Gyms and Fitness Clubs

Water Polo is Excellent Aerobic Training and Exercise

At 658 calories burned per hour for a 145lb person, water polo is one of the most physically demanding sports out there today. While other sports can be strenuous and require much endurance, a water polo game adds the element of water resistance which makes the body work far harder than it would on land. This of course gets water polo players in excellent shape and gives them a distinct look; leanness, more muscle definition (especially in the core and arm areas), and some think the tan from being in the pool adds a more desirable look. While water polo will give you the appearance you want, the real benefits are internal. The strenuous and constant aerobic activity (paired with a good diet of course) exhibited during a water polo game is more beneficial to the human heart than most people realize. As you increase your aerobic activity (such as through water polo), your heart has to work harder to supply your muscles with enough blood to support your muscles during the activity. Since your heart is actually a muscle, the more it works the better shape it gets in, which means it becomes more efficient at supplying your muscles with blood while actually working less during a water polo game. Sometimes the heart will even create more arteries to accomplish the body's increased need for blood flow. These arteries can literally save a water polo player's life, should they for some reason have a heart attack later in life.

Focus on Aerobic Training for More Endurance for Water Polo

Aerobic exercise is essential to getting and staying in shape for a water polo game. It is estimated that 60% of fuel for water polo is derived from the aerobic system, and training this system is pretty simple. Running, whether on your gym's treadmill or outdoors, is the most popular form of aerobic training and is very effective (granted that you continue to push yourself as your body becomes more conditioned). If you're looking for something different and more interactive, check out your gym's classes and ask your personal trainer which would be the most effective for your body. When you're training for a water polo game, however, water exercise is ideal. Lap swimming is excellent, as it puts no stress on the water polo player's joints, and allows you to control your breathing. You and your trainer can also tailor a water aerobic routine with the use of weights; in the shallow end, run laps back and forth while carrying water weights. Be cautious and conservative when selecting the poundage of your weights; injury can result by using weights that are too heavy for your fitness level.

Use Interval Training Outside of the Pool for More Explosive Power During Water Polo Games

Since a water polo game requires the use of explosive power at any time, it's important to train your body to accelerate quickly and with force. Sprints and shuttle runs are the best way to attain your maximum acceleration. Done regularly and with increasing difficulty (difficulty should be increased in sync with your body's adaptation to sprinting; in other words, as you get faster, sprint harder and longer), you will find that you are able to maneuver and get to the water polo ball more quickly, which provides you with an advantage over players who aren't as fit, and can level the playing field with players who are naturally better swimmers. Ideally, your gym will have a track for you to sprint on with your trainer; if not, check out local parks to find access to a track. Of course, sprints can be done almost anywhere just as long as you have a large and flat open area, and the appropriate footwear.

Drills to Tread Water more Efficiently for Water Polo

If you're just getting into water polo, or haven't played a water polo game in a while, reconditioning your body to efficiently tread water for several minutes at a time is key. By doing actual water polo movements, the body creates muscle memory and will keep your out-of-water workout in check (the areas you notice muscle soreness after this workout indicate where you need to step things up on land). A quick and general refresher course on treading water for a water polo game: 1.)Bend your legs at the knee so your toes are facing toward the bottom (a right degree angle). 2.)Extend your arms out from your shoulders and let them float just beneath the surface. 3.)Gently circle the lower half of your legs in opposite directions (one leg goes clockwise, the other counterclockwise) at a pace which keeps your neck out of the water yet doesn't exacerbate your body. Times of neutrality during a water polo game are precious; stay attentive to the game and teach yourself to conserve energy while you idle.

Ball Passing Drills

While building your endurance and regulation in the pool, grab some water polo balls with your trainer and practice passing. With 4 to 6 meters between you in the pool, have your trainer pass the ball to you. As soon as you catch it, your trainer will yell a position to you. You will then pass the water polo ball to the location of that particular position. Your trainer will continue throwing the water polo balls at a quick pace, one after the other, each time yelling out a different position. Round up the water polo balls and repeat; your trainer will be able to spot motions you're weak with and work on them with you. The ability to multi-task with your body will become natural, your alertness in the pool will improve, and a basic drill using multiple water polo balls will help build a firm foundation from which you can build more complex skills. As a rule of thumb, when your water polo practice and workout become easy, it's time to upgrade.