Get involved in the latest fitness trend: Underwater Training
Yes, it’s the new fitness trend to hit the market, say hello to underwater training. Water-based training methods have been on the rise, and it’s all thanks to the “simultaneous support, resistance, and compression provided by the water” says Matt Cunningham, Performance Specialist at Workshop Gymnasium.
The new environment of the water provides not only a fun challenge and a new stimulus, but there are also many advantages to switching up your usual training methods and incorporating this one. According to Cunningham, “There is a wide range of performance benefits that can be realised from taking our training into the pool. Cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength, mobility and our capacity for stress are all areas we can challenge in the water safely that can also carry over into everyday life.” Then of course, it suits those returning from injury or with a physical disability, “water-based training is an option we should be curious to explore. The water can remove pressure and impact through our joints, allowing us to move more freely within that environment.”
There are a number of methods to try and Cunningham shares his techniques and tips for getting the most out of this workout, from the loaded carry, loaded swim and squat jumps but a personal favourite is ‘the reptile’. This involves prowling along the bottom of the pool with a set of weights. It predominantly targets the muscles in your shoulders and your core, but will also see you harness the benefits.
1) Start at one end of the pool with a set of either dumbbells or kettlebells placed at the bottom (or any weight suitable for being submerged in water).
2) Take a breath to go under, and position yourself horizontally along the floor of the pool holding one weight each hand, directly underneath your shoulders. Keep your legs relaxed, trailing behind you in a straight line. Resist the urge to kick them.
3) Move each weight six to ten inches ahead of you one at a time, placing it on the floor in front of you. Move slowly and stay relaxed. Focus on your upper body, and keep your core engaged.
4) Repeat one arm after the other, and continue that crawling pattern for the desired distance (adjust the weight and the distance according to your abilities, or go as far as you can in one breath and then repeat – it’s not a competition to see who can hold their breath for the longest).
Pro tip – slow, steady and calm wins the race and gets you further without depleting your oxygen levels.