Everyone wants to loose weight reach their ideal figure and look fit. But when it comes to exercise as part of daily life routine, going to the gym, and leading a healthy lifestyle, it becomes boring and when not done with consistency results are not obtained efficiently.
Now here comes the question of how to make weight loss interesting and one will adopt it in daily life routine. Let’s make it interesting by introducing aqua exercises as part of the fitness journey.
If you are bored and are unwilling to do land exercises, here we come with complete guidance and a tour of aquatic exercises.
Aquatic exercises are effective as a complete body workout and a fun and chill way to loose way efficiently.
In the blog we will completely cover all the exercises and workout that can be performed in water to loose weight and also the benefits of pool exercises.
Cardio Pool Exercises
Engaging in cardiovascular activities is an effective full-body weight loss regimen. When performed in the pool, these exercises not only minimize the risk of injury due to the low-impact nature of water but also offer resistance that amplifies the workout intensity. Let’s dive into some popular cardio pool exercises that are perfect for shedding those extra kilos just while having fun and enjoying the aqua exercise in the swimming pool.
Water Walking Or Jogging
Starting with something simple yet effective, water walking or jogging in the shallow end of the pool is an excellent way to kickstart your aquatic fitness journey. The resistance of the water makes these activities more challenging than their land-based counterparts, effectively burning more calories and strengthening your muscles. If we compare land walking and underwater walking, the intensity of exercise is higher in aqua walking than of land walking. It is the best exercise for elderly or aged persons.
You can work on your lower body, arms, and core by walking in the water. You can use hand or ankle weights to intensify the exercise.
- Muscles Engaged: the legs (specifically vastus medialis, the tibialis anterior and biceps femoris)
- Body Part Affected: Lower body and core.
- Protocol: Start in the shallow end of the pool where the water is waist-high. Walk or jog forward, keeping your back straight and arms moving as you would on land. Try to maintain a steady pace and increase intensity as you get comfortable. Continue the procedure for 5-10 mins.
Elevate your heart rate with pool running. This exercise mimics traditional running but with the added resistance of water. It’s an excellent way to build endurance and strength without the high impact on your joints that comes with regular running.
It can enhance your technique for running on land. It creates a solid core, It is useful in the recovery process. It increases neuromuscular fitness. Enhances cardiovascular endurance, It increases stamina, power, and strength.
- Muscles Engaged: Glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and core muscles.
- Body Part Affected: Primarily the upper body stabilizer muscles, arms, and core.
- Protocol: In deeper water, simulate land running. Keep your upper body straight, drive your arms as you would when running on land, and focus on lifting your knees. Maintain a steady, rhythmic pace. While moving forward, you’ll need to bend forward from the ankles, extend your legs back down, pump your arms, and bring your legs up to a high knee position. The exercise can be modified and can be made more effective by holding weight at chest level while walking in the swimming pool.
A classic exercise, jumping jacks in water, provide a full-body workout. The water’s resistance intensifies the exercise, targeting your arms, legs, and core. This exercise is excellent for improving cardiovascular health and muscle tone.
- Muscles Engaged: Glutes, hip flexors, quadriceps and calves.
- Body Part Affected: Full body, with emphasis on the legs and arms.
- Protocol: Stand in waist-high water. Jump to spread your legs while simultaneously raising your arms overhead, then jump back to the starting position. The water resistance adds intensity to the movement.
An often underestimated exercise, treading water is a fantastic way to work your entire body. It requires constant movement of your arms and legs, providing a rigorous cardiovascular workout and improving muscular endurance.
- Muscles Engaged: Core muscles, deltoids, latissimus dorsi, biceps, triceps, hip flexors, quadriceps, calves and hamstrings.
- Body Part Affected: Full body workout.
- Protocol: In deep water, use your arms and legs to keep yourself afloat. Move your legs in a cycling motion and use your hands to scull the water. Keep your head above water and maintain a steady breathing rhythm.
