What are some exercises that I can do in my pool?

Pool Life


Question: How can I exercise in a pool?

Pools are a great way to relax and cool off on a hot day, but they’re also a great tool for getting or staying fit.  Pools are excellent for people of all fitness levels, but they are particularly useful for those who require lower impact routines - for example if you have joint issues, arthritis, or other conditions that make activities such as jogging, cycling, or weight lifting difficult.  If you have health issues, you should consult with a doctor or health professional before starting a pool exercise routine.

Here are some great pool exercises :


Swimming laps- duh!  Pick your stroke of choice and swim back and forth in your pool along the longer length of your pool.  This is great cardiovascular exercise, but also works your arms and legs as you use them to propel you through the pool.  Swimming can be quite strenuous - so start slow and work towards increasing the duration of your swim.  It’s a good idea to use a metric to figure out how you’re progressing.  Time or laps work well.  Set a goal - like 5 minutes or 10 laps.  If you’re just starting - go slow and be sure to stop if you feel pain or are running out of steam.  It’s ok to fail - you can try again later.


Water Planks - Planks are a great exercise for strengthening your core (e.g. your abdominal muscles).  Go to an area of the pool where you can stand comfortably - near the shallow end - where the water is at most chest high.  Take a pool noodle and hold it vertically in both hands.  Press it into the water and lean against the noodle.  Keep your head above water.  Try and keep this position for as long as you can (a  minute or two is a good goal).  Try and do 3 sets of this exercise - over time, as your muscles strengthen, you should be able to do more sets for longer periods of time.

Knee lifts - Like the water planks, this is also good exercise for strengthening your core and balance, of course it also helps strengthen your leg muscles. You can try this with or without a pool noodle - the noodle will add extra challenge to balancing. In shallow water, with your left leg planted on the pool floor, bend your right knee and raise your right leg. Keep your hands at your side. Try and hold this position for a minute. For added challenge, when you raise your leg, place a noodle under your right foot and keep it under your foot while you raise your knee. Then do the same action with the opposite feet.  
Leg lifts - This is a great, simple exercise for strengthening your legs - specifically your quadriceps (thigh muscles). Lean against the wall of your pool. Keep both legs together and raise them as high as you can - trying to get them to the top of the water line. Repeat for 10 repetitions. Try and do 3 sets of 10. As mentioned previously, start slow and work to achieve a specified goal.


Pool cycling - This is a great exercise for strengthening your legs and getting some cardio activity. Spread your arms across the edge of the pool to keep you stationary. With your feet off the pool floor start a running motion, raising your legs higher then you would if you were walking or running. Doing this for 3- 5 minutes is a good goal to start. You can also perform this exercise by floating in the water with a pool noodle under your arms, performing the same high knee running technique.  By the way, don't do what the woman in the gif is doing!!

These are just a few exercises that you can do in your pool. There are many more, but doing one or a few of these in a regular routine is a great way to get or stay fit. So, get in your pool and start exercising!


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