Exercises In The Pool: Arm Exercises To Tone And Strengthen

It’s common to find exercises targeting the arms in any aerobics routine, but with water aerobics you’ll find you’re able to complete a broader range of exercises, and achieve things that you may not have the strength to do at the gym! The water provides a resistance which means you’re able to do work your muscles without a high impact, as you might get with a punching bag, for example. You can do any of these exercises either with or without weights, depending on the intensity of your workout.

Here are a few simple exercises you can do in the pool if you want to target your arms – to build upper body strength and to tone up and get rid of those bingo wings! Incorporate these into a longer workout, or combine them with your regular swimming session.


You won’t need a punch bag if you’re punching underwater, as you’ll experience water resistance throughout the motion. Stand so that the water is about neck height, bending your knees slightly and keeping your back straight. Punch out straight in front of you, alternating your arms. Vary the exercise by punching out to the side or down towards your feet, ensuring that your movement is controlled throughout. For an extra challenge you could try adding weights, and gradually increasing the number of repetitions you do.

Triceps Push

Firm up the backs of your upper arms using weights and repletion of this simple exercise. Stand holding your weights up by your chest, with your elbows bent and your palms facing in. Push the weights down towards your thighs in a slow controlled movement, until your arms are straight, and then return to the starting position.

Biceps Curl

Exactly as you would do as part of a typical aerobics workout, this exercise will tone the front of your upper arms. Hold your weights with your arms down by your sides and your palms facing forward. Slowly lift the weights up to your shoulders, keeping your elbows by your sides. Lower, maintaining a controlled motion, and repeat.

Breast Stroke Arms


This exercise is exactly as it sounds, practicing the breast stroke arm motion in a standing position, with the use of weights to maximise the work out your muscles get. Extend your arms out directly in front of your body at chest height and sweep out and round to either side before returning to the starting position and repeating.

Cross Country Ski

Hold your weights in each hand by your sides, and alternately swing your arms straight out in front of your body and back again, as if you are walking or marching. If you want to extend this exercise to work on your legs and core muscles you could actually walk around the pool as you do it, allowing the resistance of the water to give you something to push against.

Touch Front and Back

Hold your weights together with your arms straight and lowered at the front of your body. Bring them around each side of your body to touch behind you, and do the same in reverse to touch at the back again.


photo credit: Old Shoe Woman via photopin cc

photo credit: Scott Ableman via photopin cc

photo credit: Scott Ableman via photopin cc

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