Combine the benefits of squats and jumps in this powerful exercise. Squat jumps in water are less stressful on your joints while effectively working your lower body and core, making them an excellent addition to your weight loss routine.
- Muscles Engaged: Quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and core.
- Body Part Affected: Lower body, upper body, arm muscles and core.
- Protocol: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart in waist-high water. Perform a squat by lowering your body, then explosively jump upwards, returning to the squat position upon landing. Use the water’s resistance to cushion your landing.
This exercise not only gets your heart rate up but also focuses on your lateral muscles. Side shuffling in water is a great way to improve your balance and agility while providing a fun variation to your aquatic workout.
- Muscles Engaged: Glutes, hips, thighs,calves and core.
- Body Part Affected: Lower body, particularly the outer and inner thighs.
- Protocol: Stand in waist-high water with feet shoulder-width apart. Shuffle your feet side-to-side, keeping your toes pointed forward and staying low in a squatting position. Bring one foot towards the other foot and bring both the foot together. Move right for several steps, then switch to the left. Take at least 10 steps in both directions.
Last but not least, Aqua Zumba is a fun, dance-based workout that combines music with water resistance, offering a festive way to lose weight. It’s a perfect blend of cardio and muscle toning, suitable for all fitness levels.
- Muscles Engaged: Varies with movements; typically involves core, glutes, hips, shoulder, quadriceps, hamstrings, and arms.
- Body Part Affected: Full body workout.
- Protocol: Follow the instructor’s dance moves, typically involving rhythmic stepping, arm movements, and body gyrations. The water resistance adds an extra challenge to the dance moves, enhancing muscle engagement.
Water aerobics offers a fantastic way to get fit while minimizing stress on the joints. This exercise engages your core, leg muscles, and improves cardiovascular health.
A fantastic exercise for toning and strengthening, the Bicycle is a popular pool workout that targets core muscles and improves cardiovascular fitness.
This exercise involves mimicking the motion of riding a bicycle while floating in water. It improves balance and coordination. Perform this by leaning back against the pool edge, and pedaling your legs in the air as if cycling.
- Muscles Engaged: Core, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves.
- Body Part Affected: Lower body and core.
- Protocol: Lean back against the poolside, gripping the edge for support. Lift your legs and mimic a cycling motion in the water. The resistance of the water will add intensity, giving you a thorough lower body and core workout.
The Dolphin is a full-body workout that is as fun as it is effective, particularly for enhancing flexibility and strength in the core and lower body.
Inspired by the graceful movements of a dolphin, this exercise involves propelling your body through the water using a fluid, undulating motion. It strengthens the core, glutes, and hamstrings while improving your swimming technique. Begin in a streamlined position and use your entire body to create a wave-like motion.
- Muscles Engaged: Every muscle in your legs.
- Body Part Affected: Lower body part and core muscles.
- Protocol: Hold the edge of the pool with your left hand and point your right hand and fingers down, just below the surface of the water. When you’re ready, raise your legs into the air by holding them together, then kick like a dolphin. Float face down in the water, arms extended forward. Use a dolphin-like motion with your body, propelling yourself forward by undulating your body and legs. This exercise is great for core strengthening and mimics the movement of a dolphin.
The Ball is an engaging and challenging exercise that focuses on improving core stability and overall muscular endurance.
This activity requires a beach ball or a similar water-resistant ball. It involves holding the ball with both hands and pushing it underwater, then controlling it as it resurfaces. This exercise targets the arms, shoulders, and core, providing a resistance-based workout that enhances muscular control and strength.
- Muscles Engaged: Core, arms, and legs.
- Body Part Affected: Supine abdominal and core training.
- Protocol: Holding a water ball with both hands, push it down into the water, and then let it rise. This exercise challenges your arms, legs, and core due to the water’s resistance against the ball. Stand bending your right leg and left leg tucked back. Hold the ball in front of your belly for 30 seconds. Switch your legs and repeat the process repeating the process 5-6 times.
