This Beginner Pool Body-Sculpting Circuit Is the Perfect Summer Workout

Getty / Uwe Krejci

You don’t have to be an elite swimmer to get an effective pool workout in. In fact, you don’t have to swim at all (with the exception of some treading!) thanks to pool body-sculpting exercises.

Don’t be fooled by your lack of sweating midcircuit. Water provides resistance that’ll have you toning while improving your cardiovascular health and flexibility – Lisa Reed, MS, CSCS, USAW, and the owner of Lisa Reed Fitness LLC, says – but that’s not the only plus.

Thanks to the weightless environment, Reed notes that water buoyancy significantly decreases the stress on your joints and bones, too.

“Many athletes perform water workouts as they recover from an injury, or implement pool training to improve their performance,” she shares.

Just like on land, Reed suggests grabbing a water bottle, applying sunscreen, and starting your workout with a dynamic warmup. Complete the following moves in the water until you feel loose and limber: skips, high-knee runs, butt-kicks, high Frankenstein kicks, run backward, leg swings, and then swim one lap.

Feeling good? Now you’re ready to take on her beginner pool workout. Remember: the harder you push against the water as you move, the more you’ll benefit from the water’s body-sculpting potential.

Related: 4 Pool Workouts to Keep You Cool While Burning Some Calories

Pool Push-Ups

  • Stand in the pool with the water at chest-height and face the edge.
  • Place your hands on the deck or ledge – bend your elbows to 90-degrees and support your body weight with your arms.
  • Push yourself back until your arms extend fully.
  • Complete 10 reps.

Tuck Jumps

  • Stand in water that’s chest-deep.
  • Jump up with your arms in the air, tuck both knees to your chest, and return to the standing position.
  • The goal is to get your knees to the top of the water or beyond!
  • Perform 10 repetitions.

Tread water

  • Tread water by kicking your legs while holding your hands above the water for 30 seconds.


  • Go to the side of the pool and hold on while laying on your stomach.
  • Kick as hard as you can for 30 seconds.

Windshield Wipers

  • With your back to the side of the pool wall, hold on to the edge and lift your legs up so they’re parallel to the ground.
  • Use your core to rotate your legs from right to left as you push the water for resistance.
  • Perform 10 repetitions.

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