Water workouts – a form of exercise used by USA Olympic ski legend Lindsey Vonn – are a great way of getting in shape fast for the upcoming Australian ski season.
The buoyancy of the water allows for a low-impact workout, explains Mark Grevelding, founder of the Poolfit water workout App and training specialist and consultant with the Aquatic Exercise Association (AEA).
“Water workouts provide the perfect environment to get in shape fast. This applies to cardio, strength and flexibility, for your upcoming adventures on the slopes,” says Grevelding.
“The water’s buoyancy supports both your body and balance, the latter of which is super important for skiers and snowboarders. This is particularly true of shallow water workouts.
“Also, the zero-gravity environment provided by the water means your workout is low-impact. This reduces risk of injury, relieves pressure on your joints and allows you to strengthen essential muscles without straining them.”
Exercising In Water Delivers Faster, Better Results
When you’re in the cooling environment of the water, you can go harder and faster, without wearing yourself out.
“In comparison, exercising on land can leave you hot and sweaty,” explains Mark.
“Many people find it an unenjoyable way to exercise, especially if the temperatures are a little high. Water workouts are challenging, but also a lot of fun. You always feel refreshed when exercising in water.”
The water’s resistance also offers a deeper, better workout for muscles.
“It provides resistance for both sides of the movement. For instance, if you were performing a movement on land, you may only use the one side of the muscle in the active stage of that movement.
During the release, you may not gain benefit on the other side of the muscle. The water’s natural resistance means that both sides of the muscles (e.g.: biceps/triceps, hamstrings/quads) are frequently exercised. This provides a workout that delivers faster, better results.”
Lindsey Vonn, Olympic Ski legend, is well-known for her pool workouts – both for getting in shape for racing, as well as rehabbing injuries.
Vonn uses a TheraBand Resistance Band around her knees to provide even more resistance in the water. As part of her workout, she does three x 20 reps of lunges in the water to strengthen her legs and improve her balance.
Working with TheraBands also automatically engages the Gluteus Medius, which is important for stopping the femur from rotating internally. There is a lot of lateral movement when you ski, so it’s vital that the Gluteus Medius is activated to avoid your knee dropping inward, which places stress on the knee ligaments.
Pool Workouts Are Great For Rehabbing Injuries
Got an injury you need to rehab in time for your on-piste activities?
You can do it in the pool.
“Gentler workouts like Yoga or Pilates are great for this,” explains Mark.
“The supportive environment of water allows you to explore postures with a greater range of motion and confidence, which will help strengthen the injury. Even a workout designed for people with arthritis is useful. It’s a great way to maintain optimal joint function.
Poolfit has a shallow water workout that follows an official Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program lesson plan. It includes functional exercises for cardio respiratory endurance, muscular strength and endurance, balance and coordination, core training, and most importantly joint flexibility and range of motion. All of this translates to a better skiing or snowboarding experience. ”
Vonn also used the pool to help rehab her many injuries. She performed shallow water workouts with weights when rehabbing a broken arm in 2016, saying “[I’m] Bummed I wasn’t racing this weekend but my arm is getting better and I’m working as hard as I can. One small step at a time.”
About the Poolfit App
Poolfit offers over 120 water workouts designed for all fitness levels. All workouts are led by expert fitness leaders who train instructors globally.
*Lindsay Vonn is not commercially associated with Poolfit.