water exercise legs

5 water exercises to strengthen your legs

Walking to get your mail, bending down to pick up something off the floor, going up the stairs. If you aren’t taking notice, you might be surprised by just how much you use your legs throughout the day. And that’s why it’s so important to make sure that you are keeping them strong.

If you are working out at a gym or even in your living room, traditional exercises to strengthen your legs might include squats, lunges, or weight machines. But what do you do if those exercises stress your joints? For people living with knee pain or recovering from a hip replacement, for example, it can be hard to get motivated to workout when it hurts.

Exercising in the water can help you strengthen your legs, recover from an injury, and improve balance. These workouts cannot only help you get stronger and reduce injury but improve your overall quality of life. 

While you can head to a local pool or fitness facility, you can exercise in the water at home. A Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spa can make it more comfortable and convenient to strengthen your legs, reach your fitness goals, and relax.

Working out in a swim spa can also be a way to beat the boredom of your current exercise routine or make exercise a regular part of your routine.

These water exercises for a swim spa can help you strengthen your legs and feel better as you move through life. 

water fitness
With a water fitness routine, you can feel better and decrease pain.

Benefits of water exercise

Exercising in the water is a low-impact way to reach your fitness goals, including strengthening your legs. While the buoyancy of the water takes pressure off the joints, water’s natural resistance can help you get stronger. 

Did you know that water has 12 times the resistance of air? And, depending on how fast you are moving through the water, the resistance can be greater. It’s like having an adjustable weight machine that does not stress your knees and hips.

The depth and temperature of water does influence the benefits you can realize from water exercise. Warmer water, between 92 degrees and 94 degrees, can increase circulation and help relax your muscles.

When the water is deeper, there’s less stress on your body. Buoyancy decreases the effects of gravity on your body. If you are in waist-deep water, you “weigh” half of what you do on land. In chest deep water, the effects of gravity are reduced 80 percent. This decrease allows you to do exercises that you couldn’t do on land.

Michael Phelps swim spas have a water depth of about 51 inches, allowing you to benefit from the buoyancy of the water.

In addition, water exercise can help you improve your heart health, reduce stress, and incorporate exercise into your daily life. 

There are many ways to exercise in the water, from swimming to water walking. In addition, you can use accessories such as ankle fins and water dumbbells to improve strength. Fins and kickboards can be used for water exercises that target your lower body.

leg sweep water exercise
Water walking and other leg exercises can be done in the swim spa to strengthen your legs.

Swim spa water exercises to strengthen legs

Just like with any exercise program, it’s important to talk to your doctor and pay attention to your body. You can ease into the routine and gradually increase the intensity as you feel comfortable and gain strength. 

Hip abduction 

Your glute medius is an important muscle, helping to keep you stable. This exercise helps to work the outside of the hips. Face the side of the spa and hold on for balance. Lift one leg out to the side, aiming for hip level. Pause at the top and return to standing. Repeat on the other side.

Leg sweeps 

This water exercise to strengthen legs targets your inner thighs. Lift one leg out in front of you and sweep it to the opposite side. The goal is to feel the squeeze in your inner legs. 

Knee lifts

Stand facing the propulsion system of the swim spa. Hold onto the side of the spa if needed. Lift one knee, pause at the top, and then lower. Repeat on the other side. To increase the intensity, lift up your knee and then extend the leg in front of you so that it’s straight. Return to the bent knee position and then lower the leg back down. 

Hamstring curls

Stand tall, core engaged, with your feet shoulder width apart. If needed, hold onto the side of the swim spa for balance. Lift your right heel toward your behind, trying to keep your knee pointed toward the bottom.  Pause and return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side. 

Squat walk

This exercise is like walking sideways and adding in a squat. Stand in the swim spa, facing the long side of the spa. Step one leg out to the side and push your hips back into a squat. Return to standing. Step the opposite leg in so that your feet are shoulder width apart. Continue to step out to one side, squatting down, and returning to standing. Once you reach the end of the spa, head in the opposite direction. 

Scissor kicks

Sitting on one of the steps of the swim spa, float your legs out in front of your body. Begin to kick your legs gently, as if they were a pair of scissors. Be sure to point your toes and try to kick from the hips.

Kicking with fins

Kicking not only helps strengthen your legs but can help you recover from a hard workout. Holding a kickboard in front of you, start by flutter kicking against the swim-in-place current of the swim spa. It’s important that you keep your legs straight and kick from the hips — not the knees. Wearing swim fins will help you maintain a streamline body position and reinforce good muscle movement in the water. 

how to buy a swim spa
A swim spa, also known as a swim-in-place pool, can be used for water exercise, therapy, relaxation, and family fun.

How to buy a swim spa

Are you ready to enjoy the benefits of swimming, recreation, and relaxation year-round — even in the winter? Having a Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spa at home allows you to enjoy the benefits of a pool without the maintenance. You can click here to get more backyard ideas and picture what a Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spa would look like in your space. Or, contact your local Master Spas retailer to learn more about swim spa ownership. Wondering how much a Michael Phelps swim spa costs? You can request a quote here

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