Not just for swimming: 8 full-body exercises to try in your swim spa

Not just for swimming: 8 full-body exercises to try in your swim spa

With many gyms still closed or only open in a limited capacity, a record number of people these days are working out from home. Unfortunately, though, we don’t all have the space (or disposable income) to create our very own fitness rooms. And with temperatures plummeting across the Midwest, we’re running out of days where even going for a walk or run is easily achievable.

Fortunately, there is a great alternative to achieve your year-round, outdoor workouts: a heated swim spa! While swim spas were—unsurprisingly— originally designed for swimming, what many people don’t realize is that with just a touch of creativity, you can complete a whole suite of full-body exercises to keep you in peak shape through the harsh winter months.

Here are eight of our favorite full-body exercises for you to try in your swim spa. Don’t have a swim spa? Stop reading right now and check out our incredible collection of Cal Spas swim spas, which can be reserved now and even delivered before the holidays!

Why exercise in water?

There are many great reasons to complement or flat-out replace your land-based workout with an aquatic one. For starters, these exercises are all low impact, so it’s much easier on your joints. While great for anyone, this is especially beneficial for older athletes and those with a pre-existing injury.

In addition, the water itself adds extra resistance to many workouts, meaning you actually have to work harder to complete them and burn more calories as a result. It’s a true win-win!

Exercises you can do in your swim spa

Before you begin your workout, make sure you loosen your muscles with some simple water-based stretches.

Note: For several of these exercises, you will need to invest in a good set of water dumbbells or a swim spa-compatible resistance band.

Upper body:

Poolside push-ups

You already know how to do a push-up on dry land, and fortunately, this version doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel. Simply grab onto both ends of your fitness handlebar, lower yourself until your face is about to touch the water, and then push yourself back up until your arms are once again extended. You’ll notice that these are much easier than traditional push-ups, so be sure to take them slow to maximize each rep.

Buoyant bicep curls

Have a seat on your swim spa’s bench and lean forward so that the water is up to your shoulders. Hold your dumbbell or resistance band in your hand, with your palm facing up. Starting with your arm in a horizontal position, bring the weight up to your shoulder and then back down. Again, this may be easier than outside the water, so adjust your rep count accordingly and switch out your arms after each set.

Rowing the boat

Just as it sounds, this exercise can take the place of a rowing machine or a good old-fashioned canoe. Placing your feet against the front of your swim spa, lean back and lower your body so your shoulders are fully submerged. Grab onto your resistance band and forcefully put it towards your chest. Then release back to your starting position, and repeat for 20–30 reps. For increased resistance, reverse your body and activate your river jet to push against your back.


Cascade crunches

No, you don’t need to hold your breath on the spa floor to perform these crunches. Instead, put your back against either the sidewall or fitness handlebar, whichever is more comfortable for you. Extend your arms out and grab on to the rim to hold yourself up above the water. Now extend your legs out and down at a 45-degree angle. Try to pull your knees to your chest at least 10–20 times.

Tidal twists

Stand in the center of your swim spa, making sure that you have plenty of room around you on all sides. With your legs shoulder-width apart with knees slightly bent, grab your water dumbbell and hold it vertically with both hands against your stomach. Then simply twist your torso from side to side to feel the burn. For an added challenge, increase your twisting speed or grab a second dumbbell.

Lower body:

Water jogging

This one is about as simple as they come and is a fantastic warmup to get your heart rate up. All you have to do is jog in place while trying to lift your knees as high as you can with each step. If that’s too easy, turn on your swim current and try running as fast as you can against it.

Aquatic cycling

Before you ask, no, you don’t need to purchase a special underwater bike to complete this exercise. Begin with your back against the edge of the spa, just as you did for the crunches. Only this time, instead of pulling your knees up, you simply cycle your legs around and around as if peddling an imaginary bike. Turning the swim current on will, as before, make this a bit more challenging too.

Deep-sea squats

For our final exercise, stand in the center of the spa with your feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly bend your needs and allow your hips to go back as if you about to sit in a chair until your thighs are parallel with the ground. Avoid extending your knees over your ankles and keep your weight on your heels. When you go back to the standing position, push through your heels to maintain your balance. Grab your water dumbbells to further push your thighs and glutes.

Find your new home gym at Cal Spas of Minnesota

Are you ready to take your at-home workouts to a whole new level? Whatever your age or fitness level, a swim spa is a perfect way to get back into shape or maintain your physical regimen 365 days of the year.

Shop our fantastic selection today to find the ideal swim spa for you. Or stop by one of our convenient Twin Cities locations and talk to one of our showroom experts, who can help you customize the perfect swim spa to fit your needs.