A Water-Based Wicked Wednesday Workout

You need nothing but a cooling pool for a core-burning, heart-rate-raising fitness session.

swimming wicked wednesday workout outside fitness exercise

Even if you're not a natural in the pool, water-based exercises are a good shakeup to your usual regimen (no actual swimming required, either).     Photo: Chad Baker/Jason Reed/Ryan McVay

A pool can be a place to play—or a spot to give your body a total-body workout in just 15 minutes. How? By using water as resistance, you can get in a session that raises your heart rate and fries your core. Plus, your body gets a needed break from the pounding of your typical land workouts. And don’t worry: this involves no actual swimming. 

Name: Speed Splash 
Time: 15 minutes 
Place: Pool with water between waist and chest height.
Equipment needed: None 
1. Jog in place: Three minutes. Do it in chest-high water. Drive your knees up high.
2. Plyo jumps: One minute. In waist-deep water, squat down so water is at about chin height and explode up with both legs.
3. Tread water: Three minutes. Use only your legs and core; keep your hands out of the water.
Float: 1 minute. 
4. Up-and-Back: 3 minutes. Run forward 10 steps, then backpedal 10 steps as fast as you can. Exaggerate your arm motion through the water to work your upper body.
5. Wall kicks: 1 minute. Hold the wall, extend your legs behind you and kick hard.
6. Tread water: 3 minutes. Use only your legs; keep your hands out of the water. For this round and an added challenge, hold something with a little weight in your hands, like a brick.

Name: Speed Splash
Time: 15 minutes 
Place: Pool with water between waist and chest height.
Equipment needed: None 

  1. Jog in place: Three minutes. Do it in chest-high water. Drive your knees up high.
  2. Plyo jumps: One minute. In waist-deep water, squat down so water is at about chin height and explode up with both legs.
  3. Tread water: Three minutes. Use only your legs and core; keep your hands out of the water. 
  4. Float: One minute.
  5. Up-and-back: Three minutes. Run forward 10 steps, then backpedal 10 steps as fast as you can. Exaggerate your arm motion through the water to work your upper body.
  6. Wall kicks: One minute. Hold the wall, extend your legs behind you and kick hard.
  7. Tread water: Three minutes. Use only your legs; keep your hands out of the water. For this round and an added challenge, hold something with a little weight in your hands, like a brick.

Ted Spiker, who has designed and led backyard and neighborhood workouts for his friends for the past three years, is a journalism professor at the University of Florida who specializes in health and fitness writing. He recommends you pick up a scrap truck tire to add more variety to your workouts.

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