The Best Abdominal Exercises for the Pool

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Safe, Easy, Effective

The pool can be more than just a fun place to relax and enjoy the sun; it can also be a great place to get in your abdominal workout. Not only is working out in the pool fun, it is also a safe alternative to many other types of abdominal workouts.

Since exercising in the pool offers a low-to-no-impact workout, this type of exercise program can be ideal for pregnant women and senior citizens. Here are several of the best abdominal exercises for the pool, all of which will leave you feeling confident and beautiful in your swimwear.


Before starting the actual abdominal exercises, it is important to warm up the muscles by swimming a few laps. By adding a cardiovascular dimension to the workout, fat is burned, making the abdominal muscles easier to tone. The best swim strokes for toning the abdominal muscles are the breast stroke, back stroke and butterfly stroke.

  1. Walk on Water

The first exercise consists of simply walking within the pool. While walking on land might does offer abdominal benefits, the water adds resistance, making it an effective ab workout. Start by walking in the shallow end of the pool, pulling your knees up toward your chest with each step. Make sure that the back remains straight with each step. With each step, tighten your abs.

  1. Frog Jumps

While still in the shallow end, practice pool jumps. Pool jumps consist of jumping with your knees coming to the surface of the water and then back to a normal standing position. In other words, this is a ‘frog jump’ in water. This exercise is great for working the upper abdominal muscles and should be done for two to three minutes in total, or about 35 to 40 jumps.

  1. Propellers

Also a shallow-end exercise, propellers are done by scooping water one hand at a time. Start at the surface of the water with your palm facing down and scoop all the way down to your side. Propellers are designed to work out the oblique and lower abdominal muscles. This exercise should be done for two to three minutes while alternating hands.

  1. Leg Lifts

For the following exercises, move to deeper water. Only your head and shoulders should be above water while your feet are touching the ground.

Start with leg lifts, which consist of moving one leg at a time toward the chest while the back is kept straight. In order for this exercise to be effective, the leg lifts need to be done in quick succession for two to three minutes, and the abs need to be kept tight with each lift.

  1. Treading Water

Treading water may seem like a simple exercise, but it offers a very effective workout for the abdominal muscles. Take a break from repetitive movements by staying stationary and treading water for a few minutes, or as long as it is comfortable. Remember to keep the abs tight throughout the routine.

  1. Wall Grabs

Perform wall grabs by holding on to the side of the pool wall and slowly lifting the knees to the chest while keeping the abs tight. This exercise should be repeated for approximately two minutes for best results.

Pull Ups

The following sets of exercises should be done outside of the pool using the pool ladder railing.

Stand on the concrete portion of the poolside and hold onto the railing. Then use the arms to lift the body up off the ground a few inches. Next, lift the legs straight up so that they are level with the chest. These pull up exercises are more difficult than those done in the pool, so only do as many as are comfortable for you.

A Mere 30 Minutes or Less

This collection of exercises are some of the best abdominal exercises for the pool because they are fun and effective. The entire routine takes no more than 30 minutes, leaving a whole lot of free time to kick back and enjoy simply hanging out poolside.

References Slim Down in a Splash: Pool Workout Pool Ready Abs! Slim in a Splash