7 Best Water Aerobics Exercises

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

There are many great water aerobics exercises that can get you moving in a fun, non-impactful, and healthy way

Water Aerobics

Water aerobics is a form of exercise in which aerobic exercises are performed in a relatively shallow body of water, such as a swimming pool. This has become a popular approach to fitness in older communities, as well as for people who are recovering from injuries or have problems with their joints. Many exercises like running or weightlifting can be difficult for some people, but water aerobics offers a healthy and effective workout. [1]

This is a type of resistance training, with water acting as the force against your movements, and this can help increase circulation and strength, while also burning calories and aiding in weight loss. You can do these workouts a few times a week for great results, and it allows you to exercise within your own limits! [2]

Trainer with senior citizens in a pool performing water exercises with weights

Water exercises can relieve arthritis and joint pain. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Water Aerobic Exercises

The best water aerobics exercises include water walk, k-treads, kick and punch, wavemakers, aqua jogging, standing push-ups, flutter kicking, and otter rolls, among others.

Water Walk

A good warm-up includes doing a few strides across the length of the pool, getting your body warmed up and used to the resistance of water.


Go to the deep side of the pool and make small circles with your arms, holding your legs pointed down. Then, raise one leg up and hold for five seconds, then alternate legs.

Kick and Punch

Go into water deep enough that covers your arms, then begin punching and kicking with alternating legs and arms. Do this rapidly, as this is a very effective cardiovascular exercise that will elevate your heart rate. [3]


Holding onto the side of the pool, keep your legs and feet together and flap your legs like a mermaid or a dolphin, working out your core, back, and buttocks.

Aqua Jogging

Just like land jogging, try to move your way through the water rapidly. Begin in shallow water and then go deeper as you improve at this exercise. [4]

Pike Skull

This exercise is performed by standing on the shallow side of the water. It involves treading with both hands at your sides and forming a “V” with your body by lifting both the legs together.

Flutter Kicking

Holding the side of the pool, flutter your feet rapidly underwater, which will work out your quadriceps, hips, and back muscles.

Water Push-Ups

At the edge of the pool, brace yourself up with your arms and lift your body halfway out of the pool. Hold for five seconds and then lower yourself, in control, back into the water.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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