Thursday, July 26, 2007

Get Your Noodle On : The Summer Pool Workout

With the warm temp's and long days many clients are ready to mix up their routines and take to the water for some exercise. If you have access to a pool with length for swimming laps, and a deep end to do some wading, you're in business for a great workout. The following is a workout I designed for overall fitness, muscle toning, and total body cardiovascular conditioning. Try it out! ( and visit to set up private training sessions for these or other types of workouts.)

Some accessories that assist:

1) Foam Water Noodle
2) Hard Foam Kickboard
3) Goggles (and swim cap if you like)
4) Aqua gloves and or shoes

  • Begin with 4 to 5 laps of breaststroke or freestyle to warm up, swimming the length of the pool
  • Return to the shallow end, standing in water that comes about mid-torso high.
  • Perform 30-40 'Water Jacks' - jumping jacks with extra added water resistance, making sure to keep the palms extended and open.
  • Follow this with 30-40 squat jumps, propelling yourself out of the water as you leap up and down into a squat as you come down, immediately propelling upward again.
  • Next wrap a water noodle around your waist and tuck it under your arm area. Move both ends of the foam toward one another, out in front of you, simultaneously in a chest flye motion. Make sure to use the resistance of the water to assist as you perform this exercise. As you bring the ends back to the starting position, perform a 'reverse flye' against the motion of the water you just created. This works the back musculature and rear deltoids nicely! 30-40 reps.
  • Rows - extend the noodle parallel out in front of you holding onto the ends and drop it into the water, pulling it back toward you against the water in a rowing movement. Pick it up out of the water, extend your arms out in front again, drop in water, and repeat the motion. 30-40 reps.

Cardio Interval #1

Running from side to side of the pool.....Exaggerate a running movement by lifting the knees high and rotating at the waist and with arms pumping as you cross the width of the pool, touching side to side, for 10 lengths.

Run backwards for 5 lengths, and do 5 'side shuffles' as well. Always be aware of where you are in the pool, glacing backward or to the side if necessary so you dont' hit any walls '-)

  • Continue workout with kickboard extended out in front of you, just using the legs to butterfly kick the length of the pool for 3 to 4 laps. This is very challenging, as it takes a lot of kicks to make any forward motion.
  • Next perform 'frog kicks' as you dram the feet up toward the rear and then explosively extend back. 2 laps....looks like the breastroke kick.

Upper Body Toning

In addition to those rows and chest flyes above, you can work the upper body with :

1) push ups on the side of the pool, standing waist deep

2) aqua gloved tricep kickbacks with arm curl combination

3) aqua glove shoulder lateral and front raises

4) and push ups that you do UP and lifting and holding onto the edge of the pool, as if you were going to 'get out', and then returning to standing position waist deep in the pool.

5) if you have a diving board, you can do pull ups on it. just be careful of hitting your head '-)

Cardio Interval #2

Deep Water Wading - 5 minutes. Use water noodle under armpits to support and help float if necessary. Progress and Advance to doing it all on your own.


1) In the deep end, with water noodle still under the arm pits, lift the knees up in a reverse crunch position toward the stomach/chest. Extend and repeat 25-30 times. You can also do this with legs extended.

2) Perform #1 with a bit of a torso rotation as you lift up, involving the obliques, or 'side abdominal musculature'.

Finally, stretch at the shallow end:

- hamstrings, inner thighs, chest stress, overhead triceps stretch, calve stretch on the wall, and neck rotations. If you have a partner to assist you go for it!

Have fun and let me know if you have any questions!


ps - here's an article on how and why aqua workouts are gaining popularity:

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