I’m sure you’ve heard from time to time that swimming is great exercise. I certainly have and also know it to be a fact. The reason for this is because moving in water amazingly blends together the best of both worlds, so to speak, when it comes to fitness!

The weight of the water provides great resistance for strength training and building endurance in your muscles, but at the same time it doesn’t sacrifice the ability to move at constant paces for long enough durations necessary for cardiovascular training!

Some of the most effective ways to train and push the body are those in which a strength training element is utilized within a full body cardiovascular tempo. Swimming and water aerobics undoubtedly provide that benefit! Not to mention how joint safe it is due to it’s low impact nature.


So, what are the best exercises and techniques to take advantage of the training benefits water can provide?

Here are some exercises and tips to have great water workouts and burn a lot of fat along the way:

• Emphasize lateral (sideways) and transverse (twisting) movements more so than up and down movements. The buoyancy from water makes a lot of upward downward exercises too easy. Also, in these directions there is often not much space to perform the exercise for the extended period of time needed to produce a cardio effect.

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• Use the length and width of the pool fairly often to create one or two or more minute intervals of steady state cardiovascular work. Like counting laps. Set goals of certain amounts of time reaching each end during a particular exercise.

• For any movements or muscle groups where your strength or stamina is poor, you can modify to just counting reps instead of using space for laps.

• Even when counting reps still try to reach high enough numbers so that it takes you a minute or two or more to complete. Again, this trains endurance and cardio and not just strength.

• As with most of the better training methods, make sure your routine is dominated by large muscle group exercises and functional movements that use arms and/or legs and core all at the same time. This makes for higher amounts of calorie burn and more challenging and well rounded sessions.

• Water height should be waist level give or take a few inches, when doing standing, walking, or running exercises. Too high and you’re not able to move at a good enough pace.

Sample Water Routine:

1. Freestyle swim 1 lap, breast stroke 1 lap (If cannot swim kneel or stand while doing the respective upper body actions from a leaned position in the water).
2. Walking lunges 2 laps down and back, with arm fly’s at the bottom the lunge.
3. Holding Squat position: 3 sets of small DB shoulder raises arms in water, then 3 sets Bicep Curls.
4. Hang from edge of pool with back against wall and do 3 sets of 15 leg raises.
5. Straight Arm extensions pressing water down with palms either kneeling or standing but just making sure water level is at chest.
6. In kneeling position on two knees 3 sets of 15 fast torso twists in each direction.
7. Side Shuffles from a half Squat position 2 laps down and back.

Now that should be a great thorough water workout for you! It covers arms, back, front and side core, and a whole bunch of legs! And, it probably would take a half hour or more… So, fit world please feel free to take these ideas and make them into something your own. And as always train hard and well and have fun expanding your routines! Leave me feedback on this and all my article topics. I look forward to working with you all in the future!

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Pollyanna Hale Health and Lifestyle coaches
Lost 13 Kg in Total
Mel, 32y Location: London, United Kingdom Working with Pollyanna changed everything. I lost 13kg, got toned and have more energy than ever! Get same results!


Chriz Zaremba Fitness Consultant
Lost 45 Kg in Total
Chris, 50y Location: London, United Kingdom Lost 45kg after the age of 50 and now competes and wins physique competitions and runs marathons Check our weight loss plans