5 Great Pool Exercises to Boost Weight Loss

Pool season is here and if you’re looking to lose some weight, or get in shape, then pool exercises are a great way to do it. There are so many wonderful benefits to working out in a pool. If you’re overweight or have an injury and regular exercise is too difficult for you, pool exercises could be just the thing you need.

When I’m hanging out in the pool with my kids, I like to incorporate some of these to help get my heart rate up, burn some calories, and build a little lean muscle! One cool tool for the pool (yes, I just rhymed on purpose), is a pool waistband… you wrap it around your waist and it helps you stay afloat while doing exercises on the deep end! My sister has a pool and this is the one she has.


Some find that it’s less jarring on the body to work out in a pool instead of dry land, or they use the pool exercises to help supplement the workouts they are already getting. It’s also great for physical therapy or healing and keeping moving after injury. But what do you do when you’re in the pool?

Here are five great pool exercises to boost weight loss:

photo credit: Bujint

1. Aerobics

Do jumping jacks and leg lifts in the water! The added resistance will give you a great workout and get that metabolic drive going!

For the pool jumping jacks, start with your feet together and arms bent at 90 degrees and by your sides. Jump both legs out, and at the same time, lift both bent arms up to shoulder height—keep your arms underwater for the best effect. While jumping, focus on “powering in” to target the inner thighs, or “powering out” to target the outer hips.

For the leg lifts, stand with your left side facing the pool wall, feet together and holding onto the edge of the pool with your left hand. Lift your right leg out to the side, leading with the heel and back to center. When at the halfway point, turn around to do the other side.

To take it up a notch, snag some Water Dumbbells to increase the resistance while in the water too! You could also use empty milk jugs! Just clean two out and make sure the lids are on tight to keep the air inside and the water out.

photo credit: Alive

2. Pool running

For this exercise, stand in one spot and drive your knees up one at a time while pumping your arms. Use your core and keep your body upright to get the most benefit. You can also focus on driving your legs back to the floor of the pool for another benefit. 

You can also use the pool belt and go out to the deep end and do high knee lifts or lunges in the pool. You’ll get a good core workout too!

 photo credit: Shape

3. “Spiderman”

This is a fun one that kids often do without realizing it. You just stand in water at the side of the pool, then “walk” up and down the pool wall, like you’re Spiderman climbing a wall. The challenge in this move lies in using your arms to keep you from floating away from the wall.  Try to do 4 at a time, and then increase if needed.

photo credit: Shape

4. Pool Planks

This is just like planks on land except a lot easier in the water. It’s a great core-strengthener and it’s great to do in the water if you don’t quite have the upper body strength to hold the post for long on dry land. Using a pool noodle, hold it out in front of you and lower yourself until you are in the plank position. Make sure you body is straight. Try it in the pool and see how long you can hold it for.

5. Butterfly Swimming

This specific style of swimming can help you burn more calories and strengthen your core and your upper and lower abs. Check out Breaking Muscle for the basic, how-to butterfly swim breakdown.  

Now you have five wonderful ideas to help you with exercising in the pool. The next time you head out to the pool, you can make the most of your time there. In addition to these exercises, good, old-fashioned swimming is a great way to boost weight loss in the pool. Swim often, and as much as you can. If you’re lucky enough to have access to a pool, then try to get there as much as you can.

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