Summer Swim Workouts: Training Tips for the Pool

Woman swimming laps in a pool

Swimming pool workouts are a great way to improve your health and get more from your safer swimming pool. Temperatures are rising, and that makes it a great time to refocus on your health in your backyard oasis. Pool exercises offer you the opportunity to tailor a workout to fit your individual health needs in the comfort of your own backyard. With the right planning, you can make your pool time a more efficient path to wellness. 

The Health Benefits of Swimming

People have known about the wellness benefits of swimming, exercise, and relaxation in bodies of water for millennia. 4500-year-old records from ancient Egypt detail the use of water for recreation, and it’s been with us ever since. Swimming pool exercises can increase your mobility, improve cardiovascular health, and improve your strength if structured properly. In a nation that is battling a seemingly ever-growing obesity epidemic even as its citizens age, swimming pool workouts can hold the key to thriving longevity.

How to Get the Most from Your Workout

Young boy swimming laps for exercise in a pool

While it may be a great fitness tool for your health, you can’t just jump in the pool and expect to feel an immediate difference. The pool is a path to improved wellness, not a magical cure-all. As with any fitness regimen, it takes planning, preparation, and execution to get the results you’re looking for.

  1. Identify Your Swimming Pool Workout Goals – What do you want to see from your swimming pool exercises? This will help you choose better exercises, pick out the right equipment, and help you better identify progress. People who are looking for improved mobility will need very different exercises than athletes training for a triathlon.
  2. Choose Your Exercises – Now that you know your goals, you can select exercises that focus on those areas. While the pool offers the opportunity to work the entire body, some workouts are better at building strength, while others focus on your cardiovascular stamina or increasing ranges of motion.
  3. Make Sure You’re Ready for Safe Swimming Pool Workouts – Before beginning your new fitness regimen, you need to make sure both you and your pool are ready. Speak with your physician to ensure you’re healthy enough for your proposed workout plan and ask about any complications medication might present. Make sure your pool has safe entries and exits, emergency equipment is available for any injuries, and you have the proper safety equipment installed. Safety barriers save lives by limiting unsupervised access to the pool before, during, and after your workouts. This can help prevent accidental drownings and maintain your privacy.
  4. Get the Equipment You Need – Some workouts require nothing but you and your determination, while others may need specialized gear. Research your workouts and find out the equipment and accessories most commonly needed. Having the tools you’ll need to be successful before you begin will get you closer to achieving your goals.
  5. Commit to a Schedule or Structure – Tomorrow never comes, and later never gets here. Be ready to set a schedule and structure your workout plan, then make the commitment to yourself to follow through. 

Top Swimming Pool Workouts


Woman using red foam dumbbells in a swimming pool for exercise

The swimming pool workouts that focus on strength rely on the added resistance of the water to force your muscles to work harder. Strength training swimming pool exercises focus on maximizing this resistance for a certain number of sets of repetitions. Begin these exercises with three sets of ten reps each, adjusting as necessary to increase the intensity of your workout.

  • Squat Jumps – Stand in waist-high water and squat until your shoulders are submerged. Push off powerfully, extending your body and lifting it from the water before returning to the starting position. This works your entire lower body as it unfolds and extends, from your calves up through the hamstrings, quadriceps, and gluteal areas.
  • Seal Jacks – A modified form of the jumping jacks we all learned in elementary school as kids, these provide an excellent workout for both your upper and lower body. Stand in water that’s up to your shoulders with your feet together and your arms held straight out at your sides. Jump slightly, remaining underwater, spreading your feet to a slightly wider than a shoulder-width position at your sides while also bringing your hands together straight in front of you in a clapping motion. Then, jump slightly, returning to the starting position.
  • Push Plate Exercises – Push plates are available at many sporting equipment stores and online retailers. Unlike traditional weights that may not be suitable for the pool or could even be dangerous, they rely on maximizing the water’s resistance by creating a larger flat surface area. Push plates can be adapted to do a variety of exercises, from curls to bench presses and shoulder fly movements, making them a versatile tool for bringing more traditional strength-training motions into your aquatic workout center.

Stamina and Endurance

Rather than maximizing the amount of resistance over a limited number of reps, endurance exercises maximize repetitions, training your muscles and cardiovascular system to work more efficiently over longer periods of time before tiring. 

  • Laps – Laps have always been a great way to improve your overall physical fitness and improve your stamina. Set a timer and swim. Alternatively, if training for a specific event, recreate competition conditions as closely as possible to train like you race and race like you train.
  • Lunges – Lunges are a great swimming pool workout whether you can swim or not. Find a depth that allows you to take a deep, semi-crouched stance and walk forward, keeping your knees bent and the water at shoulder level. Continue the activity for a set time or number of trips back and forth across the pool to build up your cardiovascular system while making your body stronger.

Balance and Mobility

Three women practicing exercises in a swimming pool

Aquatic therapy is increasingly popular among the elderly and mobility impaired because the same resistance that helps water build your body also helps support it when you’re regaining or maintaining your body’s mobility and ability to balance. Keep safety in mind, and always do your swimming pool exercises near the wall for support or with a trusted helper.

  • Knee Lifts and Balances – Standing near the edge of a pool or next to a helper for support, lift one foot off the ground and hold it for a few seconds before returning it to the ground and repeating with the other leg. Alternate them repeatedly, striving for longer periods of time to build both your muscles and your sense of balance. The goal is to eventually get your knee to approximately waist height while maintaining your balance without difficulty.
  • Water Walking – The simple act of walking in the water is a great exercise to improve balance and mobility while providing low-impact exercise to strengthen the muscles without abusing your joints. You can walk back and forth along the edge of the pool or through the middle. It’s a great swimming pool workout on its own, or you can use it as a warm-up/cool-down activity for more strenuous exercises. In many ways, it’s the Swiss Army Knife of swimming pool workouts.

Create a Safer Workout Pool

Your local pool safety pro is ready to help you create a safer pool area with safety barriers that help prevent accidental drownings. Removable mesh pool fences, swimming pool safety nets, and pool safety covers prevent unsupervised access by children, adults, and pets that may not be able to safely navigate the water on their own. Made with rip-resistant durable materials and secured around the pool area, they can keep your swimming pool workout area from becoming the site of a tragedy.

When you request a free quote, your neighborhood installer will take measurements, talk to you about your expected pool safety needs, and tailor a written estimate to offer you the protection you need at a fair price. Improve your health and protect your loved ones. Contact Lifeguard on Duty for a free quote today.

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