Exercises for water aerobics



If you are looking for low impact, varying in intensity, fun fitness pool exercises then water aerobics is for you! Aerobic exercises are a great way to get in shape, while enjoying the social aspect of working out in a class.

1. Low impact

Water places an upward force on a person. This principle known as ‘buoyancy’ means that you can experience as much as 90 percent less weight when in the water. This makes water exercises an ideal activity for a low impact water workout. Water aerobics allows women to perform exercises while placing very little weight on the joints opening up a new opportunity for people of all ages, and varying levels of fitness.

2. Improves physical and mental health

The natural resistance of water increases strength while keeping you cool and comfortable. Just 150 minutes of a pool workout per week can help decrease your risk of chronic illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Water aerobics can improve your cardiovascular and respiratory system in the same ways as cycling or running. Water is about 800 times denser than air, so it provides about 12 times more resistance. That means the moves you do in the pool can work your entire body, particularly your arms, legs, shoulders, and core.

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3. Boost confidence

Pool exercise can boost your confidence if you are intimidated by conventional exercise routines. In the water, you are mostly submerged, so no one can see if you get the moves wrong. If you are a beginner, you can build a level of fitness that you can then carry over to feel more confident when exercising on land.

Water is naturally supportive. If you lose your footing on land, gravity will take over and you will most likely fall and injure yourself. In water there is no need to worry about falling, water will not allow you to, it will support you throughout all your exercises.

4. Increase calorie burn

Water also has greater resistance than air, which means walking in water requires more effort and ultimately burns more calories than walking on land. Expect to burn between 400 and 500 calories per hour in a water aerobics class, according to the Aquatic Exercise Association.

Try our exclusive water aerobics weight loss calculator and see how many calories you can burn and how much weight you can lose during pool workouts.

5. It’s a FUN way to exercise!!!

Being in a pool is always splashy fun. Participating in a water aerobics class not only makes you happier and healthier, it is also a great social experience where new friends are made. The forgiving water environment is effective for exercising and enjoyable. People are friendly and it’s a lot more fun than swimming laps.

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

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

Treading 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

Getty Images

Each week personal trainer Barb Gormley answers your most pressing fitness questions.

Question: I usually walk or run outdoors, but during the winter I want to exercise indoors where it’s warm and not slippery. The aqua fitness classes at my community centre look fun, but I don’t know much about them. Are they a good workout?

Answer: I love aqua fitness classes and recommend them to lots of people. Here are a few tips to get you started.

1. Find the right class
Aqua classes were pretty basic years ago (lots of jogging on the spot and jumping jacks), but today there are beginner to advanced levels, as well as pre- and post-natal classes, water running, aqua yoga and even aqua tai chi.

There are also three styles of classes to choose from based on water depth: “chest deep” (feet on the pool floor), “suspended chest deep” (feet lifted off the pool floor while using a floatation device like a pool noodle) and “deep water” (water is over your head, and you use a floatation device). Each level requires progressively more skill and more comfort with the water.

2. Check instructor qualifications
Look for instructors certified by organizations like WaterArt Fitness International and the Canadian Aquafitness Leaders Alliance. They will challenge you with fun choreography, safe and interesting moves, and great music, the same way a spinning or cardio kick boxing instructor does.

3. Calorie burning comparisons
Compared to swimming, aqua fitness classes are considered to be a better all-round exercise because they use a greater variety of muscles. You won’t burn as many calories as with running, but the calorie burning is still considerable – about the same as brisk walking or a low-impact aerobics class. If you need an extra cardio burst at the end of the class, try water running a few widths in the shallow end (lean forward slightly and pump your arms to propel yourself forward).

4. Perks of water exercise
Lots of exercisers love the water because it gives their hips and knees a break from the pounding they endure with running and walking. (If your main goal is strong bones though, aquafitness may not be your best exercise choice since the pounding is what helps strengthen bones.)

The water is also perfect if you’re recovering from a minor injury, like a sprained ankle or shin splints – you can often keep up your fitness level without stressing the injured body part.

Think you’re a bit too klutzy for fancy fitness class moves? Don’t worry. Your body’s mostly underwater during the workout, so no one knows if you’re doing each move or combination exactly right.

5. One last tip
Visit the washroom just before the class starts. Exercising in the water puts your kidneys into overdrive – they excrete up to seven times more urine compared to exercising on land. You’ll also be sweating from the hard work (it’s easy to forget this when the water constantly washes away the sweat). To stay hydrated, keep a water bottle near the side of the pool and top yourself up once the class is over.

Barb Gormley is a certified personal trainer and a freelance health and fitness writer. You can contact her at www.barbgormley.com.

7 of the Best Pool Running Workouts for Injured Runners

I hate being injured.

It doesn’t matter if you’re an elite runner logging 120 miles per week or you are training for your first 5k; if you need to run, but have recently become injured to the point where it hurts too much to run, it can be physically and emotionally hard to deal with.

Unfortunately, getting injured also very common.

Respected bio-mechanics expert Jay Dicharry estimates that 82% of runners will get injured at some point in their running career.

If you follow Brad Beer’s 5 tricks to running pain free, you have a better chance of staying healthy, but most of us will mess up at some point.

It’s likely to happen to you.


Experts suggest that 85% of you reading this article are likely to get injured, if you want to maintain fitness while injured from running, and you are looking for a good cardio replacement for running, it is time to start considering aqua jogging or pool running as it is otherwise known.

Will aqua jogging help me recover?

Yes, one of the aqua jogging benefits are that it will allow your body to focus on healing your injury while you still maintain your fitness.

Recent research has found that pool running is the most effective type of cross training for runners, and if after listening to this podcast episode about running through pain, and you decide it is time to stop running, you will not actually lose as much fitness as you think.

Today we will go over what is aqua jogging going to do for you, why running in the pool is good for runners, and I will give you 7 pool running workouts for injured runners that will make you work just as hard, if not harder, than you would while running on land!

Ready to make your heart feel like it is going to explode?

Don’t worry, it won’t actually explode, but let’s dive in.

What is Aqua Jogging and Why is it Different to Pool Running?

Well, actually, there isn’t a difference.

Aqua jogging has many names that you may hear us use interchangeably throughout this post, as there is no one set name.

Aqua jogging, pool running, deep water running, water jogging….need we go on?

Aqua jogging involves running in the deep end of the pool, and it has many benefits as it closely mimics the actual running movement.

Your feet don’t actually touch the bottom of the pool, so it is zero impact and safe for almost any type of injury, especially if you have a high risk stress fracture, and will be out for a while.

In my experience, the only time to avoid aqua jogging is when you have a hip flexor injury, which can be aggravated by the increased resistance of the water as you bring your leg up.

Because aqua jogging closely mimics natural running form, it provides a neuromuscular workout that, in addition to aerobic benefits, helps keep the running specific muscles active.

The same can’t be said for biking and swimming.

The only disadvantage of aqua jogging is that you need a pool that is deep enough to run in without touching the bottom.

If you’re lucky enough to have access to a pool of this size, aqua jogging should be your first cross training choice.

How to aqua jog

Good aqua jogging form should imitate your running style fairly closely.

You’ll want to get into the deep end of the pool and use an aqua jogging belt if you’re a beginner or not a good swimmer.

The pool running belt is helpful, but once you get the form down, it isn’t necessary.

Here’s the deal:

The key to good aqua jogging form is to keep your upper body straight and to not lean forward too much, which is a little different than your normal running posture.

You should practice using a higher knee lift and a more compact back kick compared to running on dry land.

This will allow you to remain upright and also enable you to perform harder sprinting activities.

If you need more advice on how to pool run properly, expert Lynda Huey explains how to train like an olympian in the pool (she should know, she works with them while they are injured and creates aqua jogging workouts for elite runners).

Why is Pool Running the Best Cross Training Exercise for Runners?

Studies have shown that aqua jogging can enable a well-trained runner to maintain running fitness for up to 4-6 weeks.

In one study, a group of ten runners trained exclusively with deep water running for four weeks and compared 5km race times pre deep water running and post deep water running.

