If you like having fun in the pool, why not put your leisure time to good use and get in some pool noodle exercises!?
Besides swimming for exercise, you may not have considered exercising in a pool, but you should, as it’s a winner all around.
When you exercise in a pool, you can get a workout as effective as working out at a gym, and you won’t have to break a sweat.
Ideal when the temperature is high, you can also do pool noodle exercises in a heated pool during cold weather.
Excellent for improving cardiovascular fitness and stamina and strengthening and toning the muscles, the water will support your weight and provide resistance when doing pool noodle workouts.
This makes pool noodle workouts an excellent choice if you are unfit or have joint and mobility issues that make doing traditional exercise challenging or painful.
When doing pool noodle exercises, you will be counteracting the noodle’s buoyancy. Various muscles will be engaged, and in the process, you will get a cardio workout that burns calories as you tone up.
Following is a pool noodle exercise routine for you to try that is as effective as it is fun. Do 3 sets of each exercise three times a week, with one day’s break between sessions.
By all means, swim on the days in between – or even the same days – if you want to. Doing so will help tone your muscles even faster and give you a great cardiovascular workout. You may also like to try aqua jogging.
Table of Contents
Before you Start
Start your pool noodle exercise routine with a 10-minute Warm-Up consisting of light jogging on the spot, jumping rope, Walking Lunges, or similar.
Do the exercises with bare feet, or wear water shoes if you want more traction when working on the pool floor.
Just because you’re not sweating doesn’t mean you don’t need to stay hydrated, so drink water as often as you do when exercising on land.
For safety’s sake, when exercising in a pool, ensure someone else is present or use a public pool with a lifeguard on duty.
2 Gentle Cardio Pool Noodle Exercises
10 Pool Noodle Exercises to Try
Exercise 1 – Works the abs, the hips, and the legs
1. While floating in deep water, position the noodle across your upper back and under your arms, holding one end in either hand.
2. Extend your legs toward the bottom of the pool, keeping your feet together and your toes pointed.
3. Contract your abs as you lift your knees toward your chest. Hold this position for one or two seconds, then straighten your legs to your starting position.
Repeat step 3 x 20 times.
Exercise 2 – Works the arms, the back, the hips, and the abs
1. Float in deep water, holding one end of the noodle in each hand, your arms extended outwards and to the front, shoulder-width apart.
2. Extend your legs behind you, bracing your feet on the top of a rung of your pool ladder.
3. Keeping your arms straight, push the pool noodle downwards so that you are in a Plank position. Hold this for 30 seconds before returning to your starting position.
Repeat step 3 x 10 times.
Exercise 3 – Works the abs
1. Float on your back, your arms extended to either side, the pool noodle positioned beneath your knees.
2. Bend forward, lifting your midsection upward into a Crunch, reaching your hands toward your knees inside the noodle. Return to your starting position.
Repeat step 3 x 20 times.
Exercise 4 – Works the abs, the hips, the buttocks, and the legs
1. Grasp the pool’s ladder with both hands, your elbows bent. Position the noodle beneath your stomach, allowing your legs to float and extend behind you, keeping your feet together.
2. Contract your abs and lower your legs toward the bottom of the pool, bringing your body to a 90-degree angle. Return to your starting position.
Repeat step 3 x 20 times.
Exercise 5 – Works the arms, chest, back, buttocks, legs, and abs
1. Stand in waist-deep water with your legs approximately hip-width apart. Hold the noodle on the water’s surface with your hands slightly more than shoulder-width apart.
2. Push the noodle straight down, lifting one leg out behind you as you do, stopping when it is parallel to the pool’s bottom. Return to your starting position.
Repeat step 2 x 10 times, then swap legs and work the other side.
Exercise 6 – Works the buttocks, abs, obliques, and legs
1. Stand in chest-deep water with your legs hip-width apart, holding the pool noodle on the water’s surface, your hands a little more than shoulder-width apart.
2. Squat and push the noodle beneath the water until it is in front of your knees. Stand, rotating your torso to the right, and push the noodle through the water to the right.
3. Turn your body back to the center, then repeat the sequence working your left side.
Repeat 20 times.
Exercise 7 – Works the entire core, legs, back, and shoulders
This pool noodle exercise is similar to exercise 2, but you won’t have the ladder’s stability to depend on, and you will be holding the position for longer.
1. Standing on the pool’s floor, position the noodle vertically on the surface of the water, holding one end in each hand.
2. Push the noodle downwards, keeping your arms straight, and without submerging your head, allow your body to float upwards into a Plank position.
3. Maintain this position for 60 seconds, increasing this to 120 seconds when you become stronger.
Exercise 8 – works the chest, arms, back, thighs, buttocks, and legs
1. Stand in chest-deep water, holding an end of the pool noodle in either hand, your arms extended to the front beneath the surface of the water. (The ends of the noodle should be bent up to form the letter U, and your hands should be held close together.)
2. Take a big step forward through the noodle with your right leg, lunging down and pushing the noodle toward the bottom of the pool. Don’t let your knee go further forward than your toes, and be sure to place your right foot flat on the pool’s floor, allowing your left heel to lift upward.
3. Step back to your starting position.
Work both legs, doing 10 reps on each side.
Exercise 9 – Works the legs, hips, buttocks, and abs
1. Straddle the pool noodle in waist-deep water as if you were sitting on a bike, holding one end of the noodle in either hand.
2. Keeping your back straight, lift your feet off the bottom of the pool and, using a cycling motion, pedal to the other side of the pool.
3. Turn around and pedal back to your starting position.
Repeat once, building up to 5 times as your fitness improves.
Exercise 10 – Works the legs and buttocks
1. Standing in waist-deep water, wrap the pool noodle around your upper back. Bring the ends to the front and, grasping one in either hand, run across the pool, lifting your knees high. Let the noodle support your weight when the water becomes too deep to stand in.
2. Run back without turning around when you get to the other side.
Repeat 10 times.
Final Thoughts on Pool Noodle Exercises
If you’d like to add some new exercises to your fitness regimen and have a swimming pool or access to one, summer is the perfect time to try pool noodle exercises. They’re one of the most enjoyable workouts you can do and one your family will probably be happy to do with you.
Equipment requirements are modest, with a swimsuit and a pool noodle being all you will need.
Any pool noodle you have should be fine. If you need to buy one, I recommend the WOW World of Sports Pool Noodle.
Larger than most, it is 46″ in length with a width of 5 1/2″ and it can support a weight of 250 pounds.
The WOW pool noodle is flexible, so it will conform to your body.
Its textured non-slip finish is gentle against the skin, and it is UV-resistant, so it will keep its color and won’t break down and degrade from being exposed to saltwater, pool chemicals, or sunlight.
It comes in lime green, bright blue, red, or purple.
Looking for other non-traditional workouts? If so, you may like to read How to Lose Weight by Dancing and Get Fit as You’re Having Fun.