Water Fitness Activities

Not every effective fitness activity has to take place in a gymnasium or playing field. The pool is an excellent place to do some body toning and burn off those calories. In fact, for people with joint problems, the water is a good environment as it offers less stress on joints, tendons, and muscles.

Try these moves for toning your body and trimming off those extra pounds.



Arms, back, chest, abs, butt, and hamstrings

  • In the deep end, tread water, making small circles with cupped hands, and lift right leg straight in front of you at hip level while reaching toes of left leg toward bottom of pool. Hold for 5 seconds.

In the deep end of the pool, do circles with your arms. Extend right leg out straight in front at hip level. Point your left foot toward the bottom of the pool. Hold while you count out five seconds (one Mississippi, two Mississippi…) Switch legs and repeat. Squeeze glutes and keep legs straight while doing this. Continue this exercise for two minutes. This can burn off eleven calories a minute. It’s as effective as a six-mile-an-hour run and a lot less jarring on your joints.

  1. Otter Roll

Back, abs, butt, and legs

Otter Roll
  • Hugging beach ball to chest, float on back, legs extended, feet together.
  • Roll toward left and over top of ball (like an otter spinning in the water), using entire body — shoulders, back, core, legs — to make a full revolution, returning to start. Take a breath. (Beginners can rock from side to side with head above water throughout.)
  • Continue for 30 seconds, alternating direction of roll.

Tip: Really drive your leading shoulder and hip into the water to get rolling.

Tuck a beach ball into your chest. Float on your chest with your legs extended. Drive your leading shoulder and elbow into the water and roll over to the left over top of the beach ball. Use your entire body to make a complete roll over. Continue to do rolls for half a minute switching the hand holding the ball against your chest and alternating rolls to left and right.

  1. Ball Extender

Float face down in the pool. Hold a beach ball extended from both hands below your torso. Keep your arms straight. Draw the ball quickly through the water toward your thighs. Bend arms and bring ball back to its original position. Repeat for half a minute.

  1. Jack Knife Sit Ups
Jack-Knife Situps

Stand in the shallow end of the pool. Sit. Tread water with your hands and bring legs up in a jack knife or “V” position. Move hands to propel body forward in this Vee position. Continue for half a minute.

  1. Dolphin Kick
Dolphin Kicks

Face the edge of the pool. Put one hand on the edge and one in the water against the pool wall. Extend legs and kick like a dolphin as hard and big as you can. Make waves. This is an excellent toning exercise for hips, and abs. If you find it hard to make waves with your feet together widen them to do a flutter kick. Gradually bring legs together as you get better at this. Repeat for half a minute.

  1. Stand and Row
Upright Rows








Use a Theraband or Skipping Rope or other elastic rope for this. In medium height water, stand on the band or rope with both feet. Place the right handle or end in your left hand and the left handle or end in your right hand. First, lift your right leg out the side, pulling handles or ends toward your shoulders. Return to original position. Repeat the move with your left leg. Continue alternating legs for one minute.

  1. Aquatic Squats
Aquatic Squats








Stand on the Theraband or skipping rope or elastic rope with both feet slightly wider than shoulder-width. Hold one handle in each hand. Squat as though you were sitting down in a chair. Keep your knees behind your toes. Hold for five seconds (one Mississippi, two Mississippi…) Stand up, pressing hands overhead. Hold the position for five seconds. Repeat for 1 minute.

  1. Pectoral Workout
Pectoral Pushes








Stand with right foot two or three feet in front of left foot. Put your left foot on top of the Theraband, skipping rope, or elastic rope. Hold ends or handles at chest level. Bend elbows. Press handles or ends forward, extending arms out in front of your chest. Go back to original position. Repeat moves for a minute.

  1. Knee Lifts
Knee Lifts








Start with arms above your head, shoulder width apart holding a cardboard or foam roller like a victory banner as high as you can reach. Life your left knee. Lower hands toward the water in front of you. Switch legs and repeat moves. Do for a minute.

10. Knee Tuck

Knee Tuck

Stand two feet away from the side of the pool facing the pool wall, with your feet hip-width apart. Rest your hands on wall. Pull left knee up toward your chest. Round your back and tighten your abs. Extend your left leg behind you. Squeeze your glutes. Switch legs, and repeat. Do this for half a minute.

Thanks to prevention.com for the images and ideas.


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