Ah, summer! The perfect time to take your fitness routine out of the gym and into the water. These toning exercises were created by Dara Torres, a five-time Olympic swimmer and the author of Gold Medal Fitness ($26, Broadway, amazon.com), for use in a pool, but most could be done in a lake or the ocean, too. Swim a few laps (a standard pool lap is about 25 yards) to warm up and afterward to cool down.
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Move 1: Side-Kick Drill
Starting at one pool end, push off the wall facing to the right, with your left arm extended in front and your right arm back and along your body. Kick, keeping your left arm taut in front. To inhale, turn your head over your shoulder. When you reach the pool’s end, push off facing the same wall and repeat with your right arm extended. Do four laps.
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Move 2: Six-Kick Switch
Floating on your left side, extend your left arm forward and keep your right arm back and along your body (top illustration). Kick six times. Bring your right arm forward so both arms are extended (middle illustration) for six kicks. Switch arms and sides (bottom illustration) and keep alternating, side-middle-side, until you cross the pool. Do four laps.
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Move 3: Pool Push-Ups
With feet not touching the bottom, place your hands on the pool edge slightly wider than shoulder-width apart (shown, near right). Exhale and push up (as if getting out of the pool). Contract your abdominals, keep your shoulders down, and avoid locking your elbows (shown, far right). Inhale and slowly lower yourself back into the water; stop when your elbows are bent to 90 degrees. Do two sets of 10 to 15 reps.
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Move 4: Vertical Kicks
Stand in the pool at least chest deep with your arms in front of you and bent at a 90-degree angle (shown, near right). Using a rapid flutter kick, propel your body up through the water for 30 seconds. For the last 10 seconds, while kicking, extend your arms overhead, with one hand on top of the other (shown, far right). Rest for 30 seconds. Complete eight reps.