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I need a good water workout for the cottage

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The question: During the summer I am at my cottage a lot. Can you give me a water workout for the lake, and core exercises I can do on the dock?

The answer: Try this workout: Begin with a warm-up of 2-5 minutes treading water.

Set No. 1: Alternate 50 flutter kicks holding onto the dock with 1-2 minutes of vigorous treading water. Repeat 2-5 times.

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Set No. 2: Wearing a flotation device to keep you upright in the water, do 10 jumping jacks, 10 high knees and then 10 cross-country-ski motions (mimicking the motion of cross-country skiing). Then, pyramid the repetitions. Do all the moves for 20 repetitions, then 30, then 40, and finish with 50.

Set No. 3: For 5 to 20 minutes do lengths to and from an object that is a safe distance from your cottage's dock (and only if it's safe to do in your particular lake).

Try these exercises on the dock:

Front plank: Balance on your forearms and your toes. Keep your shoulders over your elbows. Don't let your lower back round or arch. Hold for 20 seconds to one minute.

To make it easier, do the exercise from your knees.

To increase intensity, while in the plank position, keep your hips still and place your right and then your left hand on the dock, so you are now in push-up position. Return to plank position. Do 10 reps, and alternate the hand you place down first.

Another one to try is the V hold: Sit on your bum. Lean back 10 degrees, back straight and core engaged. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds. To increase the intensity, raise one or both of your legs.

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When open-water swimming, always consider your safety. Make sure someone is around in case an emergency occurs.

Trainer's tip

Jumping rope is a great exercise to do at the cottage. It requires minimal space and equipment. Try a circuit where you do 2 to 5 minutes of skipping followed by 10 lunges, 10 squats, 30 seconds of side plank on each arm, 10 push-ups and 10 bird dogs. Repeat two to three times. Videos for these exercises can be found at

Send certified personal trainer Kathleen Trotteryour questions at She will answer select questions, which could appear in The Globe and Mail and/or on The Globe and Mail website. Your name will not be published if your question is chosen.

The content provided in The Globe and Mail's Ask a Health Expert centre is for information purposes only and is neither intended to be relied upon nor to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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