18 Water Workouts to Splash Yourself Slim

For a day of family fun, try...

Chaos Running

Splash off some calories
On the count of 3, everyone carefully walks or jogs in a zigzag pattern from one end of the pool to the other, then back, suggests Sanders. The currents created by the erratic directions increase resistance.

Water Circles
Massage your thighs in a do-it-yourself whirlpool
Walk as fast as you can in a circle around a section of the pool that's about 3 feet deep (the more people, the better the effect). Do about 20 laps, then change direction for 10 laps. The resulting rush of water against your body will feel much like the jets in a whirlpool.

A Game of Fetch
Torch 175 calories in just 20 minutes
Throw an inflatable ball to the other side of the pool and see who can retrieve it the fastest. You won't even notice you're doing sprints.

Visiting a Water Park
Boost your butt with a fun stair workout
You may climb more than 800 steps to reach the water slides and walk 5 to 7 miles during a 1-day visit. And the ride down will cool you off.

Melt off pounds with this walking and stair-climbing workout.

If there are flotation tools handy, try...

Kickboard Laps
Target your fat-burning leg and butt muscles

You'll easily glide through the water with a kickboard or noodle in hand. Practice different types of kicking: flutter (alternating legs), dolphin (legs together, mermaid style), and breaststroke (frog kicks), suggests Paul Smith, swimming instructor and fitness specialist at Lake Austin Spa Resort in Austin, TX.

Deepwater Jogging
Burn a whopping 750 calories an hour
Hold a noodle or slip on a flotation belt or vest (available at most pools). "Run" as hard as you can for 30 to 60 seconds, bringing knees toward chest and pumping your arms. Do 10 sets, recovering your breath between sprints, suggests exercise physiologist and triathlon coach Ben Greenfield of Spokane, WA.

A Beach Ball Workout
Tone your arms and shoulders—no throwing (or catching) required
Trying to submerge a ball that floats really works your core and upper body. Experiment with different movements to vary the muscles targeted, says Sanders. For example, press a small ball down in front of you with bent arms, then move it to the side and straighten arms.

If you don't want to get your hair wet, try...

Backward Motion
Work more muscles for speedier results
Research shows that water walking or jogging in reverse engages more muscles in your legs and back than going forward (83% more quads, 61% more lower back, and 47% more calves).

Shuffle Slides
Slim down saddlebags
To tone your inner and outer thighs, shuffle side to side in at least thigh-deep water, says Melissa Layne, an American Council on Exercise spokesperson and a water aerobics instructor for 20 years. Keep movements smooth

Arm Presses
Firm up as you chat—no one will notice!
Stand in chest-deep water with palms open and fingers spread and move your arms back and forth and up and down. Increase your speed for a greater challenge.


3 Ways to burn even more calories.

You can blast about 350 in just 30 minutes if you pick up your pace. Here's how:

Setting small goals—like doing more laps—motivates you to swim faster and farther. Olympic swimmer Dara Torres sings each lap number to herself to keep track.

Alternating shorter, faster distances in the pool with 10 to 15 seconds of rest can increase your overall speed. Plus, research shows that interval workouts are best at blasting belly fat.

Exercisers who listen to fast-paced music naturally pick up their pace and rate workouts as feeling easier, despite the increased effort. Waterproof headphones and iPod cases can help.

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