The Best Water Aerobics Exercises for Maximum Results

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Water aerobics offers a great combination of cardio and strength training exercises amplified by the natural resistance of water. These exercises burn calories, strengthen muscles and bones, and are less strenuous on joints.

According to a recent study, 12-weeks of two 50-minute water aerobics classes per week is enough to improve explosive strength and lower systolic blood pressure, without changing lipid profile values.

Water Walking

Walking in Water Aerobics Exercises is a low-impact exercise that strengthens the legs and core. It also increases the range of motion for the joints and helps increase flexibility. The resistance of the water provides a workout that’s similar to walking on land, and can be modified for different intensity levels. It’s a great way to get familiar with the water, and it’s also a good warm-up for the rest of your water aerobics workout.

Start by walking forward in waist-deep water, keeping the weight on the heels and toes, and pushing through the feet. Move your arms forward and backward, swinging them together or flapping them like a breaststroke to work the chest and arm muscles. To increase intensity, walk faster and raise your knees high to work the inner and outer thigh muscles.

You can also shuffle sideways to work the leg muscles and core. To add variety, try lifting the knees with each step to work the quads and hip flexors, or even walking backward in the pool to challenge the core and lower body muscles.

Walking is a simple exercise, but you can add variations to increase the challenge and the results of your workout. You can use ankle weights or foam dumbbells to increase the resistance and create a more challenging exercise, or add a hand web to perform biceps-targeting hand flutters. Stand in chest-deep water with your feet together and knees soft, then tuck the elbows under and lift them to shoulder height without breaking the surface of the water. Return to the starting position and repeat for 10 repetitions.

Squat Jumps

A plyometric exercise, squat jumps work the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and glutes to create explosive lower body power. Often used by athletes to improve their vertical jumping ability in sports such as basketball, tennis and rugby, the exercise is also an excellent choice for those looking to add more variety to their lower body training.

To perform a squat jump, stand with your feet hip-width apart then descend into a low squat (below parallel but not all the way down) then explode upward and cushion your landing by bringing your knees to your chest. Once landed, control your descent and slowly return to the bottom position to reset before jumping again.

As with all jumping exercises, squat jumps will engage your core muscles to support your legs as they explode upward. They will also help to improve your balance. If you are new to the exercise, be sure to start slow and build up to more reps as you become more comfortable with the movement.

A research study found that squat jumps are a great lower body strength building exercise and can increase your leg strength significantly (7). It can also be a good progression from bodyweight squats and a suitable regression from broad jumps. The Squat Jump has also been found to be a good measure of lower-body explosive power (3-5). This makes it an appropriate test for a number of different sports, including jumping and Olympic weightlifting.

Water Jogging

Whether you’re looking for an alternative to pounding the pavement during summer heat or a way to maintain your running fitness in colder weather, water jogging (also known as aqua jogging) is a great option. It works the muscles of the lower body—including the hip flexors—but without the impact and stress on the joints and knees that comes with traditional running.

Water jogging workouts are also a great way to break through a fitness plateau. Incorporating high-intensity interval training sprints and tempo run intervals into your sessions will challenge the heart and improve overall aerobic capacity. Plus, if you’re suffering from a running injury, plyometric exercises like these can help you avoid further damage by strengthening the muscles of the hips and knees.

As a safety precaution, always wear a flotation device and keep your arms away from the sides of the pool. Try to simulate your regular running style as closely as possible. While a cupped hand or open palm can be tempting, the best technique is to keep your fist loosely closed and let your legs move you forward. Once your workout is complete, take off the flotation device and swim for a few minutes to cool down.

Tuck Jumps

Tuck jumps are a great way to increase power and speed, while also strengthening the core. They are an ideal bodyweight exercise to incorporate into a full-body workout routine and can be performed either as part of a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) session or within a more extensive plyometric training regimen.

The movement of tuck jumps recruits nearly every muscle in your lower body, including your quadriceps, calves, gluteals, and hamstrings. The dynamic action of jumping and then tucking your legs into your chest engages the ab muscles as well, helping to draw the knees towards the chest, which creates that panting noise.


Like most plyometric exercises, tuck jumps require a fair amount of flexibility. They can be especially challenging for athletes who aren’t used to jumping or don’t stretch regularly. A lack of flexibility can lead to stiff, tight muscles, misaligned joints, and poor posture. To avoid injury, it’s important to warm up properly before engaging in tuck jumps with a dynamic stretching routine and light cardio activity. It’s also critical to listen to your body, and stop when you feel any pain or discomfort. Pushing through pain can lead to severe injury.


As you land back down, your core is once again engaged as it works to absorb the shock and return control to the lower body. As a result, tuck jumps are a great way to strengthen your core and improve balance and stability.


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