Aqua Cardio, Toning, Balance & Core

Saturday, September 15 2018

Whether you are exercising in a small pool or a big pool, this shallow water workout has options for both.  Miff Hendriksen shares an aqua fitness workout that combines cardio, toning, balance and core training elements.  The cardio moves can be enhanced with vigorous travel or adapted to be performed stationary with maximal intensity. 

This 37-minute workout is designed for moderate to advanced participants.  The workout intensity is greatly increased in larger pools where there is room to travel the moves.  However, many home pools are smaller in size and so the cardio moves in this segment are shown 3 ways.
1. In place for smaller pools and less advanced participants
2. In place for smaller pools and more advanced participants.  The exercises are cued with variables that increase intensity while remaining in place.
3. Traveling for larger pools and more advanced participants.   Miff and I both agree that our personal favorite way to exercise in the pool is by traveling moves from one wall to the other. 


Cardio Warm-up
In this segment, 14 cardio moves are introduced. Each move is performed for 30 seconds. The cardio moves are performed in place and at a lower intensity to gradually warm the body and prepare the joints and muscles for the workout.  The purpose of introducing the cardio moves in the warm-up is so that participants get a preview of what is to come and they can learn the form of each move at a lower intensity.

Cardio Intensity
The same 14 cardio moves are taught again in this segment for 30 seconds each.    The moves are once again taught in place, but this time they are taught with much higher intensity by incorporating larger ROM, bounding, speed, action-reaction and more.  Teaching the moves in place is ideal for classes where pool space is limited or the participant simply doesn’t like traveling.

Cardio Travel
The same 14 cardio moves are taught one more time for 30 seconds each.  However, this time the intensity is increased by traveling the moves.  This scenario is ideal for larger or longer pools. 

Upper Body/ Balance Challenge
In this segment, arm movements are performed in all directions in order to target all of the major muscle groups in the upper body.  A balance challenge is added by changing the base of support as the arm movements are performed.

Core Movement
In this segment, a series of neutral and suspended movements targeting the core are performed for 30 seconds each. 

Cool Down/Final Stretch
Miff wraps up the workout with a relaxing stretch performed at the pool wall.

PoolFit:  What was your inspiration for this workout?

Miff:  Having moved to sunny Florida years ago, I exercise in my condo pool regularly.  I am fortunate in that I have a long pool in which I can travel moves back and forth over a long distance and get a really good workout.  I love moving around in the pool but I have one class that just hates traveling and so I modified this workout so they can do the cardio in place.

PoolFit extends a big THANK YOU to Miff for sharing one of her favorite workouts with video subscribers.


Author: Mark Grevelding is the founder of Fitmotivation. He is also a training specialist and consultant with the Aquatic Exercise Association’s (AEA). Mark has been active in the fitness industry for 22 years as a group fitness instructor, personal trainer, international presenter and a continuing education provider for AEA, AFAA & ACE.