Pool noodles are the most affordable and versatile fitness equipment you can have for your pool. In this Cardio Abs Circuit, the noodles are used for flotation so that you can perform spinal flexion and rotation in a modified supine position. Between each floating abdominal exercise, a vertical cardio activity is performed.
The key to success in performing abdominal exercises on a noodle is the placement of the noodle on your back. All bodies respond differently. People with extra body fat are more buoyant and float easier. Buoyant bodies can place the noodle under the armpits and behind the upper back. A denser, more muscular body-type will have trouble keeping their legs afloat and therefore the noodle should be placed behind the lower back. This is easier said than done and requires practice and some flaying about when balancing on a noodle that is under your tailbone. However, once you nail the position, the burn in your abs is well worth the effort. Noodle density also makes a difference. More muscular body types should consider a thicker, more dense pool noodle to help them stay float.
The circuit below takes 9 minutes performed as per recommended timing. You can alter the timing however you wish. Consider downloading an exercise timer app, such as Interval Timer - HIIT workouts, to help you keep track of the 45 second sets.
#1 Noodle Crunches
Start by start floating with noodle placed behind your mid-back, knees bent, arms to side.
Perform crunches by flexing your spine, drawing knees toward chest and driving arms under thighs. Spinal flexion primarily targets the rectus abdominis, a long muscle in the front of the abdomen that stretches from the pubic bone to the sternum. Perform the crunches for 45 seconds.
Cardio Drill: Standing with hands resting on the noodle, perform high knee jogging or running for 45 seconds.
#2 Noodle Oblique Crunches
Start by floating with noodle placed behind mid-back, one leg crossed over the over in a figure-4 position, arms to sides. Perform crunches by flexing spine, drawing top knee toward chest and driving arms under lower thigh. With the leg crossed, the spine is slightly rotated and so this exercise targets both rectus abdominis and internal & external obliques. Perform for 45 seconds with right leg crossed over left and then repeat for 45 seconds with left leg crossed over right.
Cardio drill: Standing with hands lightly resting on the noodle, perform jumping jacks for 45 seconds
#3 Noodle Oblique Reaches
Start by floating with noodle placed behind mid-back, arms to sides, legs wide. Sweep your right leg inward, with left hand reaching toward right ankle/heel, flexing and rotating your spine. Flexing and rotating the spine primarily targets the rectus abdominis and the internal and external obliques. Perform for 45 seconds on the right leg and then switch to the left leg and perform for 45 seconds.
Cardio drill: Standing with hands lightly resting on the noodle, perform high heel jogging or leg curls for 45 seconds
#4 Noodle Teasers
Start by floating with noodle placed behind mid-back, hands resting on ends of noodle, legs extended out in front of you (L-sit position). Press ends of noodle down while dropping hips and lifting toes up and out of water, resulting in spinal flexion. Spinal flexion primarily targets the rectus abdominis. Perform for 45 seconds.
Cardio drill: Standing with hands lightly resting on the noodle, perform cross country skis for 45 seconds.
#5 Noodle Plank Crunches
Start in a planking position on your toes and with arms extended below shoulders, resting on noodle. Perform a prone knee tuck, flexing your spine as knees drive in towards the noodle, or even over the noodle. Spinal flexion primarily targets the rectus abdominis. Perform for 45 seconds.
Cardio drill: Standing with hands lightly resting on the noodle, perform side to side jumps (ski moguls) for 45 seconds.
Enjoy this noodle cardio abs circuit brought to you by the Poolfit On-Demand Water Exercise website & app. Browse trailers for our full-length pool noodle exercise videos for more noodle ideas & exercises. You can also download 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.