You can do this exercise with many variations, depending on the degree of difficulty you want to achieve. That is due to water buoyancy that gives you a variable amount of support and resistance. Here are some of those variations, starting from easy to hard:
At the end of your routine, allow some time to stretch your calf and shin muscles, and other muscles you targeted in your workout. To do that, place one foot in front of you, with heels in contact with the floor. Flex your foot and let your toes point up until you feel the stretch in your calf muscle. Hold for 15 seconds then switch legs. Then put one foot back, toes fixed on the floor, and heels up until you feel the stretch in your shin. Hold for another 15 seconds then switch.
Click Here to See this Stretch Animation
Start by standing high in shallow water, with feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointed forward, and back straight. Your body should be in a straight line from your head to your feet. Put your arms down at your sides.
With your toes firm on the floor, slowly raise your heels high, hold for one count, then slowly lower them back down, to touch the floor. Perform for at least 30 seconds, rest, and repeat again.
Raise your heel once as you inhale and once as you exhale.
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Here's a great way to build leg strength and develop muscle mass. I've been using this exercise in my aqua fitness classes for years, and I've seen great results. This exercise helps you get stronger and more flexible legs, besides many other benefits that I will discuss in this article. I'll also explain the proper technique, and why this exercise is particularly effective in the pool.
Heel Raises, also called calf raises, and as the name says, involve raising the heels up from the ground and then lowering them back down, with your toes being the pivot. It is a bodyweight exercise with the main objective to achieve strength in your lower leg muscles.
Warming up before exercise is always a good idea, especially if you are working out muscles that are not frequently used, or if the targeted muscle will be worked to exhaustion. That can be said about heel raises, as this movement is rarely ever used in our everyday lives, and muscles responsible for lifting the heel are weaker than other major leg muscles. Putting your body weight on these muscles, even in water (where only the body parts that are above water count for weight), does require warming them up first.
Stand on one leg and bend your other in front of you, at about 90 degrees. Bend and extend your high foot, at a comfortable speed and range of motion. After 1-minute switch legs.
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