Top 5 Pool Workouts to Improve Your Health

athlete swimming laps in a pool

Your safer swimming pool can be your path to better health when you find the right pool workouts for your physical fitness needs. While pools have always been a source of relaxation and a great place to entertain friends and family, swimming has also enjoyed a long history as one of the most efficient workouts around, and modern pool exercises build on this tradition. Whether you’re looking for a way to recover from an injury, retain your health as you age, or push your body’s conditioning to new heights, your swimming pool offers an opportunity to design the perfect program to meet your needs. Let’s take a look at how your backyard oasis can become a fun and safe part of your exercise regimen. 

Keeping Your Workout Area Safe

While pool workouts are a great way to get or stay fit, safety has to remain a top priority. After you finish your pool exercises, your body will be tired, and it can be tempting to leave the pool area to rest, recuperate, or take in some protein to help your body rebuild itself stronger. Before you do, however, you still need to make sure your pool is secured against unsupervised access by a child, pet, or potentially vulnerable adult. A lack of barriers has been cited as a contributing cause in the majority of accidental drowning fatalities, so making sure they’re in place is a key first step.

Black mesh removable pool fence
  • Removable Mesh Pool Fences – These pool safety barriers are a great way to prevent access to your entire pool area. The removable mesh fence deters climbing, while the self-closing and latching gate helps ensure there isn’t an easy opening to allow entry. Always double-check to make sure the latch is engaged and reset the gate alarm. Make sure all accessories and any equipment are away from the fence where they could be used to gain access. 
  • Swimming Pool Safety Nets and Safety Covers – Make sure your safety nets and safety covers are re-installed, either by securing them to their anchor points around the swimming pool and tensioning the central springs or by sliding the cover closed along its rails. This helps prevent access to the surface of the water.
  • Only Use Equipment Designed For Aquatic Use – Normal workout equipment may not be up to the rigors of working in the water and around the chemicals used to treat your pool. This can damage not only your equipment but also potentially your pool or even cause injuries.
  • Know When Enough is Enough – While it’s possible to overdo it on dry land too, pushing yourself too hard in the water can be even more dangerous. Always make sure you have the strength to leave the pool and are in a position to easily reach the edge for safety if fatigue or cramps set in.

Before Beginning a New Exercise Program

When considering the best pool workouts for your needs, you have to understand your goals and honestly look at your current health and the path forward. If you’re recovering from an injury or have a prevailing health condition, make sure to talk to your physician to ensure you’re healthy enough to take on your proposed pool exercise regimen or if you need to take intermediary steps to reach that point, or arrange for assistance as you embark on your path to better health. Some things to consider:

  • Cardiovascular or Pulmonary Health – Encompassing your circulatory and breathing capacity, these systems are often targeted by exercise as they provide the foundation for physical fitness. Some strenuous workouts may be too aggressive to start with, requiring modification initially.
  • Mobility Issues – Another frequent goal for pool workouts is improved mobility. For your own safety, however, make sure to start within the constraints of your body’s current range of motion and progress slowly, recognizing the difference between discomfort from pushing for improvement and pain, which could signal a worsening injury.
  • Overall Strength -You should also make sure you’re physically strong enough to manipulate your workout equipment on dry land and in the water, capable of getting in and out of the pool yourself, and able to navigate the pool safely. If you need assistance, arrange for knowledgeable help before starting your exercise regimen.

Top Pool Exercises

Woman in a red swimsuit doing exercises in a swimming pool

These leading pool workouts give you plenty of activity while supporting your body in building strength, improving balance, and increasing the capacity of your cardiovascular and pulmonary systems. These exercises are so effective because the water provides both resistance and support to your body while you work out.

Water Walking

The simple act of moving against the water’s resistance can be a great workout. You can stay near the edge of the pool to reach out quickly and catch your balance. Simply walk forward to the opposite side of the pool or until the depth of the water becomes too deep, then reverse course. To target your hips, move laterally sideways, facing the wall. If you want to increase the resistance, lower yourself further into the water or increase your speed.

Arm Raises and Sweeps

An efficient upper body exercise, sit or crouch in the water until your shoulders are submerged. Lift your arms to shoulder height, then return them to your side. Do this for three sets of eight to start with, working toward a goal of three sets of fifteen. Next, hold your arms under the water at shoulder height, straight out to your sides. Sweep them forward in a giant clapping motion, then return them to the starting position for the same number of sets and reps. As you build strength, webbed gloves or foam water weights can be used to increase the difficulty.

Kicks and Knee Lifts

These lower-body pool workouts can help strengthen your legs and improve your range of motion. Standing near the edge of the pool where the deck can aid your balance when necessary, balancing on one leg, keep the other leg straight as you move it forward as high as you can while staying balanced in a kicking motion, then return it to its starting position. As with the arm exercises, start with three sets of eight, working toward three sets of fifteen before switching legs. For the next exercise, balancing on one leg, lift the opposite knee as high as you can while maintaining balance. Use the same sets as before.


Similar to the walking exercise, stand near the edge of the pool if necessary for balance and support. Take a large step forward with one leg, making sure the knee does not go past your toes. Bring the other leg forward, then take the next lunge with that leg. Do this the length of the pool or when the water becomes too deep for the exercise to be practical, then turn and retrace your lunges going the opposite direction.


Perhaps the most popular of pool workouts, good old-fashioned swimming puts your entire body through its paces. You can choose the exercises that you’re most comfortable with and that provide you with the greatest benefit. For some, this will be a goal exercise to work towards, while others may find that swimming is the perfect complement to other targeted pool exercises.

Create A Safer Pool For Your Family

Your local All-Safe Pool installation professional is ready to create a safer swimming pool for your friends, family, and pets. They’ll inspect your pool area, take measurements, and talk to you about your goals for your swimming pool area. They’ll create a written estimate tailored to your pool area. Take the first step toward protecting your pool and your loved ones. Get a free quote from your independent All-Safe Pool installer today.

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