Water Workout Calorie Burn Guide

As the weather warms up, it’s hard not to want to spend all of our time outdoors. Whether we are relaxing in the sun, or going for a jog, this weather calls to us! But what to do when you love the sun, but it’s too hot and miserable? Water Exercise of course! Let me introduce you to some great water workouts and the amount of calories burned, while staying cool in the pool!

Simple Swimming

calories-burned-per-hour-swimming chart
Our first exercise is very simple! One of the best ways to get a full body workout in the pool, is by simply swimming. Not only does this work out arms and legs, but it gives a killer ab workout as well. You can swim from one end of the pool to the other, the perimeter or your pool, or if you have a water exercise belt, you can swim in place. This helps burn major calories, and keeps pressure off your body for those of you coming back from or battling injuries.

Treading Water

calories-burned-treading-waterTreading water is another great full body exercise. Not only can it provide great practice if you are ever stuck out deep at sea, but It can strengthen your core which can help build muscle in all other areas of your body. Try not to overexert the legs, but balance your feet, legs and arms in a rhythm. Bonus points for burst intervals where you tread as fast as you can ’til time is up! Triple bonus points if you wear our AquaJogger Water Fitness Belt while doing this water exercise!

Water Walking

I’m sure you already know how to walk; but water walking may be something new! In waist to chest deep water, walk with an exaggerated gait, swinging your arms and stepping high. Lean slightly forward and lead with your chin as you jog (or walk) back and forth across the pool, or in a large circle pattern. For added buoyancy, straddle a pool noodle or use a pool exercise belt, which allows you to do Water Jogging in deeper water, without touching the floor.

Pool Lunges

Our third exercise is one that should be done when you are in a section of the pool where the water is waist deep. Similar to normal lunges, alternate lunging your right and left foot forward, bending at the knee, keeping the opposite thigh parallel to the floor. Water lunges take this same exercise, but put it under water. This allows the body to strengthen your thighs without putting excess strain on the knee. As a runner, this is one of my favorite workouts in the pool!

Pool Squats

Squats can be one of the most dreaded exercises! We all know that they help build strong glutes, but can be tough on the knees. However, when you do Pool Squats in shallow water, the stress on the knees becomes very minimal. Just like a normal squat, begin in the standing position. From there, bend at the hips and knees, until your thighs are parallel to the floor, or just enough to feel the burn. Once you have mastered the normal squat, you can challenge yourself by adding handheld weights.

The weather is getting hotter, be sure to take advantage of your pool this summer, and burn some calories!

If you are just starting back to exercise, take it slow and steady, and work up to longer sessions, and for safety’s sake (and just for fun), get a pool workout partner!


Dana Katz
InTheSwim Staff Blogger



Water Workout Calorie Burn Guide — 4 Comments

  1. Is there a formula for figuring how many calories you burn walking in the pool that you can share? I currently weigh much more than 200 pounds. Thank you.

    • Hi Paul, it seems as though that could be ‘mathematically extrapolated’ from the chart, seems as though the more you weigh, the more you burn – all else being equal in effort and energy expended. But I’m sure that eventually diminishing returns would set in. For most people doing water walking, in chest high water, you can burn around 500 calories per hour at a slow to medium rate, or over 700 calories per hour for brisk walking laps, getting the heart pumping for aerobic exercise. I swim laps and often see heavy people water walking, and have noticed a few transitions to lap swimming after many months of muscle toning and strength building. I also do a few laps of water walking in my swim workout, it’s a great way to exercise!

      • Davy: I am mathematically challenged. I can’t figure out how to determine the calories expended. I am 162 lbs and walk back and forth for an hour.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *