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Water exercises you can do while at the cottage!

In this post we outline in more detail some exercises to get you started in the water. There are a total of 34 videos that highlight various exercises you can while at your cottage.

The exercises have been categorized under the 5 headings listed below:

  1. Movement
  2. Balance
  3. Strength
  4. Plyometrics
  5. Cardio

How should I get started when training in the water?

No matter what water environment you plan to exercise in, a warmup and cooldown is important. Your warmup should consist of a minimum of a 5 minute low to moderate intensity cardio. At the end of your session a slow, gradual decrease in heart rate using low intensity exercises is the goal.

If you are wondering how much exercise you should be getting in general, more information can be found in our recent blog post – What are the new physical activity guidelines? How much activity do you need? 


Set an area in the water where you can do the various walking patterns and move through each movement pattern.

Balance (2 to 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions)

Strength (2 to 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions)

Plyometrics (2 to 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions or 30 sec circuits

Cardio (For example circuits of 30 sec – 1 min exercise, with 15 sec rest – increase as tolerated)

  • Walking in chest deep water.
  • Flutter kicking circuits with flutter board or with hands on the side of the dock.
  • Eggbeater/treading water circuits. Use a pool noodle for support as required.
  • Swimming (breast stroke, front crawl, back crawl, butterfly)


“How do I make exercises easier, or more difficult as I improve?”

Most importantly, be creative! You can:

  • Adjust the speed of your movements against water resistance
  • Increase or reduce the surface area of your equipment to change the forces
  • Choose movements that change the resistance of the water
  • Add more weight or increase the tension of your resistance band
  • Play around with buoyancy – greater submersion or deeper can make balance more difficult.
  • Adjust your base of support – a narrower stance with feet together is often harder, as is tandem walking heel to toe. Consider incorporating these into your other water exercises where applicable.
  • Close your eyes – taking visual feedback out of the equation adds another layer of challenge (just don’t try this in the deep end!)


Brody, Lori Thein, and Paula Richley Geigle, editors. Aquatic Exercise for Rehabilitation and Training. Human Kinetics, 2009.

Layne, Melissa. Water Exercise. Human Kinetics, 2015.


Gavin Parsons

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