What Are Some Good Exercises to Do in the Swimming Pool?

Swimming Pool Exercises

Taking a refreshing swim in the pool is a popular activity for many. For a lot of folks, swimming beats any other form of exercise.

But did you know that utilizing the water’s resistance can take your workout to a whole new level? That’s right—try out these effective swimming pool exercises to shed body fat and witness those pounds vanish. The best part? Exercising in the water is not only effective but also enjoyable and less tiring!

It caters to various age groups and is specifically beneficial for individuals dealing with conditions like fibromyalgia or arthritis. Moreover, it’s fantastic for improving balance, endurance, and flexibility. Just a quick session in the pool can fulfill your daily workout needs! Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? So, get your swimsuits ready and let’s dive in.

When talking about fitness and swimming pools, they seem almost inseparable. Exercising in the pool is both enjoyable and soothing. While working out in the summer might leave you feeling overheated, exercising in the water doesn’t have the same effect.

Now, let’s dive deeper and explore some fantastic swimming pool exercises that don’t involve swimming laps across the pool.

1. Spider-Man Crawl

Embrace your inner Spider-man and scale the pool wall just like the superhero himself. This gravity-defying move is unique to the water and offers a rigorous workout for your core and back muscles.

Here’s how to do a Spider-man crawl:

  1. Stand in the water by one side of the pool.
  2. Move your hands back and forth continuously, engaging your upper body.
  3. Let your legs move sideways along the pool and back to the pool floor.
  4. Perform four quick Spiderman exercises, alternating with each leading leg, once you reach the end of the circuit.

2. Pool Plank

We’ve all mastered planks on dry land, but have you ever given a pool plank a try? Doing a plank in water presents a different challenge, especially if you don’t have significant upper body strength. In the water, it pushes your endurance and puts your core to the test in unique ways.

Here’s how to do a pool plank:

  1. Stand on the pool floor, holding a pool noodle vertically in your hands.
  2. Apply force to submerge the pool noodle and lean forward, pushing your body into an inclined position while keeping your head above the water.
  3. Maintain this position for 1-2 minutes.

3. Cardio Burst

Take your jogging routine to the pool for a cardio burst. By creating currents in the water and running through them, you’ll engage and strengthen your core muscles. The focus here is on your core, not your shoulders or legs. Maintain alignment—ears, hips, and shoulders—in a vertical line throughout.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Run in an irregular pattern from one end of the pool to the other, navigating through the currents you’ve generated.
  2. Begin with 3-minute intervals. Alternate this exercise with a less cardio-intensive routine. It’s considered one of the most effective swimming pool exercises for weight loss.

4. Swimming Pool Leg Lifts

You might have tried leg lifts before, but doing them in water brings a whole new challenge. This exercise is fantastic for your core and legs, guaranteed to leave you feeling thoroughly worked out.

Here’s the technique:

  1. Position yourself by leaning back on the edge of the pool.
  2. Lower your legs straight down, then lift them as high as possible while keeping them straight and bringing them together.
  3. The water adds resistance, making it more challenging as you work against the water force, requiring your body’s strength to maintain stability.

5. Aqua Jumping Jacks

This exercise is an exceptional full-body workout, engaging various muscle groups simultaneously, making it a dynamic addition to your pool routine. Performing jumping jacks in the pool introduces a unique dimension to the traditional move, seemingly defying gravity as the water’s resistance envelops you, intensifying the effort and enhancing the challenge.

Here’s how to do Aqua jumping jacks:

  1. Perform jumping jacks in the pool, maintaining a consistent rhythm.
  2. Feel the resistance of the water surrounding you, adding intensity to the exercise.
  3. Focus on widening your stance and bringing your legs together, embracing the challenge of balance.
  4. Avoid letting your feet touch the pool floor when closing your legs together.
  5. For an added challenge, attempt the exercise without allowing your feet to touch the pool floor at all!

6. Flutter Kicks

Flutter kicks are among the top-tier swimming pool exercises, often one of the initial skills learned in the swimming journey. This workout serves as an excellent introduction to adapting to the resistance of water while gripping the pool’s edge and kicking vigorously for stability. It’s a comprehensive exercise engaging not just your core and legs but your entire body.

Here’s how to do flutter kicks:

  1. Begin by holding onto the edge of the pool or using a noodle or paddleboard for support.
  2. Initiate a strong and continuous kicking motion with your legs stretched out behind you.
  3. While it might appear straightforward initially, maintaining straight and aligned legs presents its own challenge.
  4. As you kick, you might naturally slow down, but the key is to sustain a quick pace for optimal results.
  5. Consistent and rapid kicking will help you achieve the desired workout intensity and benefits.


Looking to shed some fat and maintain a toned physique this summer? Opting for these straightforward swimming pool exercises might be your ideal solution.

While consistent treadmill sessions can yield results, let’s face it, they can get monotonous over time. Spice up your fitness routine and infuse some excitement with these challenging yet enjoyable aquatic workouts!

Ready to dive in and give them a shot? I’d love to hear how these exercises worked out for you!

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Dr. Jade Marie Tomaszewski is a pathologist-in-training at McGill University, where she also did her degree in MSc Pathology. She obtained her medical degree (MD) from the University of the Philippines, after completing a BSc in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. In her (little) spare time, she enjoys spending time with family, curling up with a book and a large mug of tea, and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. You can follow her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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