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Water Works: Three Moves to Work It Out in the Water

water-aerobics-585As summer heats up, outdoor workouts can be a little tough going. By taking your workout to the pool, you can wear yourself out while enjoying the sun and keeping cool. So even if you’re just hanging out at the poolbe it on vacation or at your neighborhood poolyou can fit exercise in without even getting dressed!

3 Awesome Water Workout Exercises

1. Water aerobics. Water decreases the impact and stress on the joints while increasing resistance as you move. Standing in chest-deep water, you can do moves such as jumping jacks, tuck jumps, scissor kicks, knee lifts, cross-country skiing, arm circles and cycling. You might look like a big of a spaz, but you’re probably looking better in your suit than those who think you look like a nutter. If you are looking for more of a group atmosphere, find a YMCA near you for an instructor-led group water exercise class. Classes nowadays fuse kickboxing, yoga and Pilates moves for a great workout. And waterobics isn’t just for grannies anymore, although, I’ll be honestmy fit bottomed granny does rock out the water aerobics.

Calories burned, 150-pound beach bunny: 136 for 30 minutes.

2. Water walk. Walking or jogging in the water are both excellent forms of aerobic exercise. To water walk, simply get in waist-deep water and get your walking groove on. For a water jog, you can put on a floatation device, such as a buoyancy belt, move to deeper water and pick up the pace. Or stay in the shallow end and try to run through the water like a crazy person.

Calories burned, 150-pound water hottie: 272 jogging for 30 minutes.

3. Tread water. It sounds simple, but treading water will get your heart rate up and wear you out. If you like the comfort of being able to touch the bottom, stay in the shallow end and get those arms and legs going. If you’re a stronger swimmer, get in deeper water and tread for up to 20 minutes. If you want an extra challenge, lift your hands out of the water to make your lower body do more work. Trust me, you’ll feel the burn.

Calories burned, 150-pound aqua babe: 91 for 20 minutes at moderate effort.


So even if you don’t like to swim laps, or your pool is more of the kidney-shaped variety, you can still get your heart pumping in the water. Be sure to drink non-chlorinated water during your workout. You might not feel hot or thirsty, but some of those drops rolling off your svelte body are actually sweat, so make sure you keep the fluids handy.

Click here for a video demonstrating how to tread water. Try to ignore the eye-rolling at 0:17. Not sure what’s going on there, but I’m a little creeped out. —Erin

Originally published on June 30, 2008.

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  1. Mark Salinas says:

    During the summer at Boot Camp we have pool work outs a couple of times a month that I and a couple of others balk at. To wimpy for us cool people 🙂 Ya right! To make an example of us the LifeTime Boot Camp instructor will have us do an incredibly vigorous work out on the sidelines. After about 30 minutes of torture we are begging to get into the cool water..” Nope! Drink your medicine People!” Honestly I like getting my butt kicked and even enjoy being made an example of but I will tell you that the cool water does look appealing. Most have told me that the stress on the joints has been reduced tremendously also. Great post!

  2. every gym's nightmare says:

    yeah i can pretty much only do the water walk. i can’t swim. well, i can keep myself from drowning, but if you tell me to go in a certain direction, i just end up swimming in circles. im like a fish with one flipper.

  3. Fitarella says:

    Waaaaaaah, I wanna go to the beach!!!

  4. cynthia says:

    I love using water weights to mix up my workouts – especially in the summer. Plus, at my gym no one uses the pool unless there is a class going on so I have the whole thing to myself!

  5. sheasy says:

    Splish, splash – I love the pool. It’s always invigorating even if you are just moving around for 30 minutes. Don’t forget sunscreen!

  6. Ruthie says:


    That is the craziest, freakiest YouTube video I’ve ever seen.

    ESPECIALLY the eye rolling.


  7. I love water power workouts. Water is an instantaneous adjustable resistance tool–not to mention that it’s refreshing and brings the kid out in most people–including me!

  8. Emilie says:

    I used to teach swim lessons in the summers at the local high school. They loved to water walk in the shallow end! Great post! Makes me want to find a pool right now…

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