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Aqua Fitness

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         Views: 1575
2006-12-21 09:41:27     
Article by Kate Steplton

Aqua fitness is used quite often by people looking to get in shape in this day and age dominated by the fitness craze. There are many reasons why aqua fitness is so popular, and there are many redeeming qualities for the body when it comes to aqua fitness, but the best feature about aqua fitness is the fact that for most people, it is fun. There is little in the universe that is more fun than swimming, and quite frankly, swimming is one of the best forms of exercise for the muscles in the human body, but there's much more to an aqua fitness workout than JUST SWIMMING.

Of course swimming laps isn't all that there is to aqua fitness routines, though swimming laps in a concentrated effort with varied strokes is certainly a part of any routine. Many muscles can be strengthened, toned, and stretched by swimming a number of laps, depending on your level of fitness, with different strokes. The butterfly, for instance, as an excellent way to workout your upper body torso, including your pecs and your lats. Even the doggie paddle strengthens your neck, back, arms, and legs. The biggest benefit of aqua fitness can come from simple static exercise. Herschel Walker, the famed Heisman Trophy winner, used aqua fitness techniques to build the endurance and strength in his legs by simply running under water. The resistance from the water itself helped build those oak trees that Herschel called legs. There are plenty of resistance and isometric exercises that can be used to build strength and muscles, from simple flexing and movement to more advanced routines involving light weights under water.

There are plenty of enjoyable water sports as well that can be used to help build the body. Sports such as water polo, water soccer, and water volleyball, while competitive and fun, are very good for building muscle. The great thing about aqua fitness is that it tends to use the whole body as you train and exercise. Bodybuilding in typical fashion generally requires exercises involving free weights and machines that focus on a primary and secondary muscle structure. For instance when you do curls with either a dumbbell or a barbell, you are using the resistance of the weight to strengthen the bicep as you curl the weight up, and you are stressing the triceps as you lower the weight back down. Two muscles are exercised, and unhealthy strain is placed on the back which supports the exercise as there is little to no support behind it. The same exact exercise done under water with far less weight is more effective and is safer as well. First of all, the back is reinforced by the water itself. Secondly you can use far less weight, putting less pressure on the back, because of the resistance of the water, which exercises the muscle. In the water, all of the back muscles and abdominal muscles are utilized as well, due to the resistance of the water, so it is a far more effective work out.

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