Perfect for boosting cardiovascular fitness, the Sprint is a high-intensity workout that helps in burning calories and improving muscle tone.
Pool sprints involve running at your fastest pace in water, either in place or from one end of the pool to the other. It engages the whole body, particularly the legs and core, and can be varied in intensity to suit different fitness levels.
- Muscles Engaged: Hamstrings, quadriceps, hips, glutes, abdominals and calves.
- Body part Affected: Total body workout
- Protocol: In deeper water, perform a sprinting action. With your legs straight and together, take a seat with your elbows resting on the edge of the pool. Raise your legs until they are in the water, then bring them back down. You will burn calories and strengthen your core by repeating this exercise as often as you like. Focus on rapid leg movement and use your arms to propel yourself forward, simulating an intense running motion.
The Tuck Jump is an energetic and impactful exercise that combines cardio with strength training, focusing on the legs and core.
This involves jumping upward from the pool floor and bringing your knees toward your chest while keeping your arms extended for balance. It’s a fantastic way to build lower body strength and improve cardiovascular endurance.
- Muscles Engaged: Core, quadriceps, and hamstrings.
- Body part Affected: Entire body including muscles of lower back muscles, quadriceps, obliques, hamstrings, hip flexors, and calves.
- Protocol: Jump up from the pool floor, bringing your knees towards your chest. The water’s resistance will make this exercise challenging and beneficial for the core and legs.
The Noodle Plank
The Noodle Plank is a creative and effective way to enhance core stability and strength using a pool noodle.
Holding a pool noodle with both hands, extend your body into a plank position, floating on the water’s surface. This exercise targets the core muscles and improves balance and stability. Burns 2 to 5 calories per minute based on the body weight.
- Muscles Engaged: Core muscles.
- Body part Affected: Flexibility, Posture and core
- Protocol: Using a pool noodle, hold it out in front of you and lean forward into a plank position. The buoyancy of the noodle adds stability challenges, making it a fantastic core workout.
Borrowing from ballet, the Plie Jump is a graceful yet powerful pool exercise that strengthens the legs and glutes.
Keep your toes pointing outward, and stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees to perform a plie (squat), then jump explosively upwards, straightening your legs. It’s an effective exercise for toning the lower body.
- Muscles Engaged: Quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves.
- Body part Affected: Lower body part and core
- Protocol: Stand in the water with feet wider than shoulder-width apart. Lower into a squat (plie) and then jump upwards, adding a small kick at the peak. This move adds intensity to a traditional squat.
Incorporating weights into your pool workout can significantly enhance muscle tone and strength. Using water-resistant weights, perform various exercises like arm curls, leg lifts, or chest presses underwater. The resistance of the water amplifies the workout, making it more challenging and beneficial for muscle development.
- Muscles Engaged: Varies based on the exercise, generally increases resistance for all muscle groups.
- Body part Affected: Different body parts depending on the weight involved
- Protocol: Incorporate water weights into your exercises to increase intensity. This can be applied to various movements like arm curls, leg lifts, and more. The options that are best suggested are Ankle and wrist weights, Foam dumbbells, and Buoyancy belts.
Lower Body Pool Exercises
Lower body pool exercises are an excellent way to impact toning and strengthen the legs, hips, and glutes while minimizing the impact on the joints. These exercises are not only effective for building muscle strength but also improve cardiovascular health and flexibility. Let’s explore some key exercises that can be easily performed in the pool.
Knee kicks in the pool are a great way to engage your lower body, particularly targeting your quadriceps and hip flexors. Alternate between legs. It’s effective for strengthening the thighs and improving joint flexibility.
- Muscles Engaged: Quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calf muscles and core.
- Body Part Affected: Lower body
- Protocol: Stand in waist-high water with feet hip-width apart. Lift one knee to waist level and then extend the foot forward in a kicking motion. Come back to the starting position and perform the same with alternative legs. Focus on controlled movements for maximum benefit.
