Water Aerobics Is Tougher Than It Looks (and Feels)

Water Aerobics Is Tougher Than It Looks (and Feels)

Don’t let the foam dumbbells fool you: water aerobics can kick your butt. Because it’s low-impact it is beloved by injured athletes and old folks, but the workout scales to the effort you can put in. Marines even use it, and call their version “tougher than running.”

Photo by US Marine Corps.

Take those foam dumbbells, for instance: they don’t look so silly when you realise your job is to push them down while the water is resisting you. Erin at Fit Bottomed Girls lists a few more surprises:

  • You might not realise how tough it is! Water is deceptive. You stay nice and cool and don’t realise how much you’re sweating. So you might not realise how hard you’re working until you pull yourself out of the pool and all of your limbs feel fatigued.
  • The current works against you. I never really thought of pools as having currents, but when you get a lot of people moving in a pool, waves get waving. Certain exercises like leg lifts have an added balance challenge because you’re trying to brace yourself against the water’s movement.
  • It takes some technique. I was surprised that there was a bit of a learning curve with some of the movements. Like, it was tough going backwards until one of the ladies gave me a tip on how exactly to use my dumbbell to my advantage.

Water fitness classes can be found at almost any gym pool, so if you’re looking for something new, check them out. And check out Erin’s full article at the link below.

What to Expect in a Water Fitness Class (and Why It’s Not Just for Old Ladies) [Fit Bottomed Girls]


  • I started doing laps (very slow ones) 3 times a week a few months back. The increase in endurance is significant in a very short period of time and most of that is thanks to the effort it takes to drag my own mass (read: ass) through the water.

  • Yes working out in water can be tough and it will increase your fitness if you have not done it before.
    There are limits with this type of water aerobics to keep in mind, mainly that it can only go so far in progressive overload and it is hard to measure how well you are doing.

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