies, they have to follow a workout ritual for best results.

Warming up and cooling down are important parts of a workout. Any strenuous physical activity that begins abruptly has the potential to cause injury. When you do a proper warm up, you ease your body into your workout activity.

Enter the shallow end of the pool and splash each other in a playful way to get everybody wet. Then swim a few lengths front crawl at an easy speed. Only after a warm-up is it wise to do some stretching.

Part 2: Endurance

T-shirt and long trousers are worn for this exercise.

This is essentially just another warm-up exercise to get you going. It is easy to begin with wearing just simple swimwear. You can layer more clothes to make it harder.

Take a poncho break and talk about your experience with your team.

Part 3: Resistance

Anorak and rain pants add a lot of drag and fill up with water, making this exercise harder than the previous one.

Swim head up 10 x 25m at consistent pace. After each length, get out of the pool do 10 sit-ups or 10 push-ups. Jump back in and continue.

Take a poncho break and talk about your experience.

Part 4: Strength

Change into your heavy swimming kit, pullover, hoodie, jeans or joggers, socks and pool shoes. Put the hood up.

Parts of this exercise needs shallow water. Use the poolside if there is no shallow water.

Take a poncho break and talk about your experience.

Part 5: Endurance Challenge

Anorak over swimsuit is best for this exercise.

Use interval training to help your class develop their endurance and swimming efficiency. Do not just swim the distance. Develop a sense of pace and being able to control your pace. Use the stroke progressions to develop each stroke and help your class improve stroke efficiency.

Choose one of the following, subject to the fitness level of your team:

Swim 100m in 3 minutes or better.
Swim 300m in 9 minutes or better.
Swim 500m in 15 minutes or better.

Next swim 100m, wearing shoulder loop and torpedo buoy. Swim each 25m length using a different swimming stroke, like Lifesaving Side Stroke, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and Freestyle. After every length, get out of the pool, touch the wall and jump back in to continue the swim.

Part 6: Stretching

The cool down portion of your workout is also an important time to stretch your muscles. They are at their warmest during this time, which makes it the perfect time to deepen your stretch.

Take the time to stretch each muscle group that you exercised. Breathe deeply through the cool down period to help your muscles melt into the stretch.

You will find when you stretch during the cool down that you will feel less soreness from your workout. Besides helping to prevent injuries, this decrease in soreness is important for maintaining your motivation to adhere to your workout routine day in and day out.

Part 7: Cool Down

When you are ready to wrap up your workout, it is sometimes tempting to just finish up and hit the shower. Once your heart rate is up and your muscles have been taxed, it is an important time to give your body a chance to cool down.

After your workout, splash around with your friends and enjoy the water. While you keep moving, your heart rate gradually returns to its resting rate. When you have just completed a strenuous exercise session, go easy for a while.

Physiologically, cooling down helps your body make the transition from intense exercise to normal activity. Mentally, you'll learn how to move in the water with many clothes and a poncho.

Part 8: Rinse and Repeat

After you leave the pool, rinse the chlorinated water out of all your clothes. This works best while you wear them under the shower, rather than bunched up on the floor.

About half the water in your clothes will run out if you hang around the poolside for 5 to 10 minutes. It won't do that in your bag.

Do not wring the water out of Spandex/Lycra clothes, or you'll wreck them quickly. Use a towel to dry yourself, then take them off and hang then up to dry soon.