Once you have mastered the standing exercises in the pool, you are now ready for the more advanced pool walking exercises. These are basically putting the standing exercises into a dynamic walking movement. It is important to keep proper posture while doing these.
First is what we call the soldier march. It is pretty much a straight leg raise while walking. Keep your knee straight and locked out. Pull your toes up towards you into dorsiflexion to keep your knee from bending. Kick through the water only as high as you can go without leaning back. Next is the hamstring curl kick. Just like when standing, your hip should stay in a neutral or slightly extended position. If you bend your hip up, you are working different muscles. It’s almost like you are clucking like a chicken! Then there are the Rockette kicks. Bend your knee up into a march position, then kick your leg straight out and step forward. If that is too much of a stretch, don’t bring your knee quite as high.
Now you are going to walk on your toes, just like you are in high heels. Try to stay up on the toes the whole time without touching your heels to the ground. Then switch to walking on your heels. Try not to push your bottom back; you are lifting your toes, not leaning back. This really forces you to straighten your knees into extension, so be careful if you have a knee injury. Finally, you are going to squat sideways. Remember to keep your toes facing forward the whole time. As you are stepping out, that is when you want to squat, and as you are standing back up, bring your feet back together. It is one fluid motion; try to move the whole time.
Always use CAUTION with Exercising in a Pool: If you can’t swim, don’t do these exercises unless there is a certified lifeguard on duty. Working out in a pool can be very deceiving. Many times you will feel great while in the pool because gravity is taken away. It feels easy and you want to do a lot, but always start at a baseline. If you have not performed aquatic exercises before, you have to let your body adapt to it no matter what your fitness level. Pool workouts should only start at about 40 minutes, and you shouldn’t be in the pool longer than an hour especially if it is a heated pool. Don’t let the water fool you!