Abdominal Exercises in a Pool

Pool exercise class

If you're looking for an effective ab routine to do while staying cool this summer, try abdominal exercises in a pool. You'll get an effective, safe and low impact workout that will tone your abs right inside your bathing suit.

Why Work Out in Water

There are many abdominal workouts out there right now, so why do them in water as well? The answer lies in the natural resistance that water can give you. Water gives you 15 times the resistance of air, making your workout 15 times more challenging and therefore more effective. By performing similar exercises to those you would on land, you're increasing the workout without adding weight. This is perfect for those with joint or back problems who may have difficulty achieving the level of workout they desire without risk of injury.

The best part about working out in water is that it's extremely adaptable. To lighten the resistance, move slowly and the water won't push back against you quite as hard. When you're ready for more of a challenge, work on keeping your form perfect while you speed up. Moving quickly beneath the water will provide more resistance which in turn will give you a better workout.

Abdominal Exercises in a Pool

To work out in water, stand in the shallow end so that the water comes between your navel and your chest. This will offer the best resistance safely. Many exercises are done by the side of the pool for stability.You can further increase resistance with the use of water gloves and paddles. Always wear pool shoes while you work out in water.


Stand with your back at the edge of the pool and your arms extending along the top out to either side. Bring your legs straight out in front of you, and then swing them up and to the right before bringing them down. Repeat to the left in a swinging pendulum motion.


In the same starting position as the pendulum, extend your legs in front of you, feet together. Pull your knees in toward your chest and release.


Stand toward the center of the pool with your legs spread wide. Jump upwards as high as you can, pulling your knees in toward your body as you do so. Land with your legs extended and repeat.


Stand with your legs hip width apart and your hands together in front of you, forming an upward scoop. Pull your arms upward, scooping the water as you do so. Perform this move to the left and right to target your obliques. You'll also tone your arms and shoulders at the same time you get a great core workout.

Leg Lifts

Stand with your back to the side of the pool, and your arms extended behind you. Boost yourself up so you're sitting slightly on the edge of the pool, with the water coming to mid-thigh. Lean back slightly on your arms for support and lift your legs straight out of the water to form a V with your upper body. Lower and repeat.


Stand with your back to the side of the pool and your arms extending outward to either side. Grasp the side of the pool for support and lower yourself slightly into the water so you are submerged to your shoulders. Extend your legs upward so they are parallel to the bottom of the pool. Spread your legs open as far as you can and then bring them together, crossing one over the other, i.e. left over right. Spread your legs open again, and place the opposite leg on top when crossing, i.e. right over left. This move will target your inner and outer thighs while also hitting your abs.

Work out in a pool just a few times a week to increase resistance and calorie burning. Try abdominal exercises in a pool whenever you get the chance. This will help tone your abs effectively and safely with no strain. Plus, you add water as a component to the list of the best ab exercises out there.

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Abdominal Exercises in a Pool