How To + Tips for Water Walking
Water walking is an easy and effective, low-impact exercise that can be done in any pool. Brisk water walking can provide an excellent aerobic workout and since water provides more resistance than air, you're strengthening and building muscle as you walk. Want to take it up a notch? Get some extra resistance by walking against the current in our AquaTrack (pictured) at Williams Farm Recreation Center!
How to Water Walk
- Stand in waist-deep water with your abdominal muscles firm, tailbone pointed toward the floor, buttocks tucked somewhat to brace your spine in position, shoulders back, and chest lifted (neutral position).
- Walk as you would on land, placing your heel down first and following through with the ball of your foot. Don't walk on your tiptoes. Keep your back straight and stomach muscles taut.
- Walk forwards, backwards and sideways to tone different muscle groups.
- Push relatively straight arms forward and back at your sides as you walk. Turn your hands each time so that the palms press against the water.
- Use your arms in opposition to your legs: When you step forward with your right leg, bring your left arm forward, and vice versa.
Variations on Water Walking
- Lifting your knees higher will increase the intensity of the exercise.
- Walk forward and backward with short steps, long steps, average steps, or step kicks.
- When you are ready to increase intensity, stride by taking very large, controlled steps or bounce by pushing off with your back foot to bounce up off the pool floor between strides.
More Water Walking Tips
- As with any aerobic exercise, start with a mild warm-up and finish with a cool-down. Stretching after you are warmed up is easy in water.
- Drink plenty of fluid: without it, you are likely to become dehydrated even though you're surrounded by water.
- While you don't have to have special equipment to water walk, the following items are useful:
- Water shoes protect your feet and give you more grip.
- Webbed gloves provide more resistance for your arm movements.
Walking distances at your local recreation center vary. Water walking diagrams are posted at Bayside, Great Neck and Princess Anne. At Williams Farm, 34 laps around the AquaTrack equals 1 mile.
Choosing the Right Type of Goggles
Which goggles are right for you? The most important thing is to get a goggle that doesn't leak and is comfortable for an extended period of time. Here are some of the most commonly used goggle types:
These goggles may be the cheapest and simplistic of all goggle designs. They consist of two plastic eye cups, a string or piece of rubber that connects them across the nose and an elastic headband. These goggles are great for competitive use and relatively inexpensive, running from $5 and up.
Foam Gasket Googles
These goggles serve as great non-competitive goggle. They consist of foam gaskets around the eye cup to seal the eye cup to the eye with comfort. They have a higher profile lens and are intended to be more decorative, but work great for the everyday lap swimmer. They are moderately priced at $7 and up.
Silicone Gasket Goggles
These goggles are excellent for use in competition. They consist of silicone gaskets around the eye cups. The silicone creates a nice seal around the eye and prevents any water from leaking in. Silicone goggles are a very comfortable fit, though the seal can be a tight squeeze on the eye area. They are more expensively priced at $10 and up.
Once you've found the fit that works best for you, you'll need to decide on a lens color. Pick the color based on your intended use. For indoor swimming, go with a clear or light colored lens for maximum visibility. For outdoor swimming, look for darker lenses as they will reduce the glare from the sun.