6 aquatic exercise routines to make summer fitness fun


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Summer hasn’t even officially begun yet, and we've had some thousand-degree days already. Why not skip the stinging sweat and get in the pool for your workout instead? Swimming offers you a plethora of benefits and aquatic exercise can help you stay strong even if you need a gentle exercise routine. But if you're searching for something a little more advanced and intense, then check out these options.


1. Improve flexibility 

Photo by Stephen Fink for Rodale Wellness 

via Rodale Wellness

If you’re just getting the hang of this whole pool workout thing, why not begin with some simple stretches? Rodale Wellness presents stretches that are perfect for runners; in fact, you’ve probably performed many of these on land after a run. The water will relax you and help support your body weight, while the stretches will help release any tension you’re holding in places where runners feel a great deal of stress, such as your IT band, hip flexors and hamstrings.


2. 6 Moves for a Total-Body Water Workout

Photograph by Hilmar Hilmar for Prevention 

via Prevention

The moves in this full workout are simple enough that those who are still adjusting to working out in the water will feel comfortable attempting them. This no-fuss routine includes a water walking warm-up as well as familiar exercises like scissors and arm curls that work well for those who are looking to advance their aquatic fitness past basic moves but aren’t ready for advanced-level workouts. The static images and written descriptions are thorough and easy to understand.


3. Let’s Go For A Dip!

Tone It Up 

via Tone it Up

This is a great workout if you are very familiar with swimming and want to bring some structure to your routine. It is simply presented as a list accompanied by descriptions of some of the exercises, so you’ll really need a solid knowledge of swimming styles to complete this workout safely and effectively. Here, you’ll find freestyle, breaststroke, the very tough triceps getups and more. You’ll also be incorporating a kickboard at times. It’s a fun, challenging workout that will get your whole body in tip-top shape, and with so many variations throughout the routine, you won’t get bored.


4. The Ultimate Pool Workout


via Self

It may be hard to imagine getting a solid strength training workout in the water, but Self proves otherwise. In this workout, a pool noodle helps to stabilize and adds resistance. (Water, by the way, is 12 times more resistant than air, so you’re really going to be working those muscles, guys.) Self’s routine is a lot of fun and super challenging, though the buoyancy of the water will make this workout kinder to stiff, achy joints. The static images and written instructions work well together to help you understand each move.


5. Slim Down in a Splash! Pool Workout


via Fitness

These totally weird moves like the otter roll use the water’s resistance along with a beach ball to tone your entire body. A great bonus here is that, in addition to written descriptions, Fitness has included instructional videos that fully demonstrate each move, so you’ll really be able to understand what you're doing. There are also modifications that make this friendly for those who aren’t ready for an advanced-level workout.


6. Take Your Yoga Practice into the Pool


via HellaWella

Find your Zen with this routine. Here, we make the case for aquatic yoga and show you some simple poses you can do in the water. The H20 + Triangle will help you stretch your hips without the strain that can sometimes occur with typical yoga, while the Standing Cobra will help you reap all the benefits of this baby backbend without strain on your arms and shoulders.


Aquatic exercise is a lot of fun and helps your body stay strong and healthy, but practicing pool safety is an absolute must. Never work out alone in a pool. Make sure there is a lifeguard on duty. Take swimming lessons and water exercise classes to get comfortable working out in water and learn proper breathing techniques and form. Be sure to familiarize yourself with your pool facility’s rules and regulations. Also, always consult your medical professional before beginning these or any other workouts. To learn more, head over to our rundown of the Red Cross’s recommendations for swimming safety, and check out HellaWella’s pre-pool stretching routine.