The researchers found no statistical difference in 5k time or other markers for performance, such as submaximal oxygen consumption or lactate threshold.

In a second study, researchers measured the effects of aqua jogging over a six week period.

This time, 16 runners were separated into two groups – one who did aqua jogging workouts and the other who did over land running.

Using the same training intensities and durations, the researchers found no difference between the groups in maximal blood glucose, blood lactate, and body composition.

It get’s better:

Research has also demonstrated that aqua jogging can be used as a recovery tool to facilitate the repair of damaged muscles after hard workouts.

These findings make aqua jogging an important recovery tool in addition to being the best cross training method for injuries.

Need one more reason?

The calories burned aqua jogging are even higher than running on land, so if you want to avoid weight gain while you take time off from running, this is definitely the exercise for you!

Aqua Jogging Workouts for Runners

Before we get started with specific workouts, it’s important to realize that elevating your heart rate in the pool will be more difficult than on dry land.

Since your cells are 65-95% water, blood circulates better when submerged, which means your heart does not need to pump as hard to circulate oxygen.

So, the benefits from pool running must come from a constant, steady effort or intervals.

Easy pool running

Easy pool running should only be used as warm-up for harder aqua jogging workouts, a recovery tool between hard workouts, or to simulate longer training runs.

You can perform easy pool running just like you would perform easy running on dry land, there is nothing fancy about it.

You should try to maintain a heart rate that is 65-75% of your maximum heart rate.

Medium effort aqua jogging workouts for runners

The Pyramid

10 minutes easy warm up

1:00 hard, 30 seconds easy

1:30 hard, 30 seconds easy

2:00 hard, 30 seconds easy

2:30 hard, 30 seconds easy

3:00 hard, 30 seconds easy

3:30 hard, 30 seconds easy

4:00 hard, 30 seconds easy

4:30 hard, 30 seconds easy

5:00 hard, 30 seconds easy

Come back down the pyramid (4:30 hard, 30 easy, 4:00 hard, 30 easy ect)

10 minutes easy cool down

Wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care

10 minutes easy warm up

1 minute medium (87-92% of maximum heart rate or what feels like tempo effort)

1 minute sprint (95-100% of maximum heart rate or all out sprint)

30 seconds hands in air (keep moving your legs in the running motion, but put your hand above your head)

1 minute rest

Repeat 10-15 times

10 minutes easy cool down


10 minutes easy warm up

30 seconds sprint (95-100% of maximum heart rate or all out sprint)

30 seconds medium (87-92% of maximum heart rate or what feels like tempo effort)

30 seconds sprint

30 seconds medium

30 seconds rest

Repeat 12-15 times

10 minutes easy cool down

The child

10 minutes easy warm up

10 seconds medium

10 second sprint

10 seconds easy

20 seconds medium

20 second sprint

20 seconds easy

30 seconds medium

30 second sprint

30 seconds easy

Repeat up to 70 seconds and then back down (60 seconds of each, 50 seconds of each)

10 min easy cool down

Hard aqua jogging workouts for runners

One of the difficulties of cross training is replicating those truly lung-busting, difficult workouts.

With the pool, I’ve actually found a very nice trick to help make pool running as hard as any track workout you might do.

How to pool run with a bungee cord

If you’re going to be pool running quite a bit due to injury or limited training volume, invest in a bungee cord designed for sprinters.

Lynda Huey, our pool running expert believes all runners should use bungee cords to get the best workouts possible in the pool. Lynda explains how to use a bungee cord in detail, and uses images if this description confuses you!

Tie one end of the resistance band to a sturdy object (pole, lifeguard stand, pool ladder) and bring the other into the water with you.

Put the strap around your waist and begin aqua jog away from your starting point.

You’ll begin to notice the bungee tighten and resist against you (depending on the length of your pool, you may need to wrap the bungee around the supporting object or tie it in knots to make it shorter to feel resistance).

Spend a few moments testing yourself to see how far you can pull the bungee.

This is a great challenge and a fun way to compete with yourself during an otherwise boring cross training activity.

Now for the hard part:

Pick a point on the pool wall or side of the pool that you feel stretches the bungee to a very hard sprint that you could maintain for 60-90 seconds.

This will be your “sprint” marker that you’ll use on sprint intervals (95-100% of maximum heart rate or all out sprint).


Find a point that feels like the end of a hard tempo run.

Mark this spot as your “medium” interval distance.

When you complete the hard workouts, you can use these reference points to ensure that you maintain a very hard effort.

The springboard

10 minutes easy warm up

90 seconds easy (slowly moving out and stretching the bungee)

2 minute medium

1 minute sprint

1 min rest (let the bungee pull you back – this is kind of fun)

Repeat 10 times

10 minutes easy cool down

The race simulation

10 minutes easy warm up

90 seconds easy (slowly moving out and stretching the bungee)

5 minutes medium (focus and concentrate, just like during the hard part of a race)

30 seconds sprint

2 minutes rest

Repeat 4 times

10 minutes easy col down

The lactic acid

10 minutes easy warm up

90 seconds easy (slowly moving out and stretching the bungee)

2 minutes sprint

90 seconds rest

Repeat 12 times

10 minutes easy cool down

I guarantee that with the bungee, you’ll get your heart rate through the roof.

You can challenge yourself and make aqua jogging more fun by seeing how long you can stay at your maximum stretched distance or seeing how far you can push it.

Likewise, if you have a friend who is injured (or someone willing to be a good sport) you can try pulling each other across the pool for some competitive fun.

Cross training can be tough, especially when you’re injured or want to be increasing your volume faster. This podcast episode about cross training while injured might be something to keep you sane on those days you are alone in the pool, especially if you can invest in some waterproof headphones!

However, I hope that providing a variety of workouts, a fun challenge in the pool, and a little science about the benefits of aqua jogging will help you emerge from your injury with minimal fitness loss. We even found that you can race well after time off from injury!

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A version of this post originally appeared at competitor.com

Get Inspired: Build your fitness in the swimming pool

Swimming exercises boost your fitness while being kind to your joints

Now is as good a time as ever to ease yourself into your local swimming pool and try these four Get Inspired exercise challenges.

Choose from pool running, flutter-kicking, jumping or balancing. Better still, work your way through all four and see how your fitness and confidence in the water improves.

Go on, make a splash!

The pool running challenge

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Get Inspired: Pool-running challenge, part one of a series of four


The first challenge is to walk and then run powerfully through the water at the shallow end of the swimming pool.

The three elements of the pool running challenge are a great way to get moving in the pool – even if you cannot swim.

You will tone your legs, glutes and abdominal muscles as you work against the resistance of the water without risking an impact injury.

Start slowly, simply walking through the water and building up to a breadth. Increase your distance to 10 breadths before trying the energy-sapping side steps. Once you can complete 10 breadths of the pool have a go at running. It’s a tiring business so take things gently at first before reaching the target.

Step 1

Standing in waist-height water, walk across the width of the swimming pool. Focus your energies on driving your legs through the water. You’ll soon discover that this is not like walking normally in the park – much more effort is required. It’s great for your muscles and kind to your joints.

Step 2

Once you have mastered walking through water, vary your workout by side-stepping from one side of the pool to the other, again with the water at waist height. You will feel this exercise work the muscles in your legs and groin. Gradually, add a spring to your step to work those thigh muscles all the more.

Step 3

For those with a good level of fitness, try running across the breadth of the pool, using your arms to help drive you forward. You’ll no doubt be quickly out of breath so take it easy at first. Build up to being able to maintain a fast pace for the duration of the breadth and gradually increase to being able to do 10 breadths at top speed.

Next steps

The fitness you’ll have built up by walking and running in the pool will serve you well in your swimming or running outdoors. If you have an injury that prevents you running outdoors, you might like to get hold of a buoyancy belt so that you can move in to the deep end and practise ‘aqua running’ without your feet touching the floor of the pool.

The flutter-kick challenge

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Get Inspired: Pool exercise two in a series of four.


Here’s a challenge you can do in your local swimming pool that will strengthen your quads and calves and will work your groin and stomach muscles too.

