So what exactly would you use swimming weights for? Aquatic resistance training. These are great for all kinds of aquatic fitness and can make you excel at water sports like water football, water volleyball and even underwater hockey.
Pool weights are great for building your strength up and are used in aquatic classes and underwater fitness circuits like water Zumba, and water aerobics. They are used for water physical therapy, and can transform any home pool into an exercise chamber. For the extremists among you try some underwater hockey!
They provide extra resistance and can improve your swimming speed and they can build up your strength in general.
They are not just available in foam dumbbell form, ankle and wrist weights powercords (stretchcords), swimming gloves (to increase propulsion through water) and resistance bands can also be used as water weights.
Is This The Perfect Form Of Training For Seniors?
Aquatic resistance training has been proposed as being a great solution to safely enhance the strength and quality of life for seniors. As it is perofrmed in water there is less stress on the bones and joints and less chance of injury due to the natural buffer water.
Strength training as we have talked about quite widely on this site is a great tool for increasing bone density and lowering the risk of early onset of cardiovascular disease. It also has great benefits for balance, fitness, mental health and is great for eliminating stress.
This study shows that aquatic resistance training supplies these benefits in post menopausal women. The results aren't as positive as providing the same benefits of using weights than standard strength training, but they still do provide good benefits.
But where water come in to play greatly is with injury therapy. Another physical therapy study by Ay, Alev MD; Yurtkuran, Merih MD concluded that water resistance is beneficial for the health and fitness anyone with osteoarthritis and arthritis and hip and knee pain.
Think about it, how can you take the load of aching bone pains and get in some healthy cardio? With water.
Why water is good for Training & Physical Therapy
Immersing in water is the ideal place to challenge and increase your endurance. Lots of sports athletes are using the natural resistance of water to safely increase the intensity of their workouts. Underwater cycling is now a thing.
It is used by cyclists to increase stamina and strength. Like boxing with weights improves your speed and power- when you take off the weights your hands will feel so much lighter and your speed will increase.
Water provides the same stimulus except for the fact that boxing with weights can place a heck of a lot of strain on the wrist, shoulder and elbow joints. I have tried it and have had excruciating elbow pain for 2 weeks after the event.
Try shadow boxing under water or kicking and you get the same benefits minus the tendon ache.
Water is increasingly used in exercise therapy to ice baths for recovery. Water provides a protective natural buffer for anyone with injuries. One of the keys to injury rehabilitation is movement. That's why doctors want you on your feet as soon as possible after hip surgery.
Water eliminates the pain involved in walking and movement for anyone trying to recover from therapy, or who has just sustained an injury.
Burn More Calories
Water training burns calories at a higher rate as the extra resistance forces you to work harder.
Strength Training Benefits
Perform your strength training routine in the gym. The added resistance of water combined with the extra weigh of ankle and wrist bands, powercords, or foam dumbbells can transform your pool into a cutting edge strength gym.
Why Should You Use Some Form Of Swimming Weights?
- Minimal equipment needed
- low impact - easy on joints tendons and ligaments
- good for all ages, and especially for seniors
- water provides natural resistance with no need for complicated apparatus
- water weights are not expensive
- water is great for physical therapy and injury recovery
- great for cardio and strength building
- can make you excel and increase endurance in swimming and non swimming sports
- water is fun and provides a relief from stress
- can join in with clubs or do solo
If you like to remain under the radar, you can even go to the gym with some swimming or ankle weights and no one will even know you are actively engaging in the arts of strength and endurance building. Keep it on the lowdown if that's your thing.