Gear Up: Swimming Accessories for Better Health

by Marnie Bii | June 17th, 2014 | Accessories, Exercise Equipment

swimming (400x400)Are you making the most of your summer by hitting the pool for your fitness routines? Do you wish there were ways to increase resistance and scale the challenge to your gains? Thankfully, several products on the market today will do just that.

Invest in water paddles, ankle weights, aqua cuffs and dumbbells to make the most of your time in the water. The natural water resistance works with these items to activate all of your muscles at once. You can add the following items to your regimen to increase your effort considerably.

Water Fan

The water fan, or paddles, is a deceptively simple device that does wonders for your hand, arm, shoulder, neck and back strength. If you combine its use with leg exercises, it can even help your lower body tone up.

To use it, you simply hold one in each hand and push through the water like normal. The blades on the fan add more resistance as the water pushes against them. If the resistance is too high, simply turn the lever and open up the blades a little further. You can also invest in thicker water paddles to increase resistance.

Aqua Cuffs

You can pair your water fans with aqua cuffs to further improve your arm workouts in the pool. The aqua cuffs add even more resistance as your arms move under the water. The cuffs come in a few weight ranges and some are even adjustable. You’ll want to strap on the cuffs and test their resistance before pairing them with the paddles. Use them during group workouts or while alone.

Foam Dumbbells

Weighted foam dumbbells come in two, five and ten pound sizes to fit a variety of fitness needs. The foam doesn’t breakdown in the pool water and is still easy to grip while wet. The foam softly cushions your hands to keep them from feeling fatigued from lifting.

You can use the dumbbells with the aqua cuffs or by themselves if you wish. You should notice your heart rate rise to its target range while completing water aerobics with the dumbbells.

Ankle Weights

Strapping on some ankle weights pushes you to work your leg and back muscles harder to propel yourself through the water. The ankle weights trap onto your legs using quick release mechanisms.

You can buy ankle weights in the one to ten pound range. You can also find ones that adjust through that range to prevent you from having to buy a new set each time your strength grows. Try jogging or fly backs with these weights to appreciate their utility.

Safety First

Use these accessories safely. You’ll only want to perform water aerobics with your feet firmly on the bottom surface of the pool while using these devices.  Their sheer heft could make it difficult for you to swim up from the bottom in the deeper sections. You could also use a buoyancy belt to keep yourself afloat. Practice releasing the straps in the water, and without looking, to easily slip out in the event of an emergency.

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.