There are three stages: begin by lying on your back and kicking your legs out in front of you in the water. Next flip over and, holding the edge of the pool and facing forward, kick your legs out behind you. Finally, build towards being able to hold a float in front of you and, facing down towards the water, cover the length of the pool using only a flutter-kick.

Don’t feel you have to rush from one stage to the next. Visit your pool as often as you can and build your strength and confidence until you can flutter-kick your way up and down the pool.

Step 1

Depending on your confidence and buoyancy, hold one or two floats against your stomach, lie back in the water and raise your legs. Looking at the roof of the pool, stretch out your legs, point out your toes and begin kicking, working your hips, thighs and calves. Your propulsion through the water will improve as your kicking technique and strength increase.

Step 2

Hold the edge of the pool, ideally using a ledge or bar just above water level.

Stretch out your body and begin flutter-kicking. Try to keep your hips high in the water.

Your feet should only just break the surface of the water. Bend your knees only slightly and point your toes out. Smaller kicks are better than exaggerated, bigger kicks. Try to use the power in your hips rather than that in your legs.

Step 3

Next, hold a float out in front of you and, looking down and slightly forward, push yourself forward, throw up your legs and begin flutter kicking. Again, keep your hips up, point your toes our and develop a steady rhythm with your kick. Try to build up to one length of the pool.

Next steps

Once you have the knack of propelling yourself through the water using the power in your legs, try to increase your speed and the number of lengths you can manage.

The pool jump challenge

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Get Inspired: Try the pool jump challenge


We could call these three exercises the thigh-buster challenge!

They are ideal exercises for people recovering from injury who want to keep in shape or for those whose joints would not withstand the impact of jumping on a hard surface.

You’ll be splashing like a happy child in a paddling pool as you use the power in your legs and glutes to thrust you out of the water. Remember, try to keep the correct body position when you do your squats.

Anyone who includes squats in their workouts on dry land will know they are great for building strength in their legs and firming up their backside muscles. Doing these exercises in the pool adds the resistance of the water, both when lowering your body and when standing up straight.

Step 1

From a standing position in waist-deep water, with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and pointing slightly outwards, squat so that your chin touches the water. Make sure you keep your back straight – don’t hunch forward. Try to lower yourself in such a way that your knees stay directly above your feet. Stick your bottom out. Find the right depth of water that allows you to get your thighs parallel to the bottom of the pool as your chin touches the surface of the water.

Step 2

Next, lower yourself into a squat so that your thighs are parallel to the floor of the pool and your chin is touching the surface of the water. Now, thrust explosively with your legs so that you jump as high as you can out of the water.

Step 3

Moving into chest-height water, now it’s time to try some star jumps. The water resistance will work your legs, arms and shoulders…and your lungs! With your hands by your side and your feet together, jump up and put your feet out to the side at the same time as thrusting your arms out to the side and through the water. It will take a bit of practice to get the timing right so that your arms and legs are working in unison.

Next steps

Once you can successfully complete 10 repetitions of each exercise, increase the frequency to 20 reps and decrease the recovery time between each exercise. However, don’t forget the importance of good posture.

The pool balance challenge

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Get Inspired: Try the pool balance challenge, the final exercise in a series of four


The challenge here will work your leg and hip muscles and your core, and improve your balance.

Your goal is to keep your balance as you stand on one leg in the pool and perform a simple movement with one arm and one leg.

This is harder than it sounds. The movement of the water makes things more difficult than you might imagine. Practise being able to make the movement with your arm and leg with your eyes open and slowly build towards being able to keep your balance with your eyes closed.

Step 1

With your feet about six inches apart and your toes pointing forward, stand in water just below waist level. Slowly raise one leg in front of you until your thigh is parallel to the bottom of the pool and your lower leg is at a right angle to your thigh. Try to maintain your balance for 10 seconds then slowly lower your leg and repeat with the other leg.

Step 2

Do the same as above but this time, as you raise your leg, also lift your arm straight out in front of you, with your palm facing down. Keeping your balance, slowly move your raised, bent leg and straight arm out to the side. Finally, slowly return your arm and leg to directly in front of you before lowering them again. Try to build towards a 90-degree angle between your standing leg and your bent, raised leg.

Step 3

Once you have mastered step 2, try doing the same move but with your eyes closed. This will take a fair bit of practice for most people, but don’t worry, it’s actually really good fun.

Next steps

See if you can perform each move really slowly. You’ll find your leg muscles will be twitching as you work them hard but you’ll soon notice a difference in the muscle definition. And all without any damaging impact on your joints.

And for the finale…

And if you can manage those four challenges, why not try matching Susanne Clarke’s feats on the rings at Glasgow’s historic Arlington Baths…

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Get Inspired: Susie’s pool rings workout

Water is not only healthy to drink, but it’s also healthy to exercise in. These health benefits are compounded when an underwater treadmill is used. How does aqua jogging on an underwater treadmill benefit runners over using a land-based treadmill?

What Are the Differences Between Regular Jogging and Underwater Treadmill Running?

When you compare regular jogging and jogging on an underwater treadmill, you find a number of benefits to aqua jogging. In fact, you get all the same benefits of running on land with the added perks that water provides.

When using an underwater treadmill, you can take advantage of buoyancy. By being submerged in water, you reduce your weight up to 90% depending on the water depth. For example, a 150-pound runner underwater has to carry only 15 pounds of body weight. With less weight to carry, you minimize injury risk and undue stress.
The force on muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones is also reduced. While regular land jogging can “jar” the body, these foot-striking forces are drastically reduced underwater. Over the long term, there is also less burden on the body. Along with reduced risk of injury, the underwater runner experiences longer runs as well.
Aqua jogging on an underwater treadmill also takes advantage of viscosity. Water’s natural drag provides resistance. By pushing against this force of water, you strengthen your muscles — many of which are not used on land. When underwater treadmills are used in addition to on-land training, runners find aqua jogging rejuvenates and strengthens their legs, abdomens and upper bodies.
Water features another unique property — it has a hydrostatic effect of increasing thoracic pressure. The result is better cardiovascular conditioning. Circulation is improved and swelling is decreased. The venous return process is also supercharged to clear metabolic waste during exercise. As a result, aqua runners using an underwater treadmill will not experience the muscle soreness as they would on land.
During a study performed by Texas A&M University, participants performing Resistance Training Plus Underwater Treadmill (ATM) showed definite benefits over those who completed Resistance Training alone or Resistance Training Plus Land Treadmill (LTM). Not only did the ATM group experience reduced soreness, inflammation and body fat, but they also improved muscle mass and strength performance. They even experienced lower blood pressure readings than the LTM group.
For pools that feature a variable-speed underwater treadmill, there are even more benefits. Directional water jets add additional resistance. This resistance engages the upper body and core, and the runner naturally focuses on posture.
Not only is muscle strength improved, but so is the intensity of the workout. Studies have demonstrated 50 percent water resistance jet setting is the equivalent of running about one mile per hour faster. A 75 percent setting increases it to two miles per hour faster. With 100 percent jets, the aqua jogging is greater than a ten percent incline on a traditional land-based treadmill.

Studies on Underwater Treadmills Prove the Benefits

Pediatric patients who are prescribed aquatic therapy may come from a variety of backgrounds and medical experiences. However, there are some conditions that have been studied to determine short- and long-term responses to aquatic therapy.

Several studies have been conducted to monitor results provided by HydroWorx pools. One performed by several professionals sought to explore the effects on static balance and “limits of stability” in an aquatic environment. The results were promising, as all participants found a greater center of pressure.

A second study uncovered differences in lactate threshold due to the environment, which allowed for less impact and pressure on joints and muscles. The motions mattered the most — and aquatic therapy using an underwater treadmill highlights those motions.

Furthermore, another study revealed dramatic changes in metabolic cost comparison between aquatic treadmills with water jets and land treadmills with inclines. What were the results? You guessed it: Runners on aquatic treadmills experienced more metabolic variance than on land.

Does That Mean Water Running Burns More Weight Than Land Running?

