Types of Water Aerobics Exercises

If you’re just getting started with water aerobics, it’s useful to first learn about a few different techniques before you hit the pool. If you’ve already been practicing water aerobics for a while, you might be interested in learning a few new techniques to change up your workout routine. Below we’ve compiled a list of some exercises, recommended by water fitness expert Dr. Jane Katz, which you can try out yourself next time you suit up!

Water Jogging

A classic staple of any water aerobics routine, water jogging can be practiced in either shallow or deep water. If you’re in the shallow end of the pool, make sure you’re wearing supportive water shoes to reduce the impact on your feet and joints. If you’re in deep water, make sure you’re wearing a flotation belt – this help ensure that you maintain the correct posture while you stride through the water. For extra resistance, you can add water gloves or buoyant ankles cuffs.

To jog in the water, simply use your legs to stride through the water, ensuring that your back is in a vertical position and that you’re pumping your arms at your sides. Keeping a consistent pace while propel yourself through the water should lead to a strong lower body workout.

Push Ups

For an effective upper body workout, try performing some push ups. To perform a push up in the water, face the pool wall and place your hands at the edge, shoulder-width apart.  Use your upper body strength to straighten your elbows and lift your upper body up and out of the water. This exercise can be performed in either shallow or deep water.

Sit Ups

With arms extended, stand next to the pool wall while holding onto the deck.  Bend your knees, bring them together and pull them toward your chest while lifting your legs. Extend your legs outward and drop them underwater. For extra intensity, you can add weighted ankle cuffs for an powerful abdominal workout.

Arm Circles

In shoulder-deep water, stand with your arms underwater extended to the sides and bend your knees slightly.  Keep your arms straight and rotate them in forward circles and then alternate with backward circles.  Make sure to flex your wrists up and down as you rotate your arms. This exercise will help work your upper body, with both groups of muscles on your arms pushing against the resistance of the water as your complete the circle.


For an excellent exercise you can use to cool down from your main set, try performing the aqua-lunge. Face the pool wall and hold the edge with both hands, shoulder width apart.  Place your feet against the wall in a straddle position, wider than shoulder width.  Shift your body weight to the right, bending the right knee, while the left leg is extended. Hold the stretch. Return to center and then shift your body weight to the left.


Trying new exercises can be fun and exciting, but before you try something intense make sure you’re properly geared up! Grab some water and if you’re exercising outdoors, make sure to apply sunscreen. Goggles, a bathing cap, and a towel can also be truly essential water aerobics gear. Purchasing chlorine-resistant swimwear is incredibly important to ensure that you’re swimsuits won’t deteriorate due to chlorine exposure.


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