Frog kicks are inspired by the way frogs swim, focusing on the inner and outer thighs, glutes, and core. With your back against the pool wall, pull your knees to your chest and then kick them outward, mimicking a frog’s swimming motion. This exercise not only tones the legs but also enhances flexibility in the hips.
- Muscles Engaged: Inner and outer thighs, glutes and core.
- Body Part Affected: Lower body, hamstrings with emphasis on the inner and outer thighs.
- Protocol: In deeper water, hold onto the side of the pool. Bring your heels together with your knees bent outward. Push your legs outward and then bring them back together in a frog-like motion. This exercise is great for toning the thighs and glutes.
Flutter kicking is a fundamental swimming technique that provides a great workout for the lower body, especially the hamstrings and calves.
Holding onto the pool’s edge, extend your legs behind you and kick them up and down in a quick, small motion. The rapid movement provides a cardio workout and strengthens the entire leg.
- Muscles Engaged: Quadriceps, hip flexors or hamstrings, and core.
- Body Part Affected: Lower body, especially the legs.
- Protocol: Hold onto the pool edge or use a floatation device for support. Extend your legs behind you and kick rapidly in a small, fluttering motion. Keep your legs straight and engage your core for stability.
Prone Scissor Kick
Prone scissor kicks are excellent for targeting the inner and outer thighs, glutes, and core. Lie face down in the water, preferably with a floatation device for support. Extend your legs behind you and move them in a crisscross motion, like a pair of scissors. This exercise strengthens and tones the legs and improves overall stability.
- Muscles Engaged: Core, quads, glutes, adductors, inner and outer thighs.
- Body Part Affected: Lower body, with a focus on the thighs.
- Protocol: Lie face down in the water, preferably with a floatation device for support. Keep your legs straight and open them wide, then quickly bring them together in a scissor-like motion. This exercise is effective for toning and strengthening the thigh muscles.
Upper Body Pool Exercises
Upper body pool exercises are an excellent way to strengthen and tone the arms, shoulders, chest, and back. The resistance provided by water makes these exercises both effective and low-impact, suitable for various fitness levels. Let’s explore some effective upper body exercises that can be performed in the pool.
Bicep Curls in the pool are a fantastic way to build arm strength, utilizing water resistance to enhance muscle toning. The water adds extra resistance, making the exercise more challenging and effective
- Muscles Engaged: Biceps brachii, brachialis and brachioradialis muscles.
- Body Part Affected: Arms, specifically the biceps.
- Protocol: Stand in waist-deep water with your arms at your sides, palms facing up. Hold water weights or use the natural resistance of the water. Curl your arms up towards your shoulders, then slowly lower them back down. Position your elbows close to your body while performing exercise.
Tricep Extensions in water are ideal for targeting the muscles at the back of the upper arms, essential for overall arm strength and tone. With water weights or resistance bands, extend your arms over your head. Bend your elbows to lower the weights behind your head, then extend back to the starting position. The water’s resistance amplifies the workout, effectively targeting the triceps.
- Muscles Engaged: Triceps.
- Body Part Affected: Arms, focusing on the triceps.
- Protocol: With water weights or just using water resistance, extend your arms over your head. Bend your elbows to lower the weights behind your head, then extend your arms to return to the starting position. Ensure your elbows are pointing straight up and don’t flare out.
Performing a Chest Press in the pool is an effective way to strengthen the chest muscles with minimal joint stress. Use water weights or a resistance band. Stand with your back to the pool wall, push the weights forward from your chest, and then bring them back. The water provides resistance both ways, engaging the chest muscles more intensely.
- Muscles Engaged: Pectorals (chest muscles), deltoids (shoulders), and triceps.
- Body Part Affected: Chest, shoulders, core, back and arms.
