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For a full body, aerobic workout, there are few activities better than swimming. It is also low impact, so there is less risk of injury or muscle strain. For those who do not enjoy swimming laps, there are other exercises that you can do in the pool that have similar benefits. A kickboard can be a particularly effective tool in a water workout because it can help you balance in the water so you can target specific muscle groups and can be used to create resistance for certain exercises as well.
Hip and Glute Exercise
Because a kickboard allows you to glide through the water while resting your arms, it is ideal for working you your lower body. To target your hips and glutes, begin by holding the kickboard in front of you with your legs floating behind you. Lift one of your legs to the side, making sure to keep your back straight and slowly begin to raise the leg as high as you can without turning your ankle. Lower your leg to the starting position and repeat. Do a full set of repetitions for each leg, maintaining proper form throughout the sets. In addition to working the buttocks and hamstrings, this exercise works the abdominal muscles as well.
Resistance Arm Exercise
While kickboards are most often used to work the lower body, they can also provide resistance for an effective upper body workout. Begin by standing in water approximately chest high with your legs a comfortable distance apart and contract your abdominal muscles to help you keep your balance. With your right arm extended, hold the kickboard with a hand on each end. Keep your left elbow close to your torso and pull the board toward the center of your body. Move the kickboard back to the starting position and repeat the motion until fatigued, working up to 15 repetitions. Switch the board to your left side and perform an additional set of exercises on the opposite side.
Walking Resistance Exercise
The walking resistance exercise also helps tone your arms and chest, but allows you to walk around the pool as you do so for added aerobic benefits. Begin by standing in water that reaches your shoulders with your legs shoulder width apart. Hold the kickboard in front of you with both hands, keeping it close to your chest, and bend your knees slightly. Bend your elbows at a 90 degree angle, and tighten your abdominal muscles to help you keep your balance. Walk forward as you hold the kickboard in front of you. The water creates natural resistance and helps you work muscles in both your upper and lower body.
Based in New York City, Jennifer Blair has been covering all things home and garden since 2001. Her writing has appeared on BobVila.com, World Lifestyle, and House Logic. Blair holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.