The statistics don’t lie — not only does your facility eradicate any potential for injury caused by the over-impact of limbs, but water running on an underwater treadmill practically forces your clients to use their upper body muscles in motion — muscles they don’t typically need to exert when running on land. After all, moving through air doesn’t exactly provide much resistance.

Running in water on an underwater treadmill vs. running on land has been the focal point of many tests. One test concluded that jogging along the track or trail will comfortably burn about eight calories per minute. In comparison, the same level of intensity present in aqua running on an underwater treadmill will burn potentially more than 11 calories each minute.

What Kind of Outcomes Will My Clients Experience?

As featured on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” a HydroWorx exercise pool can be extremely beneficial to your facility. After all, your clients can lose weight, burn more calories and increase muscle mass quickly. Since they’re only bearing typically 20% of their actual weight in the water, your clients will complete exercises and movements a lot easier — no matter what age they are.

According to Wiley Piazza, Director of Projects & Initiatives for Whole Person Wellness Services, “We had a woman who could not stand or walk for approximately more than 10 minutes at a time and she was able to do 40 minutes on the treadmill. She was gleaming from ear to ear. It was so exciting to see.”

There is no doubt incorporating aquatic running workouts on an underwater treadmill is beneficial. By doing so, you optimize fitness while preventing injury.

Calorie burns will typically vary from client to client based on overall intensity and duration, which is similar to regular jogging. After all, if a person jogs more than an hour, he or she will be burning more calories than someone jogging for only 20 minutes.

Additionally, body weight, level of fitness and metabolism also play roles in determining just how much weight gets melted off. An overweight person might be able to cover more “distance” underwater when held suspended for a longer period of time compared to jogging around the track only to jam joints together painfully. Water running on an underwater treadmill promotes endurance, stamina, longevity and continual recuperation of the body.

Your clients can work out more often underwater than on land. They will see better results, faster results and increased satisfaction with results — which can be the game-changer when it comes to losing weight.

This particular video is a case study involving Olympian, Mo Farah. As he trains for the 2012 Olympic trials, you can see firsthand exactly how the HydroWorx pool operates:

Should We Recommend Aquatic Running to Athletes?

It’s already a given that aquatic jogging promotes recovery from injury, minimizing impact on joints and even muscles. However, it’s not only comparable to typical sports training and weightlifting, but it may competitively be even more beneficial.

Athletes get injured all the time due to strenuous activity. You can only imagine the benefit of an exercise designed to completely eliminate the prospect of injury and continue conditioning after an injury on land. As Alberto Salazar, Coach of the Oregon Project, puts it, “we don’t consider it an alternative to running outside. We consider it as important as running outside. It helps us become stronger by running against the resistance of the water and it helps us recover from our dry land training.”

Studies have been conducted to show the results of aquatic running, monitoring metabolic rates and results. In particular, a Texas A&M University study revealed significant decreases in weight, body fat and BMI.

Another significant benefit of pool running is the lean body mass it increases – particularly in the legs and the upper body. It far outpaces that of regular land-based exercises. What athletes end up doing is working the muscles quite consistently with unfailing resistance.

Any athlete will tell you that consistent resistance is crucial in developing muscle mass. So what better way to do that than in water? In fact, the more intensity an athlete uses during a workout underwater vs. on land, the better results the athlete will receive – and in a shorter amount of time.

The athlete’s generating agents are designed to combat lactic acid as well, allowing muscles to work harder and more efficiently. This means your clients will stay cool, fresh and rejuvenated. Science has also shown that when in warm water, the body releases endorphins designed to appeal to positive emotions about accomplishing goals.

When working out underwater on an aqua treadmill, your clients actually feel better about themselves than when working out on land — and they don’t even need to necessarily see results right away.

This applies to cross training as well. Cross training emphasizes long periods of consistent activity, persistence, resistance and perseverance. Your clients can train for a longer period of time without over-exerting themselves, risking injury or having to rest for prolonged periods of time. This allows them to maximize cross training to the highest power. Your clients will be able to record large numbers of miles and distances they generally would have trouble completing traditionally on a track.

As with any traditional wisdom involving health, wellbeing, exercise and activity, it’s best to diversify the programs at your facility. Your clients could easily focus their entire regimen on water running using an underwater treadmill if they like, but it’s recommended that over 50% of your workout encompasses aquatic running programs, with other supplemental exercises to help build fast results, stamina and endurance.

Your clients can rest assured knowing their stamina and endurance will improve with water running using an underwater treadmill. In many cases involving exercise, that’s the starting point. Without stamina and endurance, your clients can easily lose out on strength and power.

Pool Running is an Exact Science

Like any exercise, it’s important to teach your clients the right way to complete their pool running exercises. Maintaining proper form and gait underwater will produce better results on land. Using an underwater treadmill helps to maintain proper mechanics underwater as opposed to simply walking or running in shallow water.

Have them do their aquatic running workouts correctly by following these tips:

  • Keep backs straight. Don’t slouch.
  • Maintain a turnover of 180 strides per minute to optimize results.
  • Consistently pump arms, maintaining a 90-degree angle to work the upper body.
  • Don’t overextend legs to minimize actual injury, even under the water.
  • Emphasize a “high cadence,” which forces the body to work harder and faster, in short spurts and repetitions.
  • Consistently pump arms, maintaining a 90-degree angle to work the upper body.
  • Utilize an actual pool running belt or vest as well. Water belts only seek to keep your client suspended, but do nothing to maintain their form.

These tips are the keys to avoiding underwater injuries. Hamstring strains are often common, although not as severe as what you can face on land from all the impact on your joints. This is why you should teach your clients to avoid overextending – they should always keep a low cadence when jogging underwater. Emphasize the “cyclist” motion to ensure they don’t overextend those legs. It’s easy to go overboard due to the resistance and viscosity of the water.

Likewise, your clients won’t receive the full benefit of aquatic running if they’re not using their arms. Runners always use their arms when jogging, practically without thinking. Just because your clients are suspended underwater doesn’t mean they should shortcut themselves on this exercise. Always have them keep their arms moving.

Lastly, don’t settle for just any “water belt,” as your client’s form will suffer under the water. One of the biggest challenges aquatic running presents is the fact that you have to adjust to being without the power of gravity. Your clients will be able to move around a lot more fluidly than usual, making it easier to lose their form. A true pool running belt is designed to manage your client’s form and keep it consistent while deep water running.

Aquatic Workout Tips

To help your clients get the most out of underwater treadmill workouts, consider these tips:

  1. Define client goals. An underwater treadmill can help treat common injuries — including plantar fasciitis, knee pain and ankle sprains. Explain to your client that working on an underwater treadmill will help maintain or improve their level of fitness and rebuild muscle strength, which in turn will speed up the recovery process. Work with your client to develop realistic goals that can bring positive results.
  2. Help clients get in the right mindset. For underwater treadmills to duplicate on-land workouts, you’ll need to make adjustments. Explain the differences between working out on land and with an underwater treadmill before they workout.
  3. Create the right effort level. To achieve the right effort level with an underwater treadmill workout, both the belt speed and water resistance need to be adjusted. For example, to recreate 12 x 400 meters in 70 seconds, along with a 2-minute recovery, set the belt to 8 mph and the water jet to the max setting. Then, turn off the jets and slow the belt to 4 mph for the recovery period. For beginners, start with deeper water levels. As clients improve, water levels can be reduced to achieve greater exertion levels.
  4. Encourage clients to wear the right attire. While regular swimwear is an option for an underwater treadmill workout, clients may have a better experience wearing fitted technical apparel or spandex. Footwear often comes down to client preference. Some individuals prefer the feel of a shoe while others prefer to run barefoot. The professionals at Michael Johnson Performance and the Oregon Project suggest running barefoot underwater to strengthen small muscles in the feet.

Knowing What You Want and Then Going for It

Good health is all about goals, and there’s no more efficient way to exercise than with aquatic running on an underwater treadmill.

Request a free information kit to learn more about how water running on an aquatic treadmill can benefit the clients at your facility. HydroWorx has various financing options to fit your budget. Browse our list of products available and see which one suits your facility and clientele. Try out a pool today and help your clients get refreshed, rejuvenated and revitalized — while achieving their fitness and health goals.

