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Life Enriching Communities Blog

4 Aquatic Exercises that Get Results

Posted by Twin Towers on April 12, 2016

By Amy Brunner, Wellness Services Manager of The Connection at Twin Towers

Aquatic exercise is a popular option for many seniors today, and that’s because there are so many benefits to it. It can help build strength, stamina and balance for daily living and can also be used in therapy to help speed recovery after an injury or surgery.

Here are a few of my favorite aquatic exercises:

1. Chest Fly with Paddle – works chest and upper backChest fly with paddles

Equipment: Water resistance paddles

Starting Position: Neutral stance – feet shoulder width apart*, back straight, shoulders over hips, arms out at the sides, palms facing forward, elbows straight.

  1. On exhale, bring both arms forward so that paddles are parallel.
  2. On inhale, turn thumbs down and reach paddles behind you squeezing blades together. Be mindful to keep core tight and not to arch lower back.

Repeat 10-15 times, exhaling with arms forward, inhaling with arms behind. 

2. Isometric/Isotonic Lateral Raises – works shoulders and lateralsIsometric Isotonic lateral raises

Equipment: Water exercise hand buoys

Starting Position: Neutral stance same as above. Arms out at sides, palms facing down, elbows straight, weights just below surface of water.

  1. On exhale, push right arm straight down to thigh while keeping left arm steady and weight below surface of water.
  2. On inhale, raise right arm up and out to the side in a slow and controlled manner while keeping weight below surface of the water.

Repeat 10-15 times with right arm, then switch arms, never letting the weight break the surface of the water.

 3. Tricep Push Down – works triceps and bicepsTricep_Push_down.jpg

Equipment: Pool noodle

Starting Position: Neutral stance same as above. Grip noodle with palms down and arms at shoulder width apart. Tuck elbows close in to body, making certain elbows are pointing directly behind you.

  1. On exhale, push noodle down to thighs, straightening elbows.
  2. On inhale, slowly bend the elbows and bring the noodle back up to starting position.

Repeat 10-15 times being certain to exhale as you push down and inhale as the noodle comes up.

 4. Four Way Hip Kick – works abductors, adductors, hip flexors, hip extensors and gluteals.

Equipment: Aquatic ankle buoysFour way hip kick

Starting Position: Neutral stance same as above. Hands on hips to help keep shoulders over hips and lower back straight. If assistance is needed to maintain balance and proper position, hold onto side of the pool or hold hands out at sides.

Perform the following exercises 10-15 times with one leg, then repeat with other leg.


  1. On exhale, move right leg out away from the body toes pointed forward.
  2. On inhale, bring right leg back to starting position.


  1. On exhale, move right leg across front of the body squeezing the inner thigh.
  2. On inhale, bring right leg back to starting position.


  1. On exhale, raise right heel behind body, keeping knee straight, squeezing glutes.
  2. On inhale, bring right leg back to starting position.


  1. On exhale, raise right leg forward, toes pointed up, knee straight.
  2. On inhale, lower right leg back to starting position.

I recommend that for these exercises, the water in the pool should be chest high and to work within your own range of motion. If something hurts, stop immediately.

Pool noodles can be purchased at most department and grocery stores. Other aquatic exercise equipment can be purchased at www.aquagear.com.

*Alternate stance: one leg forward with knee slightly bent – this helps with balance and control and low-back support.

Feeling good inside and out is the cornerstone of life at Twin Towers. At The Connection, a fitness center, aquatic center, integrative therapy, and a full schedule of classes are at your fingertips to help you live a healthy lifestyle. The Connection serves adults 50 years and older and welcomes non-residents from the surrounding community to become members and enjoy the benefits and services.button to download A-Z guide to living and aging the way you want


Topics: Senior Health and Fitness

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