- Protocol: Facing away from the pool wall, hold onto water weights or extend your arms in front of you at shoulder height. Push the weights forward and then pull them back towards your chest, maintaining a steady pace.
Pool Pushups are an innovative variation of traditional pushups, offering a unique way to work the upper body. Stand near the pool edge. Place your hands on the edge, and lean forward into a pushup position. Bend your elbows and lower your body, then push back up. The buoyancy of the water makes this exercise less intense on the joints.
- Muscles Engaged: Chest, core, shoulders, and triceps.
- Body Part Affected: Upper body.
- Protocol: Place your hands on the pool edge, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Push your body up out of the water, then lower back down, similar to a traditional pushup. Keep your core engaged and your body in a straight position.
Pool Planks are a dynamic way to engage the core and upper body, enhancing stability and strength. Use a pool noodle or floating device for support. Extend your body into a plank position in the water, keeping your body straight and your core engaged. This exercise challenges your stability and strengthens your upper body.
- Muscles Engaged: Core, shoulders, chest, and arms.
- Body Part Affected: Primarily the core and upper body.
- Protocol: Using a pool noodle or kickboard for support, extend your body into a plank position in the water. Keep your body straight and hold the position, engaging your core muscles.
Press to Row
The Press to Row exercise in the pool offers the dual benefit of working both the chest and the back muscles. Holding water weights or resistance bands, alternate between a chest press and a row. For the press, push the weights forward, and for the row, pull them back towards your chest. This exercise effectively works both the anterior and posterior upper body muscles.
- Muscles Engaged: The muscles on either side of your spine that form a V: the calves, quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, abs, obliques (waist), pecs (chest), biceps, triceps, deltoids (shoulder), upper back, and lats.
- Body Part Affected: Upper body.
- Protocol: Assume a standing position with a kickboard pressed up against your body, then lower yourself into a squat so that your chest is in the water. Pull your arms and the kickboard back towards your chest as soon as possible after bracing your core and extending them forward against the water. Your back muscles ought to be tensing up.
What Are The Benefits Of Pool Exercises?
Due to the resistance of water acting while doing aqua exercise, it is considered more effective and has a greater impact on the body than exercise performed on land or air. While it not only increases flexibility, strength, and endurance but is also a major key reason to switch over aqua exercise, it does not feel like a burden to adopt as it creates part of fun and maintains consistency.
As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source, individuals with joint conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis can benefit greatly from it.
Do You Need Any Special Equipment?
If you go for aqua fitness classes and start your fitness journey as fun. Some fitness classes also provide and have advance equipment as water treadmills, ellipticals, and bikes. The following requirements are needed while starting your fitness journey in water:
- A Towel
- Swim Cap
- A Pair of Goggles
Some of the following gears are also required as part of equipment while doing aqua exercise:
- Wrist or Ankle Weights: Adjustable weights worn around the wrists or ankles to add resistance and increase workout intensity during aquatic exercises.
- Foam Dumbbells: Lightweight, buoyant dumbbells made of foam are used in water aerobics to create resistance for strength training exercises.
- Hand Paddles or Resistance Gloves: Tools worn on the hands to increase water resistance, enhancing upper body strength training during swimming or aquatic workouts.
- Kickboard: A buoyant board used in swimming to support the upper body, allowing swimmers to focus on leg movement and kicking techniques.
- Buoyancy Belt: A belt worn around the waist in deep water exercises to provide flotation and support, helping maintain proper alignment and balance.
In conclusion, pool exercises offer a refreshing and effective way to lose weight, suitable for everyone regardless of fitness level. Whether you’re doing water walking, engaging in aqua Zumba, or using equipment like foam dumbbells and buoyancy belts, these exercises provide a low-impact yet highly beneficial workout. They not only help in burning calories but also in strengthening and toning your body. With the added resistance of water, these exercises are more efficient than their land-based counterparts. So, for those in India looking for a fun and effective way to manage weight, consider incorporating these pool exercises into your fitness routine.