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The Best Exercises for Water and Pool Workouts

by Crystal Welch

About Crystal Welch

Crystal Welch has a 30-year writing history. Her more than 2,000 published works have been included in the health and fitness-related Wellness Directory, Earthdance Press and Higher Source. She is an award-winning writer who teaches whole foods cooking and has written a cookbook series. She operates an HON-code-certified health-related blog with more than 95,000 readers. Welch has a B.B.A. from Eastern Michigan University.



The best exercises for water and pool workouts will involve three types of exercises: endurance, strength and flexibility. Endurance increases your cardiovascular health, states the American Heart Association. Strength and flexibility will improve your muscle strength and range of motion, respectively. You need to do all exercises in order to improve your overall health, according to the Aquatic Exercise Association.

Pool Walking

Pool walking is known as an endurance exercise that helps to improve your cardiovascular health. Get into chest-deep water, advises the University of Washington Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Department. Act as if you are going for your daily walk as you walk the pool's perimeter. Remember to swing your arms as you walk. Hold onto the pool's side for balance if you need to. Be certain that your feet are touching the pool's bottom. You will decrease your chances of injuring yourself by doing this. Alternate your walking routine to spice it up. Walk in circles, from one side of the pool and back or from one end of the pool and back on different days. Try walking backwards, forwards and sideways for variety. Walk for five minutes when you begin. Gradually increase this to 30 minutes on at least five days of the week. Increase your intensity by doing power walking. This involves increasing your walking speed and adding weighted boots or hand weights to your routine.


Doing a superman water exercise will stretch your muscles. Get into shoulder-deep water. Rest your hands on the side of the pool, recommends Spine-health.com. Lift yourself off the ground so that your body and legs are outstretched and supported by the water. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Lower yourself so that your feet are touching the pool's bottom. Relax for two minutes. Repeat this exercise 10 times. Burn more calories and increase the intensity of this exercise by moving your legs up and down in a swimming-type maneuver while your body is outstretched.

Side Leg Raise

Strengthen your legs while doing a side leg raise in the water. Get into chest-deep water. Stand with your left side against the pool's wall, says the University of Washington Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Department. Hold onto the side of the pool with your left hand. Keep your knees relaxed. Slowly raise your right leg out to the side. Hold this position for five seconds. Return your leg to the standing position. Repeat this exercise 10 times. Rest for one minute. Rotate your body so that your right side is against the pool's side. Do this exercise with your left leg. Increase your intensity by adding an ankle weight to your legs.

Arm Circles

Arm circles will help you increase muscle strength. Get into shoulder-deep water. Lift your arms in front of you until they are a few inches below water level. Make certain your elbows are straight, according to the University of Washington Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Department. Start making small circles with both of your arms. Begin by making clockwise-direction circles the size of a softball. Make 10 small circles. Return your arms to your sides. Rest for one minute. Lift your arms again and make 10 counterclockwise circles. Gradually increase your circle size to that of a basketball. Then, start making your circles smaller in size for another minute. Be sure not to raise your arms out of the water while doing this exercise.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.