Great Exercises You Can Do in the Water

Exercise is very beneficial to the human body. It helps us get rid of the extra fat and keeps us fit and healthy. If you feel the regular workouts are getting a bit boring, we have got a great solution for you: aquatic exercises. Aquatic exercises are unique ways to work out your complete body without some of the drawbacks of conventional exercises.

Although swimming is a great exercise in itself, there are a lot more challenging aquatic exercises that you can do. A benefit of water exercises is that the extra resistance engages all the muscles. According to the Center of Disease Control (CDC), aquatic exercises are especially helpful for people with joint conditions such as osteoarthritis.

Here is an overview of some great exercises you can do in the water:

Walking in the Water

The easiest water-based exercise that you can do is walking in the water. When you walk in the water, the body prepares the muscles to face resistance.

Walking in the water targets your arms, your lower body, and your core. You can also increase the intensity by using some extra ankle weights. Follow these steps for a better experience:

  1. Walk by putting pressure on your heels and then your toes. Do not walk on your tiptoes.
  2. Keep your arms in the water and move them as you walk. 
  3. Stand straight and tall and engage your core as you walk. 

Doing this for 8-10 minutes will help increase your core strength and pressure endurance. 

Deck Dip

This is a bit like doing pushups on the ledge of your swimming pool or your floating dock platform.

  • Stand in chest-deep water and walk towards the ledge of the pool.
  • Place your palms on the deck and try to push yourself out of the water. 
  • Lift until your arms are straight. 

This exercise will target your abs, triceps, and strengthen your oblique muscles

Arm Lifts

Everyone likes to have strong arms that can do heavy work when needed. The next aquatic exercise on our list will help you achieve those strong and solid arms. Doing arm-lifts repeatedly and consistently will exponentially increase your arm muscles and strength.

To make it more challenging and rewarding, use foam dumbbells as they provide more resistance. 

  1. Stand in the water and hold dumbbells at your side. 
  2. Draw elbows in and lift the forearms to the height of the water level. 
  3. Lower your arms back down.

Almost 3 sets of 10-15 reps of this exercise daily and you will have solid and strong arm muscles.

Back Wall Glide

The back wall glide exercise helps activate and strengthen the muscles in your core and your lower body. Follow these steps to do a good back wall glide:

  1. Grab onto the pool ledge and place your feet on the wall. 
  2. Push off the ledge and glide on your back for as far as you can. 
  3. Tuck your knees into your chest, press your feet down to the pool surface, and run back to the wall. 

Do this exercise for 5-10 minutes for better results. This can also be done at the lake of your lakehouse if you own a floating dock platform. You can use the platform as a wall and glide from it into the lake and run back towards it. 

Leg Kicks

A great way to increase your core strength and develop your leg muscles is by doing leg kicks in the water. To make it more challenging and rewarding, you can use ankle weights as well. Follow these steps for a good kicking session:

  1. Keep hold of the pool ledge.
  2. Do a flutter kick, scissor kick, or a dolphin kick. 
  3. Do each kick for 2-3 minutes. 

One-Legged Balance

An exercise that can increase your leg strength and also helps improve your balance is the one-legged balance exercise. Doing this on land is a bit risky as you can hurt yourself if you fall. In the water, this exercise will strengthen your core without the risk of falling and hurting yourself. 

  1. Stand in waist-high water.
  2. Lift one knee to your waist and balance on the other leg.

You can also change up the leg you balance on for an even workout of both legs. 

Jumping Jack

Everyone is familiar with jumping jacks (jumping up and down while simultaneously moving your arms and legs). This works the muscles of your upper as well as lower body. Doing this with the extra resistance of water increases muscle strength. 

  1. Keep your feet together and arms at your side. 
  2. Jump while opening your legs outwards and bringing the arms over your head. 
  3. Jump again to return to the starting position.
  4. Do 1-3 sets of 8-10 reps.

Core-Ball Challenge

This seemingly easy and simple exercise is quite a test and it strengthens the core muscles. The goal is to keep upright while holding a 6-inch diameter ball in your flattened arms. By changing the positions of the arms and legs, this becomes a 4-in-1 exercise. 

  1. Stand inside the water in a lunge position.
  2. Bend one leg and extend the other leg behind. 
  3. Hold the inflated ball with both hands in front of your navel. 
  4. Keep the shoulders down and backward. 

Hold the position for 30 seconds and then change up the legs. This will benefit your core and increase your core strength. 


Exercises are very important but they can get kind of boring and repetitive. Aquatic exercises bring a new flavor to your workout routines. You burn more calories in a shorter period and you stay fresh and cool all the time. Water-based workout not only provides good cardio but also exercises the muscles that might otherwise be ignored. 

In short, water exercises are great and very beneficial for people of all ages. Plus, they are much more fun. After all, would you work out in a sweaty, crowded gym or in your own fresh pool of water?

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2 thoughts on “Great Exercises You Can Do in the Water

  1. You’ve inspired me to think about going back to water aerobics – whenever they can start back. I used to really enjoy it but haven’t done it for years now – although I don’t know why. I always felt much better afterwards. I would definitely prefer to get my exercise in a pool vs the gym!. Thanks so much

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