Find out more about Underwater treadmills

You already know that a backyard swimming pool can turn your ordinary yard into a relaxing and beautiful retreat, but what you may not know is that a swimming pool provides one of the best fat burning workouts available. That’s because water is 800 times denser than air, so every time you kick, pull, or push the water, you’re doing a resistance workout, which burns fat and leads to lean muscle and an increased metabolism.

Swimming is also a safe, low-impact workout: According to Joel Stager, Ph.D., director of the Counsilman Center for the Science of Swimming at Indiana University at Bloomington, because water neutralizes gravity, you can swim almost every day without worrying about injuries.

If you want to use your backyard pool to get a workout, here are some great workouts designed for all levels.

Beginner Swimming Pool Exercises

If you’re just starting your fitness routine, some of the exercises you can do in your pool are:

  • Simple swimming. Most people are surprised at how effective swimming leisurely laps in the pool is for burning fat and toning muscles. A relaxed swim burns approximately 500 calories an hour. If you’re just starting out, plan to swim a few laps, take a break, and then swim more. Your goal is to build up to doing as many as you can without taking a break.

  • The bicycle. Rest your elbows on the side of the pool and use your legs to “pedal” an imaginary bicycle. This will not only burn fat, but also help strengthen your core, shoulders, and legs.

  • The dolphin. Work out your core, legs, and back by grabbing edge of the pool with your left hand and putting your right hand, fingers pointing down, just underneath the water line. Then, with your legs held together, let them float up and begin kicking like a dolphin.

Bonus Beginner Workout: The ball. Work out your core and burn belly fat by standing with your right leg bent and your left leg pushed back. Hold a ball with both hands positioned in front of your belly. Hold for 30 seconds, and then switch legs. Do this five times on each side.

Moderate Swimming Pool Exercises

Ready to take things up a notch? Add these workouts to your pool fitness routine:

  • Moderate swimming. If you can easily swim a few laps, you can not only add in more laps at a faster pace, but you can also mix in some other strokes to work out different parts of your body. For example, the backstroke works your back and shoulder muscles, while the breaststroke works your inner thigh muscles and hips.

  • Sprint. Lean on the edge of the pool with your elbows and, with your legs straight and held together, lift them up until they reach the top of the water and then lower them. The resistance from the water makes this an effective exercise and will help strengthen your core while burning fat.

  • Tuck jump. Stand in the water and jump, bringing your knees up to your chest. Doing this in multiple sets will help trim your legs and strengthen your core. To make it more difficult, don’t allow your feet to touch the bottom of the pool, but tread water in-between jumps.

Bonus Moderate Workout: Bicycle with a twist. If doing the bicycle at the edge of the pool is too easy for you, make it more difficult by using a noodle to sit on while “cycling” across the pool. Your abs will have to work hard to keep you balanced, and your legs will work even harder to power you across the pool.

Advanced Swimming Pool Exercises

Ready for a challenge? Burn even more calories with these intense moves:

  • Pro swimming. Mix up your strokes and swim as fast as you can across the pool. You’ll burn about 700 calories an hour and boost your metabolism with this high-intensity cardio workout so that you continue burning fat well after you’ve left the pool.

  • Add weights. Bringing weights into the pool to work your arms is a great way to build lean muscle mass. The water adds extra resistance to the moves, which increases the burn. Use special weights designed for the pool when doing moves like the butterfly and bar lift.

  • The noodle plank. Do planks in the pool by using a noodle to hold onto while you push your legs out into plank positon. The water resistance will make it more difficult, and you’ll need to use your abs and core to hold the positon.

Bonus Advanced Workout: Plie jump. This is a great way to get your bottom and legs in shape out of the water, but add in the water resistance and it’s a sure winner. Start by standing with your heels together and knees bent outwards and jump as high as you can. To increase the intensity of the workout, don’t allow any rest time between jumps. Remember, the further down you go after each jump, the harder your quads will have to work to push you out of it.

Swimming pool workouts are a great way to burn fat, trim your body, and have fun in the process. After all, would you rather work out in the middle of a crowded gym or in the privacy of your own backyard retreat in your very own swimming pool?

Lose Weight With Water Workouts

Even the simplest pool exercise—walking forward and backward in waist-high water—improves your balance, trains the core muscles of your abdomen, increases your flexibility and boosts cardiovascular fitness. You’ll also burn calories, reduce fat and lose weight at the same rate as working out on land.

“These exercises are awesome for anyone to do,” Kennedy-Armbruster says.

Water also soothes and massages with light pressure (called hydrostatic pressure) while it helps strengthen. That safe, therapeutic environment makes pool exercise good for athletes and others recuperating from sports injuries or illness and for those who need to eliminate joint stress. The calm movement of pool water soothes and relaxes the spirit as well.

Getting started

If you have health concerns, check with the water exercise instructor (if you’re taking a class) and your health care provider to make sure the activity is appropriate for you. Start your pool workout in water depth that matches your swimming ability. Never rely on a buoyancy device to keep you safe in water that’s too deep for your skills.

That said, you don’t need much equipment to work out in water—just a bathing suit and, perhaps, water shoes (pool walking can cause sore feet from rough bottom surfaces). Kennedy-Armbruster advises beginners to wear inexpensive water shoes, such as those sold in discount stores. You can move up to athletic-quality pool shoes (worn by many instructors) later, if you wish.

She also recommends not adding strength-building gear such as webbed gloves and water weights until you’ve spent four to six weeks doing pool exercises and getting used to the resistance of the water. Be sure to check with the organization running your pool about which types of equipment are permissible. You may have to explain that buoyancy belts and hand webs aren’t flotation devices or water toys, which many pools prohibit.

Water Walking 101

If you’re accustomed to walking on land for exercise, get ready to slow things down in the water. According to Kennedy-Armbruster, in pool walking you have to decrease your walking speed by one-third to one-half of what it is on land.

“That’s because of the viscosity of the water,” she says. “You have to slow down your movement in order to keep the correct form.” As your strength increases, you can progressively increase your pace. “It will make land walking a lot easier,” she adds.

If you’re exercising in an outdoor pool, apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 (30 is better) at least 20 minutes before going outdoors. Reapply after being in the water. For more on the latest sunscreen advice for all skin tones, .

Waist-high water is best for water walking. Below are several good routines, recommended by Kennedy-Armbruster. Beginners should not do these exercises all at once since they increase in difficulty. Be sure you can perform each comfortably before moving on to the next:

Pool Exercise #1

  • Walk 1 or more laps, according to your comfort level. (To stay in waist-high water, you might have to walk from side to side in the pool, instead of from one end to the other).
  • If an average lap takes you 35 seconds to walk, see if you can cut a few seconds off that speed for a lap or 2.
  • Then return to your original speed.
  • When comfortable, try walking one lap facing forward and the next lap backward. This builds both your abdominal and back muscles.

Pool Exercise #2

  • Walk 2 laps (warm-up).
  • Hold onto side of pool, extending outer leg out to the side. You can bend your leg to hold it up, if that’s easier for you. Extending the leg fully works your hip and muscles more.
  • Rotate the leg, according to your ability (3 to 12 times).
  • Lower leg to pool bottom and turn, switching sides, so the other leg is on the outside.
  • Holding onto the side of the pool, repeat the extension and hip rotation movement on the other leg.

Pool Exercise #3

  • Do this only after Pool Exercise #2 becomes easy.
  • Walk 2 laps (warm-up).
  • Hold onto side of pool, extending outer leg out to the side.
  • Let go of the pool wall and do the hip rotations without holding on. This helps to build balance skills.
  • Change sides and repeat for other leg.

Pool Exercise #4

  • Do this only after Pool Exercise #3 becomes easy.
  • Walk 2 laps (warm-up).
  • Hold onto side of pool, extending outer leg out to the side.
  • Let go of the pool wall. Raise your hands up and out of the water.
  • Do the leg rotations with your hands in the air. This builds your core as your abdominal muscles work to stabilize you in an upright position. Tip: keep your shoulders over your hips.
  • Change sides and repeat for other leg.

