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Three Exercises using a Foam Pool Noodle

What Type of Pool Noodle do I need?

Foam pool noodles are available anywhere you look, on the Internet, at your grocery store, local box store, pool cleaning companies, they are not hard to find. Pool exercises with a noodle are easy to squeeze it, because let’s face it, every pool needs a noodle! I am going to share three exercises you can do using a foam pool noodle.  One exercise to target the upper body, one to target the lower body, and one to target the core muscles of the body.

Keep in mind, however, noodles have different degrees of buoyancy. They also come in different diameters and lengths. The diameter might be 5 inches, if using a jumbo noodle, or 3 inches or less. The noodles may or may not be hollow in the center. These will all play a role in the intensity of the noodle being used. It is best for an individual to try as well as keep on hand a variety of the foam noodles to see which would be the best choice for the specific exercise.

Let’s go!

The first exercise using the foam pool noodle is the Chest Push Down. To perform this movement stand in mid chest to chest depth water, holding the pool noodle in the middle with both hands.  The hands should be about shoulder with apart on the noodle. The feet are hip width apart with the upper body positioned towards the pool bottom to target the pectoral muscles of the chest. The noodle begins at the chest with the elbows bent about 90°and palms facing the pool bottom. Next, push the pool noodle down towards the pool bottom first by contracting the pectoral muscles and second by using the muscles of the upper arm at the elbow joint. Think of this motion as a reverse push-up. This is why it is called a (chest) push down. Once the noodle is down towards the pool bottom and the arms are straight with the pectoral muscles contracted, pause and then begin to return to start position in a slow and controlled manner.  Continue this motion for the desired number of repetitions.

The second exercise is a Single Leg Bicycle. I will just refer to it as a bicycle move. The bicycle starts with the pool noodle under 1 foot (right) while standing in shallow water. With the noodle under the right foot, move it into a knee lift.  From the knee lift, straighten (extend) the leg out from the knee by moving the right foot away into knee extension. Once the right leg has moved into extension at the knee, hold that position. With the right leg now in a long lever (flexed at the hip and extended at the knee), begin to move the entire leg down towards the pool bottom using hip extension.  Return to start position using a slow and controlled manner.  Continue this bicycle motion for the desired number of repetitions.

The third exercise is called floating abdominal curls. The noodle is placed around the back with the ends under the arms, opening to the front.  This position of the pool noodle allows the body to easily float in the water. To perform the exercise correctly, the torso has to move into spinal flexion which should move hips down towards the pool bottom while rounding the spine.  I like to think of the abdominal muscles as a sponge so every time you do the curl up you are wringing out the sponge and then when you return to starting position that sponge fills back up with water. This movement should be done in a slow and controlled manner. Continue this motion for the desired number of repetitions.

Switch it up!

Remember to have a variety of pool noodles to choose from when you are working with foam noodles. Three exercises were discussed to help get you started.  The first move one targeted the upper body, the second targeted the lower body, and the third targeted the core. So now you are ready to get wet and try out these three exercises using foam pool noodles to get you started! Until next time, keep splashing!