Swimming itself is an excellent overall body workout, but if you want extra toning, try adding water weights. Water weights are similar to dumbbells and ankle weights. They may be filled with air or water, depending on the amount of resistance you want. When you do water exercises, be sure to keep your balance and body position. You won't be fighting gravity, so it will feel different at first. Keep your weight evenly distributed, and keep your heels on the floor of the pool. Add these upper body exercises using hand or wrist water weights for extra sculpting.
1. Bicep Curls
This exercise will tone and shape the front of your upper arms. Stand in the water with your arms at your sides as you hold the weights. With your palm facing up, contract your biceps to pull the weights up to your shoulders. Slowly lower them back down.
These are great for defining your chest. Stand with the water weights in front of you and in front of your chest with palms facing each other. Pull your shoulders back and move your arms out, as though you were going to hug someone. Bring the weights back to the front.
3. Karate Punch
Karate punches will tone various muscles in your arms. Hold your water weights up close to your chest. Punch out into the water, and then pull the weight back. Alternate arms.
4. Shoulder Shrugs
Not only will these sculpt your shoulders, but they are a great exercise to relieve tension. Stand with your arms at your sides and your palms facing your body. Slowly raise your shoulders up. Be careful to only use your shoulder muscles. Push them back, then down.
5. Triceps Push
These will firm up the backs of your upper arms. Stand with your weights up by your chest with your elbows bent and palms facing each other. Slowly push your weights down into the water by your thighs so that your arms are straight. Bring the weights back up to your chest.
Rows will define the muscles in your shoulders and back. Hold your water weights up close to your chest as you did with the karate punch. Put your arms out in front of your body with your palms facing down. Now pull both of your arms forcefully back to your chest using your arms and shoulders. Make sure that you use your shoulders in this exercise. It should feel like you are trying to touch your shoulder blades together.
As you are exercising in the pool remember to stay hydrated. Despite being in the water, it is very easy to become dehydrated during a water workout. Also be sure to stretch each major muscle group before and after your workout.