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The Fat-Burning Water Workout

Fat-Burning Water Workout


The Fat-Burning Water Workout

Most people’s response to getting fitter is to lace up the trainers. But why not find an indoor pool and apply the ultimate type of activity to your muscles?

Deep-water fat-burning training is great for when you’re starting out, as the impact on your joints can be problematic. Getting into the pool means there is no impact; you can train easy or hard, depending on the level you work against the water.

Water blends a number of fitness benefits; you are working cardiovascular systems while building muscular strength and improving flexibility. It is the total package and here’s how to use it most effectively.


1. Cross country with closed hands

It is important to get the core engaged at the beginning of your workouts, as this practice will keep you focusing on good form throughout your workout.

How to do it

Work legs/arms opposite each other, however your limbs are held straighter (but not locked out at the joints) than if you were running. Balance the power in the stroke equally from front to back with a slight torso rotation. The rotation will allow the arm to reach back, and the shoulder to “roll open”.

Circuit 1: 30 secs hard. Recovery 30 secs. Repeat x 3.

Circuit 2: 45 secs steadily working harder, driving yourself out of the water, attempting to move slightly backwards. Recovery 30 secs. Repeat x 3.

Circuit 3: 45 secs using bells progressively working harder. Recovery 30 secs. Repeat x 3.


2. Progressive water run

Run with a longer stride for both your arms and your legs. The more water you move, the harder the run becomes.

How to do it

Run with hands held partially closed, ensuring that the arm/hand drives back and down – aiding in your shoulders staying down. The legs are working a slight scoop of the heel, keeping your glutes, hamstrings and calves working.

Circuit 1: 60 secs progressive building runs. Recovery 30 secs – 1 min. Repeat x 2.

Circuit 2: 60 secs progressive runs, at 30 secs, place arms across your chest), making it a leg-centric focus. Recovery 30-60 secs. Repeat x 2.

Circuit 3: 60 secs progressive builds using bells. Recovery 30-60 secs. Don’t clench hands and keep shoulders out of your ears. Repeat x 2.


fat-burning water workout


3. Rock climber horizontal rush

Similar to a run, but you’ll be more horizontal than vertical. The more water you punch through, the more cardio effort you’ll receive.

How to do it

The straight shot has your arms moving with a punch as if you are landing one directly in front of you. If you do not extend your arm fully, or rotate the torso, the stroke is easier. You may travel backwards through the water at first, but the harder you drive the bells and more you try not to travel, the harder the workout. Do not over grip the bells: this can create tendon flair ups in some newbies.

Circuit 1 20 secs hard (straight shot). Recovery 30 secs. Repeat x 2.

Circuit 2 25 secs hard (uppercut punch). Recovery 20 secs. Repeat x 4.

Circuit 3 30 secs hard/ 15 easy. Recovery 30 secs. Repeat x 5.


4. Run with punches

This stroke will have you working between punching drills at 75-80% RPE. Add an additional punch into the set with the three types of punches.

How to do it

Keep shoulders down and begin the punch with an engaged core, not after you initiate the punch.

Circuit 1: 20 secs run (75-80%) followed by 20 secs of straight shot punching (each round is 40 secs). Recovery 30-60 secs. Repeat x 4

Circuit 2: 20 secs run (75-80%) followed by 20 secs straight shot. 20 secs run, 20 secs uppercut (each round is 90 secs). Recovery 30-60 secs. Repeat 4 times.

Circuit 3: 20 secs run (75-80%) /20 secs straight shot. 20 secs run, 20 secs uppercut/ 20 secs run/20 secs hook (each round is 120 secs.). Recovery 30-60 secs. Repeat x 4.


5. Karate kick

This is a countered kick (one leg driving forward, the other back) as if you are Jackie Chan working a flying scissor kick.

How to do it

With toes pointed upward, maintain the same leg reach as you increase your speed (power), and you’ll work harder to move your legs and arms through the water. On Circuit 2, counter kick with a punch, which will activate the torso.

Circuit 1: 30 secs sets (legs only; arms across your chest or in front of you, elbows bent – this keeps your core engaged more than with arms on your hips). Recovery 30 secs. Repeat x 2

Circuit 2: 30 secs sets (using arms, punching straight forward and back, in countered movement with the legs). Recovery 30 secs. Repeat x 3.

Circuit 3: 30 sec sets (arms included). Recovery 30 secs. Repeat x 4.




6. Eddies

This is a run drill that becomes harder the more you travel in good form. All the effort is in the turn.

How to do it

As you run, you create a current of water behind you. The more you travel, the stronger the current. Every five seconds, turn and run hard into that water current.

Circuit 1: 2 sets of 30 secs Eddy runs.

Circuit 2: 2 sets of Eddies; the first is 45 secs, the second is 30 secs (this circuit respects your fatigue).

Circuit 3: Much harder – the more you do, the longer they become. Perform three: 30 secs, 45 secs, and a final Eddy for 60 secs.


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Melisenda Edwards

Triathlon coach and author of Deep End of The Pool Workouts, Melisenda Edwards' TRAIN for HER articles are located here.

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