Fat-Burning Pool Workouts That Aren’t Just Swimming

It’s tempting to think of a backyard swimming pool as just a place to float with a beer in hand (we might recommend one of those standout summer breweries), but even the smallest backyard strains can be great for both the serious and for the Recreational swimmers offer challenging pool workouts.

Many of the exercises you do on land can be done in the water. The movements become more demanding because the water resistance – while putting less strain on the joints – exerts more force on your body.

Competitive swimmers often turn to dry training – traditional conditioning and weight room training done out of the water to complement their swim training. This provides variety and a change from the water. But for athletes who don’t swim for exercise purposes, the water can offer similar benefits for breaking the gym monotony and complimenting traditional strength and cardio training.

Here are five pool workouts that are perfect for a heatwave.

5 killer pool workouts that aren’t just swimming

Training session # 1

How it goes: Repeat this until you have reached a total of 20 minutes of exercise.

A. Knee hug x 10 on each side

How it goes: Standing in the chest-deep water, raise your right knee to your chest and reach under your knee with both hands. Pull your right knee as close to your chest as possible while squeezing your left gluteus muscle. Return to standing and repeat on the other side, alternating each repetition.

B. Side lunge x 10 per side

How it goes: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Step out to the right, keeping your toes straight forward and feet flat. Squat down by sitting back and on your right leg. Squat down as low as you can, keeping your left leg straight, and holding the position for two seconds.

C. Wall kicks x 30 sec. – 5 min.

How it goes: These could generate a retrospective look back at childhood swimming lessons. Grasp the gutter or wall with both hands, your body flat against the surface of the water. Start with 30 seconds of moderate pedaling. Make sure to point your toes and bend your ankles. The step should be on the surface of the water. Alternate between 30 seconds of moderate pedaling and 30 seconds of sprinting and build up to 5 minutes. For more of a challenge, put your face in the water for 10-second intervals.

D. Bobs x 20 or as many reps as possible in 1 minute

How it goes: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart on the shallow end (the water should be 3 to 4 feet deep). The taller you are, the deeper you have to wade. Lower your hips back and down until your thighs are parallel to the bottom of the pelvis – back straight, torso clamped. Jump, explode from your ankles and quads. Land in the starting position. This is the same mechanic as a land squat jump.

E. Pushups in the pool

How it goes: Stand with your face towards the edge of the pool, your hands against the wall, your hands shoulder width apart. The water should be deep enough so that your feet don’t touch the ground. If you’re in a shallow pool, bend your knees so you don’t touch. Push away from the wall and get out of the pool vertically for a set of 20 or as many reps as possible in a minute.

Submerge for a 30-second pause to cool off.

Training session # 2

How it goes: Repeat this until you have reached a total of 20 minutes of exercise.

  • Swim x 100 meters
  • Pillar March x 30 seconds, work up to 1 minute: while standing, raise the knee and foot of one leg while raising the opposite arm. Move your foot to the bottom of the pelvis as you raise your opposite foot and knee and other arm. You can stay in the same standing position or move across the pool.
  • Side lunge x 10 per side
  • Bobs x 20
  • Swim x 100 meters
  • Pool pushups x 20 or as many repetitions as possible in a minute

Submerge for a 30-second pause to cool off.

Workout # 3

How it goes: Repeat this until you have reached a total of 20 minutes of exercise.

  • Knee hug x 10 on each side
  • Pool pushups x 20 or as many repetitions as possible in a minute
  • Side lunge x 10 per side
  • Dips x 20: Position your back to the wall and grab the edge. Slowly lower yourself down and push yourself back up in a controlled manner.
  • Bobs x 20
  • Split squats x 10 on each side: step into a lunge. Lower your hips by bending back and down. Using your front leg, move your weight back up without your back knee touching the bottom of the pelvis.

Submerge for a 30-second pause to cool off.

Workout # 4

How it goes: Repeat this until you have reached a total of 20 minutes of exercise.

  • Column march x 1 minute
  • Side lunge x 10 on each side
  • Swim x 100 yards or 2 minute wall kicks
  • Pool pushups x 20 or as many repetitions as possible in a minute
  • Split squats x 10 on each side.
  • Dips x 20

Submerge for a 30-second pause to cool off.

Training session # 5

How it goes: If you are an advanced athlete, extend the distances in both swimming and running. Be careful not to walk on the pool deck. This workout builds cardio endurance. Although running in a triathlon does not usually follow swimming (other than running to the transition area), such back-to-back training and alternation work is good preparation for multisport competitions.

  • Swim 100 meters and then exit the pool
  • Put on your sneakers and run half a mile
  • Take off your shoes and get back in the water to repeat the next round

Repeat three times

Pete Williams is a NASM certified personal trainer and the author or co-author of several books on performance and training.

Subscribe to YouTube for access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more!

You May Also Like