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Water Aerobics Classes & Exercises – A Beginner’s Guide

I’ve never been much for swimming, so I’d mostly sit on the sidelines watching the children and their friends play in the water. That all changed when I discovered water aerobics for beginners!  Not only are aqua aerobics a great workout, but they can be a lot more fun than other forms of exercise.

Woman takgin a water aerobics class with floating weights

Benefits of Water Aerobics classes & Exercises

1. It’s easy to start.

Most people will probably start off in water aerobics classes at the gym or community pool.  In these classes, an instructor will lead you through a series of well-balanced and surprisingly strenuous exercises.  Because there’s an instructor, you really don’t have to know any routines going into the class – they’ll teach you everything!

2. Classmates are very friendly.

When one of my friends asked me how I got started with water aerobics classes, I told her I went to a class at the community pool. When I worked out in the gym, it was like everyone was very serious – no one interacted much. It was a completely different experience in the water aerobics classes. People were very friendly and interacted a lot. They really enjoyed being there, which made for a more positive experience for me.

3. So much variety.

A big advantage of getting in shape with water exercises is the variety. Yes, there are workout classes to learn the basics, but from there, you can branch out in a lot of directions.  Here are some examples of water aerobics classes you can try outside of the basics:

  • Aqua kickboxing – I’ve given an aqua kickboxing class a try, and it was as strenuous as a couple of miles on the running trail!
  • Aqua Zumba – How fun is this?!  My next goal is to try those awesome dance moves of a water Zumba dance class.
  • Aqua yoga and tai chi – If I want to calm down and relax, I can go to an aqua yoga or aqua tai chi class. Stepping through those quiet moves that feel like dancing – and doing it in the water – really quiets my mind.
  • Aqua spin classes – I’ve just read that there are now aqua spinning classes – I haven’t seen it yet, but they apparently have spin bikes that they put in the water. I can’t wait to tell my sister – she does spin classes all the time.

4. Great for stress relief

If I have a few spare minutes in my otherwise hectic day, a short workout in the pool can really be great for stress relief. If I go out and do something as simple as treading water for a while, I get that built up stress out of my system.  Plus, there’s just something about being in water that’s innately calming.

5. Easy to involve the family in your pool at home!

Now I’ve found new uses for my home pool, and my kids will even get in on the workout. If I’m doing water squats, and want to challenge my core, they run around me in the water to create a current.

Sometimes I do the Spiderman move – where I stand next to the edge of the pool and run up the sides and back down while I tread water with my arms. It’s an exercise that my kids will do with me, and they have a blast, while we get some great work for our legs and arms.

5. A super cardio workout

Someone asked me if water aerobics classes could be much of a cardio workout. I told them that competitive runners routinely use aqua jogging as a cross-training option. It gives them an excellent cardio session while letting tired legs rest.

It’s easy to go aqua jogging – just show up at the community pool when the lap lanes are open, and begin moving up and down one in a good jogging posture. You actually have to lean a little like you’re sprinting to push against the resistance of the water.

6. Low Impact

One of the most important parts of water aerobics of any kind is how low impact the workouts are. You can get in an incredibly good cardio workout as I mentioned above without adding strain to your joints. While this is important for anyone, it’s especially vital for those who have joint issues.

The buoyant water takes a lot of the weight off of the joints, reducing the impact that they experience while stepping, running, and doing other cardio activities. This low impact makes water aerobics especially good for those with problematic joints or the elderly.

Beginner’s Guide To Water Aerobics Classes and Exercises

To get started, you can do one of two things:  a) Check out beginner’s water aerobics classes at your gym, or b) Try some of the common water aerobics exercises at home.  I recommend starting with a class, as you’ll have an easier time learning the proper form and will walk away with lots of exercise ideas.

If you want to get started right away at home instead,  here are some resources with excellent information about different types of aqua aerobics exercises you can try:

Also, I’ve pulled together three awesome free videos with water aerobics exercise routines that you can try:

Related: How to burn 100 Calories – 35 Easy Ways to Do It

1.  Water Aerobics Total Body Strengthening & Cardio Aqua Workout from WECOACH

This video includes the following water aerobics exercises, and is geared toward beginners:

  • Water jogging
  • Jumping jack
  • Jack arms
  • Squat
  • Circling arms

2. PopSugar Pool Workout

This video includes the following water aerobics exercises, and is geared toward those at any workout level:

  • Rotating Jump and Hip Twist
  • Straight Leg Kick
  • Tuck Jump
  • Trunk rotation
  • Karaoke (twist & skip)
  • Poolside hip lift

3. Love Handles water Aerobics classes from Shape Up with Pooja

This video includes the following exercises, and is targeted toward all fitness levels who are looking to tone their obliques and arms:

  • Roman twists
  • Bear job arm rolls
  • Tricep dip jogs

Since I started aqua aerobics, I feel invigorated by exercise in a whole new way. Rather than dreading every session, I’m excited to get to the gym and start my classes. I’m feeling better and my joints aren’t paying the price. It’s been an amazing new era in my fitness journey.

I smile as I leave the gym after a great aqua aerobics session, knowing I just did an enjoyable workout that will keep me coming back.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do – be sure to pin this post so you can refer to these workouts later!

Related: Best Bodyweight Training for Beginners

A pool with water weights and a text overlay about getting started with water aerobics

Author: Kaitlin Gardner started An Apple Per Day to explore her passion for a green living lifestyle, and healthy family living. She and her husband have just moved to rural Pennsylvania, where they enjoy exploring the countryside to discover interesting and out of the way places. She is also learning how to paint watercolors.

Related: 3 Tops Tips for Flat Abs

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  1. Carolyn Daley says:

    Water aerobics is fun. My grandma used to fill plastic jugs with water and use them as weights in the pool.

  2. Patty says:

    I took aqua aerobics for a while an it was a fantastic workout! It was after my surgery and it was so much better for me than all of the bouncing of regular aerobics.

  3. Cinny says:

    That is so ridiculously cool! I’d love to try that one day. I’m sure there’s lots of health benefits

  4. Jenna Wood says:

    I have always wanted to join a cardio aerobics class. I am terrible at running, but I like to get my heart rate up to help endurance and general health. Our gym offers some free classes, I just need to find the time to go in.

  5. katherine says:

    I’ve heard of this before. I would love to find a class near me!

  6. Lena says:

    I honestly have never heard of aqua jogging, but it sounds interesting. I have tried Aqua Zumba and just felt super guffy

  7. I love the idea of aqua spinning. I would have to see that in process but I am sure it would be very fun!

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