Up your workout game with these simple aquatic exercises and versatile accessories.

With the warm weather, and maybe some small humans underfoot, it’s a great time to refresh your list of swim spa activities to keep your whole family healthy and busy over the summer months. It’s also a great time to start, or shake up, your personal exercise regimen. 

Having your aquatic gym in your backyard makes it so easy. Everything’s better in water, right? 

Read on to learn about: 

  • The benefits of exercising in water
  • Five exercises to start you on your way toward a daily swim spa workout routine 
  • Cool aquatic exercise accessories to trick out your swim spa this summer

Why underwater is better

Doing your exercises underwater is a healthy choice no matter what your age. Being in water can improve your mood, reduce the wear and tear on your joints, help with your balance and give you added resistance that envelopes you like a  warm, heavy blanket. Let’s take a closer look at two of the major benefits of working out underwater. 

Low impact and why it matters

Daily physical activity is essential to maintaining an effective wellness routine. However, when it comes to getting the most benefits out of your daily workout, not all exercises are created equal. 

While high-impact exercises like jogging or jumping rope do have many benefits, they can put a lot of excess stress on your ligaments and joints, and increase your risk of injury. If you are looking for relief from joint pain or other common body aches, low-impact workouts are a great alternative.

Resistance from all sides – in a good way!

Not only do low-impact exercises have less damaging effects on your body, but working out in water can also help you build endurance, improve strength, reduce stress, and lower your blood pressure. 

When you’re exercising underwater, it’s not just your own weight you are moving. You are also displacing water. The added buoyancy and gentle resistance from the water allow you to enjoy an intense workout without placing extra strain on your body and joints. 

These benefits make low-impact aerobics a great option for pretty much everyone, and with a tweak here or there, you can easily move your gym workout to your swim spa.

The 5 low-impact exercises and how to do them

1) Jumping Squats for your quads and glutes 

Doing squats in the gym is a great way to tone your glute muscles and strengthen your upper legs, but this movement can be hard on your joints. By performing this exercise in your swim spa, you can experience the same strength-building benefits without the added stress on your joints and ligaments. 

With the water at chest level, stand up straight with your feet shoulder-length apart and your arms extended forward. Lower your rear (as if sitting down in a chair) as low as you can without submerging your head in the water. From this position, jump upwards as high as you can, landing back on your feet in the squatting pose. Repeat your jump squats 15 – 20 times, or for a continuous 20 to 30 seconds.

Adding this joint-friendly exercise to your aquatic workout routine not only strengthens your legs and glutes but also helps improve your core engagement and your balance. 

2) Pushups for your upper body and core 

Pushups are a tried and true exercise to strengthen your upper body and your core at the same time. Follow the same form you would in the gym, but position your hands on your swim spa fitness bar instead. 

Then make sure you have enough room for your legs to extend behind you, and slowly lower your body towards the bar and back up again to complete one rep. Perform this upper body exercise for 10 – 20 reps, or until your arms are fatigued. 

To increase the difficulty, you can experiment with moving your hands farther apart or closer together, and placing your feet farther and closer to the bar.

3) High Knee Marching for lower body strengthening 

Water marching is ridiculously easy but hugely beneficial. This low-impact workout is great for toning your thigh and glute muscles, while also improving your cardio performance.

Start by standing tall in chest-high water with your core muscle engaged. Then swing your right arm forward while bringing your left knee up at the same time. After returning to your starting position, repeat these same movements using the opposing arm and knee. 

Continue this water marching exercise for 10 to 20 repetitions, or until your muscles become fatigued. As you build your endurance and strength over time, you can personalize this exercise and make it more challenging by adjusting your swim spa current to a stronger setting.

4) Aqua Cycling for cardiovascular strength and endurance

What’s a workout without a little fat-burning, blood-pumping cardio? Spin class is fine, but it’s not at home and it’s not underwater. With your swim spa, you can fully customize every exercise with more or less resistance with the adjustable water current. Using the adjustable current while aqua cycling you can easily increase and decrease the intensity of your workout at the push of a button.

For added intensity, try standing up while cycling instead of sitting on the bike seat. Standing while aqua cycling can engage and strengthen large muscle groups like your core, providing a more full-body, low-impact workout.

5) Tandem Water Walking for balance 

Tandem walking is a style of gait where you place one foot directly in front of the other with your toes touching your heel. While this is a great exercise to help improve balance, performing it on land increases your risk of injury if you lose your balance.

In your swim spa, not only does the water allow you to practice tandem walking without the risk of falling and getting hurt, but it also provides resistance which can help improve your balance even more. 

While walking on your underwater treadmill, perform your tandem walking exercise for 10 – 20 steps. If you want to add difficulty, you can increase the speed of the treadmill or the adjustable swim current. 

If you need a break from walking, you can turn off your treadmill and do a simple heel raise exercise to help improve your balance as well. While still on the treadmill, simply raise both heels and hold for 20 seconds, lowering back down slowly. You can do this three or four times before returning to your tandem steps routine.

Let us help you complete your backyard aquatic gym

The benefits of working out underwater are clear. Now you have several exercises to get you started, and there is no better time than now! Summertime is the best time to accessorize your swim spa for the ultimate at-home fitness experience. 

Increase the versatility of your swim spa with the addition of our AquaBike or Underwater Treadmill. You’re going to love the difference the water can make. You won’t believe you didn’t do it sooner. 

Stop by one of our San Francisco Bay Area showrooms in San Rafael, San Mateo, and Concord.