In-Pool Exercises for your Home Swimming Pool

In addition to adding an element of fun to your exercise, water-based exercise can soothe sore joints, offer added resistance for burning more calories, and make for a low impact form of exercise. (For more on the benefits of water-based exercise, check out our blog post about it.) Many reserve water-based exercise to swimming laps and participating in water aerobics courses at the gym, but what about when you’re at home and want to take advantage of the benefits of aquatic fitness? Here are some in-pool exercises that you can do at home in your own swimming pool.

Running or Walking

Yep—even just running or walking in your swimming pool can be a great low-impact form of exercise. Try walking back and forth in your pool in water that is about waist level.


Many do “bicycles” while sitting down in order to work out their abs, but did you know that you can try this exercise in water as well for an even better workout? Stand by the edge of the pool, prop your elbows up on the pool edge (using a soft towel underneath if needed), and “pedal” your legs outward while your body is partially submerged underwater. Be sure to pedal both forwards and backwards for a well-rounded core exercise.

Leg Lifts

This exercise involves starting in the same position that you start in when doing in-pool bicycles, only with your arms extended rather than folded. While holding your upper body up with your arms, extend your legs into the pool and slowly lower them, then lifting them together as high as you can. Work to keep your legs perfectly straight and together.

Pool Planks

For another core-focused exercise, try pool planks. Stand in the middle of the pool holding a pool noodle with your hands, about shoulder-width apart. Then, lean forward and push the noodle down in the pool until your body reaches an even incline. Stay in this position for as long as you can and let the natural pushing and pulling of the water help you work out your core.

Water Weights

There are a variety of water dumbbells, weighted ankle cuffs, and longer barbells that you can get for aquatic exercise. Try creating your own at-home water aerobics workout with use use of these water weights, practicing lifting the weights against the resistance of the water. Just be sure to keep the full range of motion here under the water.

There are a few tips to keep in mind when doing any water-based exercise. First, it helps to wear water shoes for better traction and webbed gloves for added resistance to arm movements. Second, even though you are spending time in water, you still need to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. And third, be sure that you stay in water that is waist-level, or chest-level in those cases when you want to incorporate your arms in your exercise.

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