Hitting the pool? Top 3 water exercises to get toned this summer

Swimming is not only a cardio exercise but it also works all the muscles in the core and lower body

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Outdoor activities during summer are more fun, and we get plenty of vitamin D. The beach and pool are popular, so here are three toning exercises one can do in water.

Lateral steps

This is more of a cardio exercise as it will increase your heart rate, but it also works all the muscles in the core and lower body. Perform this exercise with the water above waist height.


1. Start with the legs hip-width apart, bend your elbows 90 degrees, pull back your shoulder blades and draw in your navel.

2. Bend at your hips slightly, as if you are about to perform a squat, but not as deep.

3. Take a powerful step laterally (to the side), and allow the other foot to follow through as you do. Allow the water to be your resistance.

4. Take three to four steps with your right leg powering you off, repeat and come back with the left doing the same.

5. Keep your upper back extended through the movement and your navel drawn in.

6. You should feel a burn in your legs, practically in the back and the butt area.

7. It is important to push off the lead leg to send the body off in a sideways direction

8. Complete one to three minutes of this exercise, rest, and repeat three times (depending on your fitness level).


Boxing is fantastic for toning the upper body. However, most boxing moves are performed using punch bags or pads, requiring boxing equipment, classes or a trainer. You can use the resistance of the water to perform this movement, and it will tone and strengthen the upper body.


The water should be up to shoulder height

1. Take a staggered stance in the water, one leg in front and the other behind you, knees slightly bent.

2. Draw your navel in, and tuck your hips under to brace your pelvis.

3. Rotate your torso and throw the punch off the back leg.

4. Keep your upper back extended.

5. Use your torso to power the punch forward through the resistance of the water.

6. Do not move forward over the toes as you are only rotating. Stay grounded if you can.

7. Repeat 25-50 reps on each leg, then switch. This move is great for burning calories.

Activate your core

Activating your core muscles in water is a great challenge, and will help you centre yourself better.


There is no need for movement, and the water should be waist height.

1. Stand in the water with the feet pointing straight, hip-width apart.

2. Lean forward slightly with your upper body. This might seem awkward, but stick with it as this is the starting point to activate your core muscles.

3. Place your hand on your pelvis (hips), then shift it back behind your shoulders.

4. Tuck your hips while they are still shifted back. The best way to think of how to do this is to imagine a dog tucking its tail between its legs when it gets scared.

5. Draw in your navel simultaneously as you perform the posterior pelvic tilt.

6. You will feel a burning sensation in your lower abs (core). Hold this position for as long as you can keep the correct form, while the water resistance or waves will challenge you further.

7. Relax for a few minutes. You can repeat this static hold for several more sets.