Fitness Friday: Mix it Up With Pool Workouts

By Nicole Kurz | May 27, 2016
pool workouts

Swimming is an awesome cardiovascular exercise with tons of benefits. Just like its land-based counterparts, pool workouts can help you improve your aerobic fitness, lower your blood pressure, and reduce your body fat all while having fun.

The one big advantage of water fitness over land-based cardio activities like running or cycling is the buoyancy of the water. Pool workouts are a great way for injured athletes to rehab safely (with your doctor’s approval, of course), and it also is an awesome cross-training addition to any fitness program.

First things first, if you’re new to swimming, be sure to take some time to get comfortable in the water. Check out videos like this one from Total Immersion to understand what your form should look like.

For our Fitness Friday workout this week, we’ve put together a swim-inspired workout that features some in and out of the water work that will give you some great cardio while you’re having fun in the sun.

The distance is designed for a beginner to intermediate swimmer who is comfortable swimming 200 freestyle yards without stopping. If you haven’t quite worked up to that distance yet, feel free to scale back the swim sets accordingly. If you’re training above that distance, you can always add on yards (or meters) to make the workout suit your needs.

All of the equipment used in the workout should be available at your local pool. If not, you can pick up a kickboard and a pull buoy fairly inexpensively at a local sporting goods store (or online through Sports Authority who announced Thursday that they’re going out of business and should have crazy sales!)

pool workouts

Pool Workouts For Beginners

Equipment You’ll Need:

  • Swimsuit
  • Goggles
  • Swim Cap (recommended, but not required)
  • Kickboard
  • Pull Buoy
  • Mat at far end of pool (recommended, but not required)
The Sets:

Warm Up:

  • 50 meter/yard kick
  • 50 meter/yard freestyle
  • 50 meter/yard kick
  • 50 meter/yard freestyle
Set 1:

  • 25 freestyle- at the end of the pool push yourself completely out and do 10 push ups
  • 25 freestyle- at the end of the pool push yourself up to extension, then lower back into the water 10 times
  • Repeat 3x
Set 2:

  • 25 kick- at the end of the pool push yourself completely out and do 10 burpees
  • 25 kick- at the end of the pool push yourself completely out and do 10 air squats
  • Repeat 3x
Set 3:

  • 50 pull
  • 50 freestyle
  • Repeat 3x
Set 4:

  • 25 easy freestyle (recovery)
  • 25 sprint freestyle back (100% max effort)
  • At the end of the sprint, push out of the pool and hold a plank for 1 minute
  • Repeat 3x
Cool Down:

  • 25 easy freestyle
  • 25 easy back kick
  • 25 easy side kick L
  • 25 easy side kick R
Total Distance : 1300 yards/meters

Total Time: Between 30-45 minutes

pool workouts

The Playlist

Since your head will be in the water for most of this workout, it’s important to have the right jams playing when you can hear the music. Be sure to check at your pool that it’s okay to play music on deck before you bring your speaker and crank up the tunes. You can also look at investing in a waterproof music player like the Waterproof iPod Shuffle if you just can’t sweat without music.

Here’s our list of California-inspired tunes to help you crank through your sets- because if you’re swimming you should be beaching, right?  Right.

California Love – 2Pac
California Dreamin‘ – The Mamas & The Papas
Californication – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Going Back to Cali – LL Cool J
L.A. Love (la la) – Fergie
California Gurls – Katy Perry Featuring Snoop Dogg
California Soul – Marlena Shaw
California Girls – Beach Boys

For more Fitness Fridays from Nicole, click here.

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