Pool Exercise #5

  • Do this only after Pool Exercise #4 becomes easy.
  • Walk 2 laps (warm-up).
  • Hold onto side of pool, extending outer leg out to the side.
  • Close your eyes while doing the leg rotations. Slowly let go of the pool wall.
  • Change sides and repeat for other leg.

Be sure to do 5 to 10 minutes of warm-up and cool-down movements. Slow, controlled water walking and stretching work great.

10 Fat Blasting Pool Exercises to Lose Weight Now

Your backyard swimming pool offers more than just long hours of fun and relaxation for you and the whole family. Pool exercises and water aerobics are a fun and cool way to lose weight and stay fit as temperatures soar with the coming of summer.

Benefits of Pool Exercises

Pool exercises look like you’re not straining as much as you would be when working out on dry land. But looks can definitely be deceiving. In fact, pool exercises offer a lot of great benefits especially if you’re looking to lose weight.

Strengthens muscles

Studies show that pool water provides as much as 42 times resistance than air. That means that your muscles would need to work harder as you do your reps during your pool exercise routine, which, in turn, means that more calories are being burned by your body.

Builds endurance

When you do your workout routines on land, your body would simply have to push and pull against your free weights and gravity.

Working out in your swimming pool is different because, in addition to having to push and pull against the weight and gravity, you also need now to push and pull against the pool water that is also pushing and pulling against your body. The added resistance pushes your workout routine just a notch higher, helping your muscles build endurance more quickly

Pool exercises also are great in helping build up the endurance of your cardiovascular area. Studies show that blood moves through the body at a faster rate to warm it up in cooler temperatures like in dipping in your pool water. Over time, your cardiovascular performance will strengthen.

Pool exercises are low-impact

The buoyancy of your pool’s water lessens the amount of impact your joints take when doing pool exercises, so you not only minimize the risk of injury but working out will also be less painful and taxing.

Stress reliever

Exercise, in general, help release endorphins in the body which help you feel good and reduce stress levels. Combine this with the natural relaxing property of just immersing yourself in warm water can help make you feel more relaxed and refreshed, even after working out.

Burn fat faster

Studies show that you need to burn about 3500 calories just to get rid of one pound of fat. The good news is that a 1-hour pool workout session can help you easily burn as much as 600 calories! It’s no wonder then why people who swim every day lose weight at a much faster pace.

Great for all ages

Perhaps the best part about doing pool exercises is that they could be done by anyone regardless of age or fitness level, making this a fun and healthy bonding activity for the whole family.

10 Fat Burning Pool Exercises

  1. Water Jogging This is one of the easiest and most effective fat-burning pool exercises, with you burning off 17 calories per minute. Simply jog across your pool area in waist-high water starting at 1-minute intervals and then working your way up to 3-minute intervals. Carry some free pool weights to help you tone your arms at the same time.
  2. Treading Intervals This pool workout routine will help you slim down faster, and firm up all over. Head over to the deep end of the pool and tread as hard as you can without stopping for 30 seconds. Then float on your back for 30 seconds. Doing 30 of these bursts in one afternoon, and you’ll be able to burn up 300 calories every day easily.
  3. Step Push-ups Start in a plank position in the shallow end of your pool with your hands on the top of the pool step and toes planted on the pool floor. Slowly bend your elbows to lower as far as you can without getting your face wet. Straighten your elbows and repeat. Begin with 2 sets of 15 reps and work your way up to 3 sets of 15.
  4. Waist-deep lunges Jumping while doing this pool exercise deals some high impact calorie burning without hurting your joints. To do this, stand in waist-deep water. Lunge with the right foot forward with your right thigh parallel to the pool floor, your left knee bent, and your hands on your hips. Quickly jump up and scissor your legs so that you land with your left leg forward. Do this for 15 to 20 times per set.
  5. Chaos running This is a more advanced version of water jogging. Instead of jogging in a straight line, jog across your pool following a zigzag pattern. This will create several currents in the pool, increasing your pool water’s resistance which will help further strengthen all your core stabilizing muscles.
  6. Fetching game Throw an inflatable pool ball all way to the other side of the pool and briskly jog towards this. Get your kids or friends to dive in and race who will be the first to reach it. In all of the fun and excitement, you won’t even realize you’ve already been making sprints in your pool, which will help you burn out 175 calories in as little as 20 minutes.
  7. Beach ball workout Trying to submerge a floating beach ball is not only a lot of fun, but it also is a great pool workout to tone your core and upper body. Try using different movements to vary the muscles that are targeted. For example, pressing it down with your forearms will help you tone your upper arm and shoulder muscles.
  8. Pool plank Whether done on land or as a pool exercise, planking is a very effective way to strengthen your core muscles and strengthen your upper body. At the same time, planking also helps boost your body’s endurance level.Stand in waist-high pool water. Hold a water log or kicking board in both hands. Slowly press it straight down into the water while leaning your body forward until your body is on an even incline. Make sure that your feet stay planted on the pool floor and your head is above water. Try and keep yourself stable for 1 to 2 minutes
  9. Arm presses The resistance coming from the water helps you firm up those flabby arms as well as strengthening and toning your shoulder and upper back muscles. Stand in chest-deep water with your palms open and your fingers spread apart. Move your arms back and forth and up and down. Slowly increase the speed as you do this. Use free weights if you want to add the challenge further.
  10. Shuffle slides This pool exercise will help tone your inner and outer thighs. With your hands on your hips, spread legs so that they are shoulder apart. Bring your left leg towards your right leg in a quick, but smooth, movement so that you’re standing with your feet close together. Spread your right leg so that they are once again shoulder-length apart, and repeat. Do this until you reach the other end of your pool.

    Getting the Most Out of Your Pool Exercises

    Even though pool exercises are far easier and more fun to do than working out in the gym, you’d still want to make sure that you get the most benefit out of every workout routine and rep. Here are some ways to make sure that you reap optimum rewards out of your pool workout.

    Use free weights

    One of the biggest mistakes people make when doing pool exercises is that they believe that simply doing laps around the pool is enough to lose weight. In fact, purely concentrating on cardio exercises in your pool will actually cause your metabolism to slow down, which means that it becomes even more difficult to lose weight. Alternating this with pool exercises that focus on resistance training and using free weights can actually help you build and tone your muscles, which, in turn, helps speed up your body’s fat-burning capability.

    Have some music

    A study published in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology showed that music affects your overall mood while working out. Fast, upbeat songs help you get more pumped up and able to do more reps while slow, relaxing music helps your body cool down and recover faster. You can easily find waterproof ear pieces and cases for your smartphone in your local sports store.

    Load up on carbs before working out

    Eating some carbs before jumping in to do your pool exercises provides your body the fuel it needs to go through a high-intensity workout so that you’re able to put in more effort when doing your pool workout routine.

    Break up your routine in intervals

    Alternating high-intensity pool exercises with short breaks will not only help you lose weight faster, but it will also help increase your cardiovascular endurance level.

    Do your pool exercises in waist-deep water

    Unless you are doing laps or treading pool exercises, make it a point to do your pool workout routine in waist-deep water. This will provide your body with enough resistance to get the most of your water aerobics. At the same time, your feet will still get good contact on the pool floor to help you stay well-balanced throughout the different pool exercises.

    Wear water shoes

    Water shoes will help prevent you from slipping while doing your pool exercises. They will also help improve traction while adding a bit more resistance, resulting in providing your more intense pool workouts.

    Drink chocolate milk

    Yes, you read that right. According to a study published in the Journal of Exercise Physiology, drinking a glass of low-fat chocolate milk immediately after an intense workout helps your body recover faster compared to taking those commercial recovery drinks. This alone is reason enough for you to be motivated to do some pool workouts every day.

    Get a good night’s sleep

    No matter how intense your pool exercise routines are, if you don’t get a good night’s sleep, it wouldn’t help you lose weight one bit. In fact, a study published in the Sports Review discovered that poor quality of sleep and not sleeping enough can actually lead to poor athletic performance, a lower amount of calories your body burns while working out, and even cause your weight to plateau. So make sure that you get anywhere between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night.

