What Are the Different Types of Water Aerobics Exercises?

Dan Cavallari

Water aerobics exercisers benefit from natural resistance provided by the water in a pool or other body of water, and many exercises that are commonly done on dry land can be done in the water for added benefit. Running and walking, for example, can help a person build strength, improve balance, and improve mobility when these exercises are done in a body of water. Other water aerobics exercises include swimming, water weight exercises, and kickboxing. Exercises as simple as jumping jacks can become extra challenging when the resistance provided by the water is added into the mix.

Water aerobics is an exercise performed in a pool.
Water aerobics is an exercise performed in a pool.

Exercises that raise one's heart rate are beneficial for improving heart and lung function, as well as overall health. Water aerobics exercises help a person raise his or her heart rate while still building muscle and improving balance and mobility. A person new to water aerobics exercises may want to start with something simple and familiar, such as running, walking, doing jumping jacks, or even swimming. Other, more advanced users may want to consider more challenging exercises such as the tuck and hold, in which a person pulls his or her legs up to the chest with the feet tucked. The goal is to stay in the tucked position for as long as possible while floating in the water. This helps build strength, especially in core muscles, and the effort it takes to stay suspended can create a great cardio exercise.

Some aerobic exercises can be done while submerged underwater, as the water adds extra resistance.
Some aerobic exercises can be done while submerged underwater, as the water adds extra resistance.

Kickboxing is an activity that involves a series of kicks and punches combined with other movements meant to raise one's heart rate. Such exercises are often done on dry land, but by doing the kickboxing exercises underwater, a person will add natural resistance from the water, thereby further strengthening and toning muscles. The resistance during these water aerobics exercises are also more likely to raise one's heart rate and improve heart and lung function.

Moguls are popular water aerobics exercises as well. These are done by standing in a pool or body of water with the feet close together, and then jumping to one side while also jumping forward. Then the person will jump in the opposite direction while going forward. This motion mimics the motion of a skier going down a hill, and it can work the leg muscles in addition to providing cardio benefits. Mogul exercises can be difficult at first, as they will require exceptional balance. The exercise itself can improve balance over time, so don't worry too much if it is very difficult at first.

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Discussion Comments


@raynbow- Your workout regimen sounds perfect for people who want to get the benefits of water aerobics. I like the thought of starting out slowly, but I would also like to point out the importance of having any workout approved by a medical provider before you start. This will ensure that you are healthy enough to begin working out, and that the excises you choose are appropriate for you and your physical needs.


I love doing water aerobics, and I think that the best workout includes a combination of cardio and weight lifting. For me, this workout includes stretching and walking in a pool while using hand weights.

I start my water aerobic exercises slowly by taking slow laps around the pool. Once I have warmed up, I speed up my pace to get my heart beating faster. It is at this point in my aerobic workout when I add my hand weights.

As I walk around the pool, I do lifts and rotations with the weights in my hands. These movements tone my arms, back, and chest while walking in the water tones the lower portion of my body.

Though this is a great aerobic workout for beginners to seasoned athletes, I think that it is important to start slowly if you aren't use to working out in water. Start out with slow steps and one pound weights, and gradually increase your speed and poundage of your weights and you will optimize your workout to fit your needs.

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