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The Ultimate Full-Body Pool Workout

Jun. 1, 2023 / VASA Admin
Female athlete swimming laps in VASA Fitness pool

Pool workouts are a great way to get in shape using low-impact exercises. To get the most out of your pool session, try a full-body swimming workout! This dynamic exercise routine combines the resistance and buoyancy of water to create a challenging, unique workout experience. Dive into the world of aquatic fitness and discover the incredible benefits of the ultimate full-body pool workout.



Benefits of a full-body pool workout: This workout utilizes the natural resistance of water to engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously, providing a comprehensive and efficient exercise session. Water resistance not only challenges your muscles but also enhances cardiovascular endurance, making it a perfect choice for individuals of all fitness levels.

Warm-up routine: Before diving into the main workout, a proper warm-up is crucial. Begin with dynamic stretches for the upper body, such as arm circles and shoulder rolls, to loosen up and improve mobility. Follow this with joint mobilization exercises for the lower body, such as knee lifts and ankle rotations. Complete the warm-up with a series of cardiovascular drills, such as water jogging or high knees, to elevate your heart rate and prepare your body for the upcoming workout.

Upper body exercises: The pool provides a fantastic environment to target your upper body muscles. Incorporate push-up variations, such as incline or decline push-ups on the pool steps, to engage your chest, shoulders, and triceps. Introduce water dumbbells into your routine for added resistance during exercises like bicep curls and lateral raises. Additionally, utilize resistance bands to target your back and chest muscles with exercises like seated rows and chest flies.

Lower body exercises: Give your lower body a challenging workout by incorporating various exercises in the pool. Squats and lunges performed in water provide excellent resistance and help strengthen your glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings. Leg kicks and knee raises in the water are effective for building lower body strength and improving balance. Take advantage of the pool’s buoyancy and engage in water jogging or treading to enhance endurance and work your leg muscles.

Core workout: Engaging your core muscles is crucial for stability and overall strength. In the pool, try floating planks and side planks to challenge your abdominal and oblique muscles. Abdominal crunches with water resistance provide an intense workout for your abs, while torso twists and Russian twists target your entire core. These exercises help sculpt your midsection while improving functional strength.

Interval training: To maximize calorie burn and to boost your metabolism, incorporate high-intensity interval training (HIIT) into your pool workout. Alternate between bursts of high-intensity exercises, such as fast-paced swimming or explosive jumps, and short recovery periods. Tabata-style workouts, consisting of 20 seconds of intense effort followed by 10 seconds of rest, can also be implemented to push your limits and achieve optimal results.

Cool-down and stretching: As you near the end of your workout, it’s essential to gradually lower your heart rate and stretch your muscles to prevent post-workout soreness. Engage in gentle movements like walking or light swimming to cool down. Follow this with static stretches that target major muscle groups, like your quadriceps, hamstrings, chest, and shoulders. Don’t forget to take advantage of the buoyancy of water during stretching, as it can provide added support and enhance flexibility.


30-minute pool workout

Try this equipment-free workout during your next pool session.



Warm Up: Walk as fast as you can in the pool or do high-knee exercises for 5 minutes. Do three sets of each move, resting for 15 seconds in between each set.

Laps: Swim 2-3 laps, resting for 10-15 seconds in between each lap.

Tricep Dips: With your back to the wall, place your hands flat on the edge of the pool and press yourself up as high as you can while straightening your arms. Do 10-20 reps.

Kicking: Hold onto the side of the pool (or grab a kickboard), and kick using the standard flutter (freestyle) kick or frog (breaststroke) kick. Spend 30 seconds kicking at a moderate pace, followed by 10 seconds of hard kicking. Rest for 15 seconds or remove the rest and go straight into the 30 seconds moderate. Complete 4 rounds (or four laps of the pool if using a kickboard).

Arm Curls: Extend your arms out to the side. Hinge at the elbows and flex your biceps, then release by extending your arms back out to the side while flexing your triceps. You can use water dumbbells if available or to increase the intensity. Complete 20 reps.

Jumps: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, with arms extended above your head. Squat low enough that your shoulders are under water. Jump straight up and bring legs together at the top of the jump. Do 20 reps.

Laps: Finish the workout by swimming 2-3 laps, resting for 10-15 seconds in between each lap.



Aquatic exercises for rehabilitation and injury prevention: Working out in water offers a safe and effective way to recover from injuries or manage chronic conditions. Water’s buoyancy reduces impact on the joints, making it an ideal environment for rehabilitation. Whether youre recovering from a sprained ankle or managing conditions like arthritis or back pain, exercises performed in water provide gentle resistance and support to aid in strengthening muscles, improving range of motion, and promoting healing. Aquatic therapy sessions led by trained professionals can target specific areas of concern and include exercises such as water walking, gentle swimming, and range of motion movements to gradually restore mobility and function. The therapeutic properties of water combined with targeted exercises make aquatic rehabilitation an invaluable tool in the recovery process. Visit VASAs indoor pool and spa the next time youre looking for a great low-impact, full-body workout!