Losing weight does not have to be boring and painful. Yes, you heard it right! Losing weight can be fun and less stressful for joints with aquatic exercises, also known as pool exercises or water therapy. Swimming pool exercises can be extremely beneficial for people who are literally struggling to lose weight. Undoubtedly,this form of physical activity is fun and creative, and it is said to have a therapeutic effect. Experts suggest that swimming pool workouts burn more calories in a shorter period of time. Pool exercises for fast fat burning are said to be one of the most effective ways of losing weight.

Benefits of Pool Exercises for Weight Loss

  1. Pool exercises are easier to perform for people with mobility and flexibility issues, like people suffering from obesity.
  2. Since the buoyancy of water provides support to our body, the pressure on joints reduces while performing the exercises and the movements in water get easy.
  3. It is healing for people suffering from arthritis and fibromyalgia.
  4. It enables faster recovery from joint and bone injuries.
  5. Pool exercises for weight loss burn calories faster.
  6. Natural resistance from the water makes these exercises challenging and results in toning and strengthening of the muscles.
  7. It is a great stress reliever.
  8. It is fun and creative.
  9. It improves heart health and improves the respiratory system.
  10. Boosts immunity and improves sleeping patterns.
  11. It improves balance and endurance.
  12. Also, it reduces soreness of muscles.

Effective Pool Exercises for Weight Loss

  1. Aqua Walk: If you like walking on land, you will love this workout. It is one of the most effective and easy exercises It is as simple as walking on land,except the speed slows down by one third. The great news is that the water provides resistance which makes the muscles work harder. You must be in at least waist-high water. You can even perform these exercises as a warm-up for 15 minutes.
  2. Water Jogging: take your water cardiovascular exercises to next level by speeding up in the water. Start with walking in waist-high water and increase the speed for intense jogging at a comfortable place. Experts say that several obese people have used water exercises to lose weight faster.

Make water jogging more intense and challenging by performing sprints. Jog for at least 2 minutes and slow it down for 30 seconds to the speed of walking. Practice this exercise for15 minutes for best results.

  • Deep-water walking cardio workout: For anybody who is looking to lose weight, this is an impactful workout routine. Once you have aced aqua walking in waist-high water, go for deep water walking.

For those who don’t know how to swim, use water noodle or a floatation vest, to keep yourself safe and stay above the water. Start by walking in deeper water and move your arms back and forth. You can increase the resistance and make the workout more challenging by putting on hand webs.

  • Cycling: Cycling onland is a great cardio workout, but when performed in water, this pool exercise for weight loss targets more than a few areas. Cycling in a swimming pool has wider benefits as it targets the shoulders and core too.

Find yourself a comfortable corner, put your arms on pool ledge and begin to peddle your legs from slow to high intensity. Perform it for at least 10 minutes.

  • Aqua Jumping Jacks: This is much like the jumping jacks on land, however, water creates resistance and greater impact on the legs. Pushing through the water,jump as you would on the land and bring them back to center without touching the ground. Once you are comfortable doing this, move your arms as you would typically do while performing jumping jacks. Repeat 10 times for 3 sets each.
  • Water Jump Squats: Whether you are on land or a pool, squats is quite an effective workout routine. When you perform it in water, it becomes more effective and fun. It is great for toning of quads and glutes.

Start with your legs shoulder-width apart and go in a position like you are sitting on a low chair. Make sure your legs are in 90-degrees angle and suddenly take a leap in the water. It is recommended to perform this exercise only when you feel comfortable in the water.

  • Pool Edge Pushups: Pool edge pushups are a great pool exercise for weight loss and muscle strengthening. Find a comfortable place at the pool edge and place your hands firmly on it at shoulder-width apart. Keep your chest at least 2 cm away from the edge. Gradually push your weight to the hands and arms and push your body out of the water. Keep breathing as you do that. Try and perform at least 12 reps.
  • Crunches: Yet another effective workout for weight loss aspirants. Perform this at the shallow end of the water. Place your legs on the pool edge. Make sure you have a towel or pool mat for a better grip. Balance your body on the back, keep your head above the water and hips at 90-degree angle. Begin the routine and perform at least 15 crunches.

The above-mentioned routines are one of the most effective pool exercises for weight loss. Besides, you can even perform pool lunges, isometric planks, bicep curl with pool weights, flutter kicks, sit ups,pull ups and so much more. Meanwhile, it is important to make sure that if you are a beginner, you perform these exercises under the supervision of an expert.Additionally, keep in mind to keep yourself hydrated and wear appropriate shoes and costume.

Cite this article as: Editorial Staff, “Most Effective Pool exercises for weight loss: Burn Fat Fast with Water Therapy,” in Medicalopedia, December 10, 2018, .

How To Use Swimming To Tone Your Stomach

2. Treading water

Want some time out from lane swimming? Hang out in the deep end to tread water. For maximum effect, bring your knees up as high as they go and keep your stomach muscles tight. Try this for one minute without stopping.

3. Kickboard exercises

For a different perspective on ab workouts, turn on to your back and hold a kickboard to your chest. The spotlight will be on your core muscles to keep your body balanced and your head above water.

4. The ‘wall grab’

This one takes stomach toning to the next level. At the edge of the pool, hold yourself up on the side using your elbows. Starting with your legs straight or bent (whichever you prefer), gently bring your legs up until you’re in a seated position. Hold this seated position for around 10 seconds, then relax. Repeat this as many times as you can.

5. Bicycle abs

Head to the shallow end and place your back against the wall, stretching your arms along the pool edge. Start moving your legs as if you were pedaling a bicycle – the higher you bring your legs up, the harder you’ll work. Aim for 30 seconds to begin with (longer if you’re able), then rest and repeat.

6. Water crunches

Continue in the ‘bicycle abs’ position – back against the wall, holding yourself up with your arms spread wide. From here, perform crunches in the water: straighten your legs out in front of you while still holding the edge and then bring your knees up to your chest. Straighten your legs again and repeat.

7. High knees

Run on the spot in the water, lifting your knees to hip height. Engage your core and focus on using your abs and glutes to lift your legs. Go slow and controlled if you just want to concentrate on your abs, or increase the pace for an added cardio challenge.

Triathlon Forum

Deep Water Running is an excellent substitute for running and overall aerobic fitness. That said, it is much more difficult to ‘burn calories’ or ‘lose weight’ or lose fat in the water just like swimming since you are suspended and weightless in the water; your body does not have to work to bear its own weight. This is why running burns so many more calories than cycling at the same feel of exertion.
You’re burning way less calories than you think as Deep Water Running at a “steady pace” as defined by the equivalent land running feel burns about the same amount of calories as land walking.
You are immersed to your neck or shoulders in water, so your body does not have to work as hard to cool itself. At a “steady pace” you are not heating up and naturally sweating anything like you would be in land running at that equivalent exertion level.
To burn calories and have the same net aerobic fitness level as land running, you need to work very, VERY hard in the water during Deep Water Running. You need to be very inefficient in the water, water-wise, in that your exertion and movements will barely be propelling you forward. Duplicating your land running form (or actually trying to improve it by exaggerating it) in the water requires you to lift your knees higher (but without reaching out with your feet and overstriding) feeling the water resistance against your upper thighs, shins, and fronts of your feet, have a much more pronounced butt kick on your ‘backstroke’ maximizing the water resistance against your calves and heels, and work your arms in a good ‘running form’ motion not trying to propel yourself forward in the water, but feeling the added water resistance against the back of your forearms as you pull back.
You can exert yourself much harder in the water and for a much more extended period of time. Hard, 95% effort intervals can be extended up to 5 minutes with only 60 seconds recovery between work efforts as your body will recover much faster in the water. I’ve done 2 hour HARD efforts in the pool that I could never duplicate in land running. And I have actually improved my running speed and overall fitness level with these hard and long interval sessions. But I cannot attribute much body weight or even fat loss to it.
While Deep Water Running, if you are not feeling very hot and sweaty (even in relatively cold water) and have to wipe the sweat out of your eyes all the time, then you are not working hard enough to burn equivalent calories.
Things to maximize your fitness and calorie burning:
1. Use an AquaJogger flotation belt to put you in the proper posture.
2. Get some special Deep Water Running shoes (AQx Aquatic Training shoes) to maximize the water resistance of your feet and give you the best ‘land running form feel’.
3. Use some Webbed Neoprene Gloves to maximize the water resistance of your hands and arms.
4. Deep Water Run in as warm of water as possible–outside in the brightest sunshine and highest ambient temps if possible.
5. Do hard, high-end aerobic intervals and don’t be afraid to do multiple anaerobic intervals with very short recoveries.
6. No Speedo’s! Wear your baggiest and longest swim TRUNKS to increase the water resistance against your thighs and waist.
7. Wear a Long Sleeve Rash Guard (aka sun protection surfing/swimming shirt) to increase the water resistance against your arms, shoulders, and torso. If you’ll be outside, make sure it’s black to absorb as much heat as in heat-you-up (and protect from UV) as possible.
8. There are some great Deep Water Running guides and information online. With more than 1,000 hours of Deep Water Running under by (aqua)-belt, I’ve written some of them. Start by doing a Slowtwitch Forum Search: deep water running
Burning lots of calories can be done, but it’s very difficult. No one in the pool with you with understand what you are doing, and if you’re not working very hard as in passing-out-hard like in a hard roadie group ride, as you probably already know, Deep Water Running is incredibly boring.

