Aqua fitness is a discipline that’s accessible to everyone regardless of age or fitness level. Whether you’re an elderly person trying to maintain muscle mass or flexibility, or whether you’re a serious athlete coming back from injury, there are several aqua fitness exercises that can help you on a variety of fronts. Let’s take a look at several key areas.
Aqua fitness exercises to tone the arms

With the increased resistance of water, the pool can be a wonderful place to work on toning your arms. However, if you’re a beginner, it’s important to start out slowly and gradually increase the intensity.

One of the simplest exercises to tone the arms, that also serves as a warm-up, is to simply walk fast or run in the water. Make sure you swing your arms with force to help propel you forward. Once sufficiently warmed up you can begin to target different muscle groups. Here are some sample exercises.

Arm scissors

For this exercise, it’s best to use webbed gloves to increase the resistance through your hands.

  • Stand with your feet together in the water with shoulders submerged and arms outstretched.
  • Begin making a scissors pattern with your hands. Open your palms to the water for increased resistance.
  • You should begin to feel the burn in your arms. Try it for 60 seconds before taking a 10-second break and do 5 sets.

The Pendulum

This one requires wrist weights or weighted bands and provides a real workout!

  • Stand in the water with your back straight, shoulders relaxed and submerged.
  • Fold one forearm back toward your shoulder while leaving the other arm fall alongside your body.
  • Straighten out the bent arm ensuring you keep the elbow tucked in close to the body.
  • Alternate arms and do 60-second sets with 10 seconds rest in between.
  • The pendulum will give your triceps a good workout. Try and do 5 sets.

Push-backs with straight arms

This one works the arms and upper back. It requires a foam aqua fitness dumbbell to help increase the resistance during the exercises.

  • Stand in the water with shoulder submerged and legs spread with a slight bend in the knees.
  • Stretch out your arms horizontally with the palms facing backwards as you begin sudden backward pulses.
  • If you find this too easy, then try it while standing on a kickboard. This will force you to use your core more to combat the lack of stability.
  • Try for 60-seconds with 20 seconds rest in between, and aim for 5 sets.
Aqua fitness routine for slender legs

If there’s one area where aqua fitness shines above other forms of exercise, it’s in combating cellulite. When exercising in the water, it gently massages the skin, exerting that continuous action against the skin.

During exercise, your heart rate increases and blood flow is stimulated. This helps remove cellulite as well as prevent its formation to begin with.

There are two exercises you can do that’ll help give you those slender legs free from cellulite.


For this exercise ankle weights help provide greater resistance for a more thorough workout.

  • Stand on one leg with the water at waist level.
  • Place one ankle weight on each leg.
  • With one hand gripping the edge of the pool lift one leg and begin making circular movements. Experiment with large and small circles to work different muscles.
  • Do 1-minute sets on each leg and then repeat. You should begin to feel the glutes and inner thighs being worked.

Leg Raises

Again, you’ll require ankle weights for this one.

  • Stand on one leg with the water at waist level with a weight around each ankle.
  • Raise one leg to the side and push it outward and then alternate legs. Place a hand on the pool edge for support if required.
  • Aim for 3 sets of 1 minute each and take 15 seconds recovery between each.
  • You should begin to feel the inner and outer thighs being worked. This is where cellulite is often to be found.
Aqua fitness routine for a flat stomach

Any cardio workout is great for weight loss, and aqua fitness is no exception. In aqua fitness, your body is forced to combat the resistance of the water, which is of course much greater than that of the air.

Doing this in the pool has the added benefit of utilising the buoyancy of the water to help support your joints and body. This often helps in strengthening of the core muscles.

There are several exercises which you can do to help give you that sought-after flat stomach.

The knee to elbow crunch

  • For this one, stand in the water at chest level with your hands behind your neck and elbows apart.
  • Lift your knee and try to touch it with your elbow.
  • Do it on consecutive sides. It may be difficult at first, but it’s this crunching that’ll really help strengthen those core muscles and help remove any visceral fat.
  • Try doing 5 sets of 20 reps with 20 seconds rest in between.

Hip rotations

  • Stand in the water at waist level with your legs close together and arms crossed behind your back.
  • Try and twist your pelvis on the spot, but without moving your shoulders. Ensure you remain standing straight.
  • Try doing 1-minute sets with 20 seconds rest in between.