With the excitement of the opening of the new Sir Owen G. Glenn National Aquatic Centre I though it was only appropriate to talk about exercising in water.

Of course, swimming is the obvious choice when it comes to the pool and is a great opportunity to get your heart rate up and keep active.

An interval session is a perfect way to do this and involves completing a variety of different sets depending on your experience and ability.

Talk to one of the experienced swim instructors who will be able to provide guidance around what’s appropriate.

I’ve been in and out of the AUT Millennium pool throughout my career due to injury and minimising ground contacts.

Lots of athletes use pool sessions (aqua running or sprinting!) as a way to get a workout in without the impact of the ground forces. If you have a niggling injury then swimming is a fantastic option and still provides physiological benefits.

  • Remain upright as opposed to being hunched over which places extra tension on the nerves to supplying your legs.  One cue I often think about is being tall through my head and open through my chest.
  • Make sure you keep your abdominals engaged throughout the reps.
  • To get your glutes firing when running in the water, open up at the knee as you pull back your front leg in the water. As you do this you can fire your glute muscles as opposed to having your knees go up and down like a sewing machine needle.
  • If you are going for a leg speed focus then channel your inner sewing machine needle. Your arm swing should be relaxed but try not to reach out in front of you. Remember you are running/sprinting so avoid the temptation to reach out and pull the water back to propel you forward as if you are swimming.

There are tremendous benefits of using water for recovery. That lovely feeling of being weightless is incredibly healing for your body and active recovery is very effective for all those who like to push their bodies (that’s you!).

If you are returning from injury and frustrated you cannot do more, the pool is your answer. There are heaps of options to not only keep your aerobic fitness up but maintain your anaerobic fitness as well. The water pressure and its compression on your body promotes blood flood back to your heart. All in all it’s a great option.

Here’s a workout for you to try which will take about 40mins to complete:

  • Warm up with an easy 4 x25m lengths. Think about your technique and grooving those patterns.
  • 6 x 40 seconds at a good pace with 20 seconds rest in between the repetitions.
  • Easy length of 25m to recover
  • Repeat 6 x 40 second efforts with 20 seconds rest.
  • Repeat an easy 25m length.
  • Either with or without your belt 4 x 15 seconds of fast running on the holding the side of the pool (you will need to lean on towards the pool edge), straight leg scissors flexion and extension (forwards and backwards) and straight leg scissors sideways.
  • Easy 25m length to finish as a warm down

We are extremely lucky to have incredible facilities available to our AUT Millennium Gym members. Make the most of them and enjoy the benefits of a water workout

Be the best you can be.