Aquatic exercise is often suggested for people with arthritis or mobility concerns. Regardless of your fitness level, water exercises can provide a fun and therapeutic workout. One common goal of exercise is tummy toning. If you target different large muscle groups and focus on the contraction of your abdominal muscles, nearly any water exercise routine can help to tone your tummy. And while no one water exercise offers the best toning, some are more effective than others.
If you take a water aerobics class, it's very likely that you will execute some form of this exercise while in the shallow end. Proper posture is essential for its effectiveness, so keep your back straight if you can. Tighten your stomach muscles as you lift your knee up toward your chest. Don't strain yourself, but the higher, the better. Release your abdominal muscles as you plant your foot back down and repeat with the other leg.
Treading water, although it sounds mundane, will actually do wonders for strengthening and toning your body. Try this: Tread water at a rapid pace for 30 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat three times. Once you are ready to, increase to one minute of treading and five repetitions. To enhance the effects it has on your stomach, focus on contracting your abdominal muscles while you tread. It helps to imagine a string tied to your belly button that tightens all the way to your spine.
The term "scull" essentially means you are moving across the water without using a traditional stroke, such as back or breast. It can also be another term for "paddle." Performing pike sculls will work those stubborn abdominal muscles, all the while protecting the movement of your joints. Steady yourself afloat by leaning back slightly with your arms and hands in front of you. Raise your legs until your toes peek out of the water and your body is shaped like a wide "V." With your head and toes both above the water line, use your hands to propel you around the pool by cupping them and making circular motions.
One of the best aquatic exercises for targeting the tummy is the K-tread, according to "Fitness" magazine. As its name suggests, this move is a modified tread meant to amp up the ante. Begin somewhere in the pool where your feet do not easily touch the bottom. Start treading water with your arms out to your sides and your hands making small circles. Stretch your left leg, toes pointed, toward the bottom of the pool. Lift and stretch your right leg out to hip level, toes pointed away from you. From the side, your body should look like the letter "K." Once you have figured out the basic shape, quickly alternate your legs so that you bring your right leg down and your left leg up to hip level. Keep your toes pointed and hold each leg side for five seconds before switching. Continue at this rate for 30 seconds or longer if you can.