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10 Swim Spa Exercises For the Complete Novice

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10 Swim Spa Exercises For the Complete Novice

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Are you someone who wants the benefits of a hot tub: relaxation, stress relief, better sleep, improved flexibility, and hydrotherapy for pain? Would you also like a convenient place to work out regularly? A swim spa is an ideal compromise between a swimming pool and a hot tub, as it provides it the best features of both. Swimming and jogging in place alone are wonderful ways to improve cardio health. But what about strength training? Do you love the idea of skipping the gym and getting your workout in the privacy of your backyard? Are you perhaps not sure where to begin? Here are 10 of the best swim spa exercises for the complete novice.

Before You Begin

  • The best temperature for your swim spa workout is around 92 degrees. 
  • Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout.
  • Water shoes can help prevent any slipping.
  • Basic exercise accessories such as a ball and water hand paddles increase water resistance and make the exercises super effective.


Once you enter the water, you should do a few warm-up exercises before beginning your routine. Simple neck, shoulder, hamstring, and calf stretches will help you limber up. Walking in place is also a great way to get your blood flow going. Once you are warmed up, it’s time to begin 10 swim spa exercises to get you into your best shape ever, even if you are a complete novice.

Upper Body

Do 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions of these upper body exercises. The use of water hand paddles will provide resistance to the water, making these upper body exercises more effective. Stand facing the swim spa currents, which should be set at low flow for beginners.

  1. Arm Flies– Begin with knees bent slightly, hips back, and chest extended. Position arms extended sideways at chest height at the surface of the water, palms facing forward. Keep the hand paddles submerged at all times. Pushing against the water, keeping arms straight, bring your arms forward to the center of the chest. Reverse the direction of your palms and push the water away from you as you return your arms to your sides.
  2. Arm Side Raises– Extend your arms out to the sides at shoulder level, palms facing downward. Keeping arms straight, bring them down to hip level, pushing water away with hand paddles in a downward direction. Rotate palms upward, raise arms back up to shoulder level using paddles to push water upwards.
  3. Chest Presses– Squat slightly, with spine straight. One arm at a time, palms outward, press the hand paddles forward and across your body, pushing the water away from you, alternating arms as if using a punching bag.
  4. Tricep/Bicep curls- Squat slightly, hips back, chest forward. Keep your elbows close to your sides. Begin holding paddles with palms upward, pulling the water up, contracting your biceps. Reverse the movement by rotating the palms downward, pushing the water away from you, engaging the triceps.

Lower Body

  1. Squats– Bend knees slightly, hips back, spine straight. Lower buttocks as if about to sit, then raise back to starting position. Do 2-3 sets of 10.
  2. Step-ups– Hands on hips, facing spa steps. One foot at a time, step up, then step back down. Repeat with the same foot. Do 10 reps then switch to the other foot.
  3. Hip Abduction– Standing straight, hold onto the side of the swim spa. With your right leg straight, extend out to the side. Swing back in front of you across your left leg. Repeat 10 times, then switch to the left leg, swinging across the right leg.
  4. Hip Extension– Standing straight, hold onto the side of the swim spa. With right leg straight, swing leg forward. Bring leg straight back behind you. Do 10 reps, then alternate legs.


  1. Bicycle Kicks– Put your back up to the side of the swim spa with the grab bar behind you. Reach your arms back and hold onto the grab bar. Begin pedaling your legs in a circular motion as if you were pedaling a bicycle. Keep this up for 30 seconds, then recover for as long as you need to. Repeat two more times.
  2. Ab Crunch– Sitting on swim spa steps, clutch a round ball to your chest. Contract your abdominal muscles and crunch forward, consciously pulling your belly button in towards your spine. Do 10 reps and repeat one or two times.

Water exercise has been proven to be an extremely effective way to achieve fat loss, flexibility, better balance, and an increased level of fitness. It is an outstanding as well as an enjoyable way to get in better shape. The swim spa provides a great environment for swimming or water jogging, producing improved cardiovascular health. However, it is also a marvelous place to get in a full-body workout. The jets provide a flow of water to work against, making low impact exercises more effective than ever. This list of 10 swim spa exercises should help even a complete novice get into the best workout routine of their lives. 

Our professionals at Aqua Pools will be happy to provide you with more information on which swim spa may be the best choice for you. Stop by our showroom today and begin the journey to better health and fitness.


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