Toning in the Pool: 5 Great Workouts

Toning in the pool places less stress on your joints than more conventional exercises. The water also provides gentle resistance, making workouts more effective. Here are some great workouts for toning in the pool.

The Wave Maker

The wave maker works your ab muscles, your glutes, your back and your legs. Either grasp the edge of the pool above the water with both hands, or grasp it with one hand and move the other one under the water, pressing it flat on the pool wall. Now, keeping your head above the water and allowing your hands to steady yourself against the wall, kick like a mermaid for 30 seconds. Your legs and ankles should be together and the motion should be rolling from your hips to your feet. If you can’t manage the full kick for 30 seconds, try kicking as you would when swimming normally for some of the time. If you have placed one hand below the other, remember to switch them for a second attempt.

The Pike Scull

Sculling is another term for paddling, and this exercise will work your abdominal muscles and your arms as you paddle yourself down the pool. Use your hands to keep yourself afloat and bring your legs up, leaning back as though you were going to sit down. Bring your feet right out of the water, keeping your legs and torso straight and your abs tight. You should be in a V shape, with your toes and head above water. Now, cup your hands and use them to scull yourself the length of the pool, or for 30 seconds.

The Ball Lever

You’ll need a small beach ball for this exercise which works the arms, abs and back. Float face down on the water (either hold your breath for the exercise, or keep your face lifted) with your legs straight and feet together. Holding the ball, straighten your arms so they are pointing at the pool floor. Now, arc the ball towards your thighs, pulling it through the water as fast as you can. Once it touches your thighs, pull it up your body toward your chest, and use this time to take a breath, then repeat.

The Otter Roll

You’ll need the beach ball again. Hold it to your chest, wrapping it with your arms. Float on your back, with your legs and body held straight. Now, take a breath and twist yourself in the water, so that you roll onto your stomach, and then your back again, while keeping your legs as straight as possible. Use your whole body to roll, particularly your shoulders and hips.

The K-Tread

This is an excellent whole body workout that you’ll need to do in the deep end of the pool. Cup your hands and paddle them near your hips to keep yourself afloat as you do this exercise. Straighten your legs toward the bottom of the pool, pointing your toes. Now, lift one leg so it is pointing straight ahead and level with your hips. Hold it there for five seconds, then switch legs as quickly as you can. Repeat for an equal amount of reps with each leg.


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