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Full-body pool workouts

This summer, why not take advantage of the gorgeous weather and take your workout to the water? Top performance coach, Belinda Wasowski from Intensity PT (@intensity_personal_training), shows us why the pool is the perfect place to train in the heat.

The fitographer

The goal

For this workout, we’ll be doing high-intensity interval training (HIIT). This involves short bursts of high-intensity exercises, followed by low-intensity exercises or rest. With HIIT, you get better results in less time — so it’s perfect for people who only have 20-25 minutes to spare. Pools are great for these types of workouts as the water puts much less stress on your joints.

The watery workout

Complete the following circuit 4-5 times (that’s 16-20 minutes total). Work as hard as you can for 20 seconds, then rest for 20 seconds before moving to the next exercise. If you want bang for your buck, this is how to do it!

  • Fast kicks  — 20 seconds
    Hold the edge of the pool or a kickboard and float with your legs straight out behind you. Kick your legs as hard and fast as you can (keeping your legs underwater rather than splashing on the surface).
  • Rest for 20 seconds
Tip: Record the time it takes to complete 10 laps — and try to beat that score next time!
  • Legless breaststroke — 20 seconds
    Put a pool buoy between your legs (or simply cross your legs). Using your upper body only, move around the pool with a breaststroke movement.
  • Rest for 20 seconds.
  • Slow, scissor kicks — 20 seconds
    Hold the edge of the pool or a kickboard again, but this time, kick your legs aiming for the biggest range of motion. Keep your legs underwater the entire time.
  • Rest for 20 seconds
  • Squat jumps — 20 seconds
    This is exactly like a regular squat jump, except you’ll be doing it underwater. Stand with arms stretched out to the sides at shoulder height. Squat, then jump as high out of the water as possible. As you jump, extend your arms above your head.
  • Rest for 20 seconds
  • Scissor jumps — 20 seconds
    Stand with your feet together. Take a big step forward with your right foot — this is your starting position (similar to a lunge). Jump as high as you can, switching feet at the same time so that your left foot is now in front and your right foot is behind. Squeeze your butt each time you jump.
  • Rest for 20 seconds
  • Butt kicks — 20 seconds
    Run on the spot, kicking your butt with your feet as you run.
  • Pool sprint intervals
    For the grand finale, complete 10 return laps as fast as you can. To do this, run from one end of the pool to the other with high knees. Pump the arms as you run and give it everything you have. Return to the start with a slow jog. That’s one lap!

Want to target your midsection? Check out moves for a toned tummy >>

Mix it up

When you’re ready to vary your pool workout, throw in one of these exercises.

Treading water

This is one of the hardest things to do over time — and explains why water polo players are so incredibly fit! Kick off or end your workout by treading water for 2 minutes, and then amp this up to 5, 10 or even 15 as you get fitter.

Egg beaters

To really raise your heartbeat, try the egg beater. As you tread water, move both of your legs at the same time in opposite directions. So, the left leg goes clockwise and the right leg goes anticlockwise — but the challenge is to keep both legs spinning simultaneously. For bonus points, circle your arms to target shoulders and triceps.

Hands-up kicks

This exercise is done exactly the way it sounds: Standing straight, tread water while keeping your hands up in the air. This is very challenging, and you’ll feel the burn in your glutes and core muscles. But just remember — that burn is getting you one step closer to that beach body you’ve always dreamed of.

Check it out

If you’re interested in training with Belinda and getting seriously fit, strong and healthy, check out

More workout tips

Work out at home
Best tone-up exercises to get summer ready
Tough Mudder-inspired workouts

Photo credits: The Fitographer

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