Recreate leg day in the pool with these 8 exercises that target lower body muscles with a pool noodle. Enjoy creative variations on squats, lunges, butt blaster, stair master and more. The pool is ideal for exercise because there is little joint impact and you can beat the heat and stay cool while you stay fit.
In some of the exercises below, you will notice that the resisted movement is in the opposite direction of the traditional land version of the exercise. Pool noodles are made of foam and resist the upward forces of buoyancy when directed downwards. This is the opposite of gravity. When using a pool noodle for resistance, the downward phase of the of the exercise is the resisted (concentric) phase of the movement. The upward phase of the exercise is the assisted (eccentric) phase of the movement. When exercising on land, movement is affected by the downward forces of gravity and resisted movements are upward and assisted movements are downwards.
Use a larger, thicker (dense) noodle for more resistance. Use a smaller, thinner (less dense) noodle for less resistance.
1. Noodle Squats
Start with both feet standing on noodle. Perform squats by allowing both knees to tuck up as the noodle comes off the pool floor and then extend legs back down, resisting the upward force of buoyancy. Squats targets hip flexors, glutes, quads and hamstrings. Perform 12-20 repetitions.
2. Noodle StairMaster
Start with both feet standing on noodle. Mimic a StairMaster exercise by performing alternating knee lifts. Limit the range of motion to keep your balance on the noodle. This movement targets hip flexors, glutes, quads and hamstrings and also trains balance and cardio. Perform 12-20 repetitions or longer for cardio purposes.
3. Noodle Butt Blaster
Start by standing with forearms resting on noodle and hips pushed slightly behind you. Perform a rear donkey kick, squeezing the glute as you extend the right heel behind you. Perform 12-20 repetitions on the right leg and then switch to the left leg. You can also perform alternating donkey kicks for 12-20 sets. The glutes are the targeted muscle group.
4. Noodle Lunges
Start with right knee bent and right foot placed on noodle, off of the pool floor. Press the right foot downwards until it makes contact with pool floor. This movement features hip extension that targets the glutes and hamstrings as the noodle is pressed downwards against the upward force of buoyancy. Perform 12-20 repetitions on the right leg and then switch to the left leg.
5. Noodle Hamstring
Start with right leg extended in front of you with the noodle under your right foot. Target the hamstrings by performing straight leg pull downs against the upward force of buoyancy, until the right foot makes contact with the pool floor. Perform 12-20 repetitions on the right leg and then switch to the left leg.
6. Noodle Inner Thigh
Start with right leg extended to the side of you with the noodle under your right foot. Target the inner thigh with a noodle by performing straight leg side pull downs against the upward force of buoyancy, until the right foot makes contact with the pool floor. Perform 12-20 repetitions on the right leg and then switch to the left leg.
7. Noodle ThighMaster
Start with noodle under arm pits, behind upper back, legs extended in front of you (L-sit position). Target your inner and outer thigh muscles by opening and closing legs forcefully. Perform 12-20 repetitions.
8. Noodle Leg Extensions
Start with noodle under arm pits, behind upper back, legs in a suspended seated position. Extend your right lower leg and then pull back forcefully. Knee extension and flexion targets the quadriceps and hamstrings. Perform 12-20 repetitions on the right leg and then switch to the left leg. You can also perform alternating leg extensions for 12-20 sets.
Feel free to adjust the recommended repetitions per exercise and perform this circuit of 8 leg exercises one, two or three times depending on your level of fitness and the amount of time you have to spend. If you would like to follow along with a video that has all 8 noodle exercises for legs, please check out the Pool Noodle Lower Body Workout, which is available to stream on the Poolfit website or to download in the Poolfit App, available in the App Store or Play Store. There is an automatic 7-day trial and then $15.95/monthly after that. You can cancel in your account settings anytime. Poolfit has over 175 pool workouts led by top industry instructors.