three women exercise with weights in a pool _ top exercises to do in the water
Healthy Living

Top Exercises to Do in the Water

Jul 16 2018
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Add more fun to your exercise routine by taking your workouts off dry land and into the swimming pool. Pool workouts offer a helpful way to enjoy more variety in the types of exercises you do. They’re also ideal for getting and staying fit while trying something new. Learn just why water exercises are so healthy — and which moves to try as you get started in your aquatic fitness adventures.

The benefits of pool workouts

There are so many great ways water workouts can help your body and improve your fitness. Water provides resistance. That means it’s harder to move in than air, so your body can get stronger by doing movements and exercises in the water. The pool is also an ideal place for a workout because water supports some of your weight. It takes pressure off your joints and can lower your chances of getting injured.

If you’re trying to lose a few pounds, water aerobics can help, too. It’s possible to burn more calories in less time while you’re working out in the pool. Swimming exercises can even help improve your balance and endurance because the water supports your body. As you start your pool workouts, stay in waist-high water. Wear water shoes for extra stability on the pool floor, too.

Double leg lifts

Engage your stomach and leg muscles with this basic pool exercise. Lean back on the side of the pool. Stretch out your arms and grab the edge. Then, raise your legs straight out in front of you. Lift them as high as you can, and then lower them straight back down.

Pool pushups

Give your arms, shoulders and back a workout with this non-traditional pushup. Face the edge of the pool and place your hands on it. Then, push your body up out of the water until your arms are straight. Be sure not to jump as you do this exercise — use your upper body.

Knee-to-elbow crosses

Get your core muscles moving with knee-to-elbow crosses. Stand in the pool with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lift your right knee up to the surface and bring your left elbow down to meet it. Flex your stomach muscles as you do this movement. Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise with your left knee and right elbow.

Jump and dig

Work out all your major muscle groups with this whole-body exercise. Stand with your feet wider than your hips. Bring your legs up off the floor with your knees bent like a frog — try to get them up as high as you can. As you jump, cup your hands together to make a scoop. When you bring your legs up, reach your hands down and scoop them back up to the surface. Return to your starting position and repeat.

Speed skaters

Enjoy some water aerobics with this cardio move. Stand with your feet wider than your hips. Leap up and to the right side. Land on your right foot with your right leg slightly bent. When you land, touch your left toes to the pool floor behind your right leg. Engage your right arm by sweeping it in a circle on the surface of the pool as you jump. Repeat on the left side.

Swimming pool workouts are great ways to invigorate your fitness routine. Want to learn more? Visit Mercy.com today to make an appointment with a primary care doctor or specialist. We’ll show you other helpful ways to live a fitter life.

Interested in more stories like this? Our Summer Survival Guide is full of healthy living tips to start your summer right. Learn more here.


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4 Comments

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Linda Williams

I had an arthoscope on my knee a month ago and still have pain so I want to try aqua exercise for it .
July 17th, 2018 | 9:02pm

Elliot Philipson

Are there any open swimming pools (to swim laps and do the exercises that you described) in the St. Joseph's area?
July 23rd, 2018 | 8:33am

Mercy Health

Hi Elliott, there are many local pools near the St. Joseph's area, many of which have a small membership fee. We'd recommend calling around for prices and what best suits you - your local YMCA may be a good place to start.
July 23rd, 2018 | 11:15am

Sheila Moore

I was having knee pain and started working out in the heated pool. That has been a year ago. I’ve lost 70 pounds and my knees are doing MUCH better!
July 24th, 2018 | 1:33pm

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