Great Exercises for the Home Pool

pool-fitness-ideas-istkGuess how the majority of Americans spend their leisure time? Watching TV, according to the American Time Use Survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. We spend an average of 2.8 hours a day watching TV but only 30 minutes participating in sports, exercise and recreation activities.

If you’d like to move your body more, consider a nontraditional form of exercise such as working out in a pool. Pool exercise engages every muscle in your body, but is low-impact so you can burn calories and get fit without straining your joints.

Want a few good in-the-pool exercises to try? Here’s my favorite pool workout routines, along with some visual aids. 🙂

K-Tread in Pool

To do the K-Tread workout in a pool, swim to the deep end of your pool, make small circles with cupped hands and lift your right leg straight in front of you while reaching for the bottom of your pool with your left toes. Hold this position for five seconds and repeat with your other leg. This workout tones your arms, back, chest, abs, butt and hamstrings. Demonstrated below by Faith & Fitness.

  • You’ll Need: No special equipment needed
  • Time Required: 15 minutes
  • Average Calories Burned: 150

Never-Ending Laps

Even if you have a small pool, you can still swim laps. Home Swimmer is a soft, comfortable belt that secures around your waist and attaches to a stationary object at the edge of the pool to keep you in place, letting you swim against its resistance for as long as you like. Swimming in place strengthens your entire body, much like running does.

  • You’ll Need: Personal pool exerciser
  • Time Required: 30 minutes
  • Average Calories Burned: 600

Squat Step in Pool

Traditional squats are hard on the knees, but doing them in water puts less stress on your body and still makes for a great workout. Try standing with your feet together and your arms at your sides in a spot that is shallow enough to let you comfortably keep your head above water. Raising your arms to shoulder level, take an imaginary step with your left foot and squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Do the same thing with your right leg. You’re doing the exercise correctly when it looks as if you’re climbing stairs while squatting. A simple pool squat is shown below, courtesy of aqua-exercises-animation-aqua-squat

  • You’ll Need: No special equipment needed
  • Time Required: 15 minutes
  • Average Calories Burned: 250

Otter Roll

This fun exercise targets your back, abs, butt and legs. Hug a Small Beach Ball to your chest while floating on your back with your legs extended and your feet together. Roll over the top of the ball to the left and make a full circle, returning to the top. If you find this too difficult, start off by rocking side to side instead, let some air out, or try a smaller beach ball. Demonstrated below by Faith & Fitness.

  • You’ll Need: A beach ball
  • Time Required: 15 minutes
  • Average Calories Burned: 250

Liquid Lunges

Use a pool noodle to create a more challenging exercise experience. Hold a pool noodle bent into a U shape, to the bottom of the pool while stepping over it into a lunge. Using a pool noodle while lunging works out the arms and increases back, butt and leg strength. This Pool Noodle Workout video below by Carol Largo shows you a few more pool noodle exercises you can try.

  • You’ll Need: A pool noodle
  • Time Required: 30 minutes
  • Average Calories Burned: 275

Before the summer pool season ends, take advantage of pool exercises to tone up and slim down. Nearly any pool workout routine will get the heart rate up and burn calories, and the buoyant water provides low impact protection to joints.

Get your Pool Workout On, America!


Dana Katz
InTheSwim Staff Blogger


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