5 Common Swimming Myths—Busted!

Swimming is one of the best exercises for body and mind. It’s low impact, which makes it particularly great for beginners, injured athletes, or those looking for a good cross-training workout. And it burns almost as many calories as running, according to 2018 USDA physical fitness tables.

And yet, misconceptions and “alternative facts” about swimming abound. Many people, for instance, believe that you just can’t get a very good workout in the water. Others think it’s impossible to break a sweat in cool pool water. Then there are those who swear you have to wait an hour after eating to swim. But none of those things are true.

Here are the five most common swimming myths—and why they shouldn’t keep you from diving in this summer.

5 Common Swimming Myths—Busted!

Myth: You can’t get a good workout in the pool

It’s true that water workouts are low impact, which makes them easy on your body if you’re nursing an injury or want to avoid joint or knee pain. But low impact doesn’t equal low quality. Swimming is one of the best whole-body exercises around, as it requires the use of pretty much all of the major muscles in your arms and legs, as well as your hips, glutes, back and abdominals, says Terry “Speed” Heggy, a level 3 certified US Masters swim coach.

The reason you might not be getting a good workout? You could be holding your breath. “I see a lot of beginners go as far as they can without breathing, then come up for air, then put their heads down and again go as far as they can again without breathing,” says Heggy. “After about 200 yards, they are so fatigued that they have to quit.” Instead, you should be breathing every other stroke, or about as often as you would be during walking or running.

Myth: Swimming won’t lead to weight loss

Recreational swimmers are just like the rest of the general population—some are trim while others are not. That observation has led many to conclude swimming isn’t a very effective way to lose weight. But if you take a look at elite swimmers, you’ll notice right away that they have very little body fat and a whole lot of muscle. Which means, the truth is much more nuanced.

Any activity that burns calories and helps your body create a calorie deficit can lead to weight loss. Swimming burns more calories than walking and almost as many as jogging. It’s true—a 154-pound person burns 255 calories for a half hour of slow pool strokes, versus 140 calories for the same amount of time spent walking and 295 for jogging. And you can torch even more by getting your heart rate up with swim intervals, says Heggy. He recommends starting with 10 times 100 yards, with 10 seconds of rest in between each one. “The important part is the 10 seconds of rest,” Heggy says. “You need to keep your heart rate up enough to get in an aerobic zone, where you’re breathing hard at the end of each 100 and leaving before you’re fully recovered.”

Myth: Hydrating while swimming is optional.

When you ramp up the intensity of any workout—in the pool or elsewhere—you’re raising your body temperature and your body responds by sweating. You just don’t notice it in the pool, since the sweat is immediately washed away, says Heggy. Just as you would during any other workout, you need to stay hydrated: Drink water if your swim workout is less than an hour and down an electrolyte-enhanced sports drink if it’s over an hour.

Also, it’s possible to overheat in the pool, especially if the water temperature is slightly elevated, which can be the case in outdoor pools. Olympic and FINA rules state that competitive swimming pools should be between 77 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. If the water is much warmer than that, take frequent drink breaks and get out of the water if you start to feel faint, nauseated, or lightheaded. “It’s the same as if you were running a marathon on a 100-degree day,” says Heggy. “If the water is too warm, your body’s cooling mechanism can be negated, so you have to come out of the water and vent some of that heat.”

Myth: It’s OK to pee in the pool—chlorine kills everything!

The typical commercial swimming pool contains about 20 gallons of urine, according to a study in Environmental Science & Technology Letters. But that doesn’t mean it’s healthy—or safe. In fact, when chlorine reacts with sweat, body oil, and urine it creates noxious chemicals, most notably trichloraminen and cyanogen chloride, which can cause breathing problems for those who suffer from asthma and other respiratory illnesses. The moral here: Shower before you enter the pool, and please (please!), stop peeing in it.

Myth: You should wait an hour after eating to swim

Blame your mom—and all the other neighborhood moms—for this one. For years, the prevailing wisdom was that you shouldn’t jump in the pool for an hour after eating because the energy required to digest your food would shunt blood away from your arms and legs, causing you to cramp and, presumably, drown. But several studies have disproved this tired mantra. In reality, less than one percent of drownings in the U.S. occurred after the victim ate a meal. “When you start exercising, your body is smart enough to say ‘We’ll save the digestion for later,’” says Heggy. “If your body really needs to concentrate on digesting a big meal, you might have a slower workout.”

Downing a cocktail or beer before swimming is another matter, though: A staggering 70% of water-related deaths among adolescents and adults were alcohol-related. So feel free to swim after eating, but stay on dry ground if you’re not sober.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.

Gabi Redford

Gabi Redford is an award-winning health and fitness writer in Annapolis, Maryland. An avid open water swimmer and triathlete, she is a four-time All American triathlete and three-time qualifier for the ITU World Championships as a member of Team USA.

Calories Burned by Pool Running Vs. Land Running

Although running on land is more widely performed than running in a pool, aqua running is gaining in popularity, reports “The Sunday Times.” When done consistently and correctly, both modes of running effectively burn calories.


A calorie is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree. Nutritionally speaking, a calorie is a unit of energy that is supplied by food. In order to lose 1 pound of body fat, you must reduce your normal, needed caloric intake by 3,500 calories. Metabolism is the process of breaking down food for use as energy. Increasing activity, such as adding running to a fitness regimen, increases metabolism and thereby helps reduce calories. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends performing at least two hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week 2.

Land Running

Running on land is a high-impact activity. Injuries can occur as a result of the stress put on the body, particularly the knees, legs and feet. When running on land, wear proper-fitting shoes that are not worn out. Use proper running form to not only avoid injuries, but also to improve efficiency. All movement should be forward without bouncing or hopping.

Aqua Running

Running in water has been used by physiotherapists since the 1980s to help rehabilitate injured athletes. Water cushions the body and is gentler on joints than hard surfaces. According to the 2000 article Dr. Robert Wilder of the University of Virginia School of Medicine, published in the “Charlottesville and Albemarle Observer,” aqua running closely simulates land running in intensity yet provides a lower impact on the body 3. To maintain proper form when aqua running, the water should be at shoulder-level with your mouth out of the water. You should look straight ahead, your body slightly forward with hands clenched, your arms should be positioned as if running on land and your feet should not touch the bottom of the pool. Finally, your leg motion should also be the same as with land running. Use a vest or belt for buoyancy.

Burning Calories

According to Wilder, running on land burns approximately 8 calories in one minute. Running in water burns approximately 11.5 calories in the same amount of time. He attributes this difference to water resistance and the fact that an aqua runner must work the upper body more than a land runner. Other factors that affect calorie burn are the intensity and duration of the running, body weight, degree of fitness and metabolism. A person weighing 130 pounds will generally burn fewer calories than a person weighing 180 pounds doing the exact same activity.

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