Water Aerobic Exercise Routines

Water aerobics class

Water aerobics can be done by just about anyone. They are a great way to tone your muscles, burn calories and build aerobic capacity. Water aerobics are easy on the joints and work well for the elderly, people with multiple sclerosis and people with arthritis. Individuals who don’t know how to swim can still benefit from water aerobics because many of the exercises can be done in shallow water. A major advantage to working out in the water is that it offers resistance in every direction and can be adjusted to meet the needs of every individual.

Otter Roll

The otter roll targets the back, abs, butt and legs. To do this exercise, hug a beach ball to your chest while floating on your back with your legs extended and feet together. Roll to your left so that you are over the top of the ball. You will roll all the way over using your shoulders, back, core and legs to completely rotate all the way around. This movement mimics the motions of an otter rolling over in the water. Do this routine for 30 seconds and alternate the direction of the roll.

Ball Lever

The ball lever targets shoulders, back, triceps and abs. Float on your stomach in chest-high water with your arms stretched straight out in front of you and hold a beach ball with both hands. Extend your feet out behind you with your feet together. Pull beach ball beneath you, making sure to keep your arms straight. Ball should be pulled toward your thighs in an arc. The ball being pressed beneath you will lift your body out of the water and allow you to breathe. Once the ball has been pulled to your thighs, bend elbows and return arms to starting position. Do this for 30 seconds.

Water Crunches

Stand in water at least waist high and place your back against the wall of the pool. Hold onto the outer edge of the pool with your elbows and bring both legs up to a sitting position, keeping your knees straight. Hold for 10 seconds and breathe slowly. Bend knees to bring legs back down to starting position. Repeat exercise for at least 30 seconds or as many times as you can stand.

Pike Scull

The pike scull targets the abs, hips and arms. To do this exercise, stand in the shallow end of the pool and simultaneously sit back into the water. Keep hands at your sides while treading water. Lift both legs together, folding your body at the hips so that your body forms a "V" shape. Your head and toes will be just above the surface. Maintain the "V" shape and tread water by creating small circles with cupped hands. Propel yourself down the length of pool for 30 seconds. Widen "V" shape if toes dip below surface.

Side Leg Raises

This exercise targets hips and glutes. Stand in waist-high water facing the wall of the pool and grasp the side of the pool with both hands. Keep your back straight and extend one leg out to your side as high as you can. Keep ankle straight and return leg to starting position. Repeat motion with the other leg. Do this exercise for three reps.