So, you’re heading off on holiday and you’ve decided to take a break from full-on gym workouts, but you’d still like to keep in shape while you’re away.

Your swimming pool – or indeed the sea – offers a wide range of exercise options that go far beyond simply swimming lengths or swimming to the buoy and back.

Xavier Peirels, sports co-ordinator at Aspria Brussels Arts-Loi, explains: “Water provides a perfect environment in which to work out. First of all, it’s almost impossible to hurt yourself.

The body is effectively lighter than it is on the land – you’re three times lighter in a pool – so movements are easier. Exercise also becomes low-impact, because all movements are cushioned by the water, so it’s good for your joints.

“But there’s good news for those wanting a strong workout too, because water provides increased resistance compared to air, meaning it requires more effort – both muscular and cardiovascular – to move through the water. You mobilise your musculoskeletal system and your cardiovascular system, improving circulation as well as muscular strength and general mobility.

“You can really vary the intensity of the exercises too, and the results are clear: muscles are toned and shaped, with water also an excellent tool in the battle against cellulite.

“Not only that, but it’s a particularly nice way to work out while you’re on holiday. You can feel the benefits of the workout, which as I say can be quite intense if you want it to be, but you also feel a great sense of wellbeing just from being in the water.”

Here, we share Xavier’s five favourite exercises to do in the pool or the sea this summer holiday…

#1 – Abs

Stand in the water, feet on the ground.

Push your hands down and, at the same time, raise your knees to your chest.

#2 – Obliques

Stand in the water, feet on the ground.

Drive your feet into the ground to push yourself off and allow yourself to lift both legs up to the same side, bringing yourself into a sideways laying position.

Make sure you alternate sides, so you work both obliques.

#3 –Triceps

Stand in the water, feet on the ground. Tighten your abs to stay stable.

Stretch your arms out in front of you, making sure they’re just under the surface of the water. Close your fists and then pull your arms down, keeping them straight, until they reach your sides. Repeat.

#4 – Chest & Back

Stand in the water, feet on the ground and shoulders under the water.

To work the chest, open and stretch your arms horizontally. Keeping your arms outstretched, bring your hands together in front of you against the pressure of the water.

To work the muscles of the back, you do the opposite movement: start with your hands together in front of you, arms outstretched, and push backwards through the water to reach the horizontal position with your arms out to the side.

#5 – Legs & Buttocks

Stand in the water on one leg, shoulders out of the water.

Raise the other leg in front of you at a right angle, with your heel to your buttocks.

Propel your foot forward to straighten your leg in front of you, then bring it back to your buttocks.

Alternate sides, so you work both legs.

Xavier continues: “Perform an exercise for 30 seconds, then take a 30-second break, then repeat. You should ideally aim to do five sets of each exercise before moving to the next one on the list.

“You can safely repeat this routine each day. Happy holidays!”

Presented by Aspria

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