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Water exercise has been recognized for its many health benefits and is becoming an increasingly popular form of physical fitness for all ages. With regular aqua therapy exercise and proper form, you can achieve and maintain a healthy, full-body workout. In this guide, you’ll discover 10 aqua therapy exercises specifically designed to target body parts from head to toe.

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1. Arm and Shoulder Exercises

Arm Circles

Arm circles are an excellent warm-up exercise that can be done before the other aqua therapy exercises in this program. With your feet planted on the base of the pool, extend your arms out to your sides and make small circular motions. Continue for between 30 and 60 seconds. Remember to keep your back straight and arms in line with your shoulders.


Press-ups can be done where the water is chest-high. Choose one arm to stay on the side of the pool while you press the other arm deep into the water. Repeat this on the other side. Your abs should also be engaged throughout to give you more stability and improve the efficacy of the exercise.

Shoulder Rolls

Shoulder exercises can be beneficial for a wide range of aches and pains. This exercise can be done with your arms extended in front of you and both hands interlaced. With the elbows extended, slowly move your shoulders in a circular motion to the front, up and away, and then back to the starting position. Repeat for 15-20 reps.

2. Leg Exercises

Leg Kickbacks

Leg kickbacks are an effective exercise for engaging and strengthening the thighs. To start, float in the water, facing downward. Concentrate on keeping your core engaged as you kick your legs back, one after the other. Repeat this exercise 10-15 times. Try to keep the movements slow and controlled and to focus on engaging the glutes and the inner thigh muscles.

Reverse Lunges

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and take a wide step back with your right foot, lowering your body while keeping your torso upright. Push off with your right foot and step back to where your feet started. Repeat on the other side and continue for 15-20 reps.

Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbers are an effective full-body exercise to build muscle and increase cardiovascular endurance. Bring your body in a plank position and make sure your back is kept straight. Alternating your legs, bring each knee as close to your chest as possible. Keep your hips as still as possible. This exercise can be done for at least two minutes.

3. Abdominal Exercises

Russian Twist

The Russian twist is a great exercise to build abdominal strength. It can be done in a seated position in the pool. Place your hands behind your head, slightly bending your elbows. Keeping your core engaged, rotate your arms and upper body to the right side, then to the left, and repeat. Do this exercise for 15-20 reps.

Oblique Twists

Oblique twists target the abdominal muscles and hips for a full core workout. Sitting with your feet spread wide, hold on to the side of the pool. While facing forward, use your abdominal muscles to twist your body to the right. Make sure your arms are straight. Return to center and then repeat on the other side. Do this exercise for 15-20 repetitions.

Leg Raises

Leg raises focus on the lower abdominal muscles. Begin by sitting on the bottom of the pool. Place your hands behind you, palms down, and lean your torso back. Use abdominal strength to lift your legs off the bottom of the pool and hold for 4-5 seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat for 15-20 reps.

4. Back Exercises


Sit with your knees bent and feet flat on the bottom of the pool. Place your hands on either side of your head and lean backward, arching your back. Return to starting position, then repeat for 15-20 reps. Remember to keep your shoulders relaxed and your back straight.

“L” Position

This exercise will work the core muscles. Place your hands and feet flat on the base of the pool. With your back straight, use your core muscles to raise your hips off the base of the pool. Hold the position for 3-5 seconds, keeping your body in a straight line. Lower your hips back down to the starting position, and repeat for 15-20 reps.

Backstroke Stretch

The backstroke stretch targets the spinal muscles and helps to increase flexibility. Float facing the side of the pool in an arch position, hands extended up and out of the water. Use your core strength to slowly pull the legs off the base of the pool, knee bent, until your feet touch the wall. Return to the starting position and repeat for 10-15 reps.

5. Cardiovascular Exercises

Power Skipping

Power skipping is a full-body, cardiovascular workout. Begin by standing with your feet on the bottom of the pool and your hands under chin. Jump slightly off the base of the pool and land with bent knees. Continue in intervals of low to high jumps up and out of the water. Perform this exercise for 30 seconds and then rest.

Water Jogging

Water jogging is an excellent weight-bearing exercise that helps to improve leg strength, joint mobility, and metabolic rate. Bring your arms up to the sides in a sculling motion and jog in the shallow area of the pool. This exercise is low-impact and very beneficial for increasing heart rate in a short amount of time.

High Knees

High knees are a perfect way to improve strength and agility. Stand with your feet parallel to the sides of the pool and bring your right knee up to your waist. Step back down and switch legs. As you get better at this, you can increase the speed of your movements. Perform this exercise for 30-60 seconds.

People Also Ask

What are the Benefits of Aqua Therapy?

Aqua therapy has many benefits, such as increased strength and range of motion, as well as improved circulation, balance and flexibility. It’s also beneficial for reducing pain, increasing mobility, and improving posture.

Are Aqua Therapy Exercises Safe?

Yes, aqua therapy exercises are safe for most people. It’s low-impact, so it’s appropriate for people with joint pain or injuries. But it’s important to speak to a doctor first that can assess your fitness level and determine if aqua therapy is the right option for you.

How Long Should Aqua Therapy Sessions Last?

Aqua therapy sessions can last anywhere from 15-45 minutes. It all depends on the intensity of the exercises and how much time it takes for you to complete them. Generally, it’s recommended that you keep each session to under one hour.

What are the Best Aquatic Exercises?

The best aquatic exercises depend on your goals. Aqua therapy can include activities such as arm circles, press-ups, shoulder rolls, leg kickbacks, reverse lunges, mountain climbers, Russian twists, oblique twists, leg raises, extensions, the “L” position, backstroke stretch, power skipping, water jogging, and high knees.


Aqua therapy exercise is a great way to stay in shape, improve strength, and provide a thorough full-body workout. With 10 of the best aqua therapy exercises from arm and shoulder exercises to leg exercises to abdominal exercises to back exercises and even to cardiovascular exercises, you can find the perfect workout for you and your needs. To get the most out of aqua therapy, remember to always practice proper form and to warm-up before every session.