Start with brisk walking or slow jogging for about five minutes, rather than stretching before exercise. Try these all-purpose dynamic stretches for your lower body:
Slowly lift your leg straight out in front of you, alternating as you walk with your normal stride length. While others may think you're doing a Monty Python skit, it is an effective hamstring stretch.
As you're jogging or walking, bring knees up toward your chest. For a variation, as your right knee comes up, twist the lifted leg gently to the left and your upper body gently to the right for a spinal twist. Repeat on each side as you jog or walk.
As you jog or walk, bend one knee and lift it behind you as if you were trying to kick yourself in the butt.
It's not punishment; it stretches the quadriceps.
The pool sprint helps lifeguards test their fitness level and provides a cross training element. Plus, it looks cool.
This exercise builds lower body core strength and leg muscles. Water provides a strong resistance to the runner, making pool sprint an extremely efficient and interesting alternative to other exercise and top sports.
Pool sprint is perfect for those who wish to explore their physical limits. Some teams use weighted sneakers and a special underwater mat for better grip.
Get into chest deep water and run the width of the pool as fast as you can. See how many widths you can do. Ten or more would be good.
Next add an extra challenge.
On each side get out, touch the wall, and jump back in for the next width.
Not hard enough?
Instead of touching the wall, do 10 push-ups or 10 sit-ups.
Wading in waist to chest deep water does wonders for your leg muscles. Footballers use this exercise to build strength, endurance and agility. Walk a full pool width forward, then backwards. Spread your arms out sideways for extra resistance.