Pool Workout with Water Dumbbells

Thursday, June 24 2021

The 2-Buoy Water Workout is a fun and challenging way to exercise in the pool, deep or shallow, with or without equipment.  Get fit or stay fit with a foam dumbbell water exercise workout that provides cardio and upper body training.  No water dumbbells?  No problem!  Just enjoy the water’s resistance or use webbed gloves.   

Training Goals
The 2-Buoy Workout is primarily a cardio workout with an emphasis on upper body conditioning.  The exercises are performed with both interval and continuous training.  During the interval portions, work cycles are performed for 45 seconds with 15 seconds of recovery.  The segments are divided between Strength & Power and Speed & Endurance.   Improve heart health and muscular conditioning with this equipment-optional workout.

Equipment Options
Similar to the Foam Dumbbell Workout that posted in October 2020, the same exercises are performed with and without the buoy to prove that you do not need to use foam dumbbells if you do not have them, or if you are concerned about using them. If you have any pain or issues in your upper body extremities, don’t use the buoys.  If you do not have buoys, but you have webbed gloves or Aqualogix equipment, feel free to use it.  Even if you have buoys, consider trying this workout without equipment and with different equipment options to mix it up and achieve different fitness results. 

Depth Options
Despite the fact that it is easier to create buoy exercises for shallow water, I made sure to design this workout so that it could be done in either depth. Creating dual depth workouts simply makes them more accessible to everyone.  Water exercise participants typically have strong preferences for one depth over the other and therefore it is nice to provide a choice.  Even if you like exercising in both depths, switch it up because fitness results can vary between deep and shallow workouts.    WATCH a short video regarding options for the 1 and 2 Buoy Workout Series. 

Buoy Size
Choosing the correct buoy size is essential for a safe and effective fitness experience.  Yes, I preach this same song every time I use the buoys in a video.  Lightweight on land, the foam dumbbells generate a great deal of resistance once they are pushed below the surface of the water, encountering the upward forces of buoyancy.  The larger the buoy, the greater the forces.  Small to medium sized buoys would be best for any workout such as the 2-Buoy Water Workout where you are doing moves at a faster cardio clip.  The PoolFit Marketplace does include some smaller options, including the Thera-Band Light Hand Bars.  In the video, I used the Thera-Band Medium Hand Bars

Gripping Issues
Avoid gripping on to buoys for an entire workout or class.  Hand breaks are essential.  Ideally, the buoys should be alternated with exercises where hand-held equipment is not used so that the hands get a break. This would be standard practice in a fitness studio and the same common sense should be applied in the pool.  The 2-Buoy Water Workout includes segments of buoy use alternated with segments without equipment. During the interval segments in this workout, be sure to rest and/or shake out your hands during the 15 second recovery segments.  Excessive gripping can cause discomfort and even pain for people with arthritic hands or wrists. Prolonged gripping can also elevate blood pressure.  Shaking the hands tends to quickly restore the blood flow to the digits after prolonged gripping. 

Foam Dumbbell Safety
Foam dumbbells cannot just be inserted into any pool workout at whim.   A water workout must be specifically designed for their shape, size and for interacting with the upward forces of buoyancy.  As an instructor, it would irritate me when I would sub a class and the participants would try to use foam dumbbells in my choreographed, fast-paced aerobic classes.  Frustrated, I even wrote the article, Equipment Addiction, about my battles with students over foam dumbbells.  WATCH an extended tutorial on the use of foam dumbbells, including safety tips on buoy size, gripping and modifications. 

Water workouts with foam dumbbells is one of the most requested suggestions for video content.  Therefore, in June 2021 we posted a hand buoy series.  The 1-Buoy Water Workout posted on June 10 and included creative exercises to train cardio and core using just one foam dumbbell.  Keep the content suggestions coming!  And please help us let water fitness enthusiasts know about Poolfit.  If you haven’t left us a review yet, please leave one in the App Store or Play Store.  Your comments encourage people to give Poolfit a try! It is not for everyone, but based on the nice reviews some people have left, we know there is a solid base of people who would enjoy Poolfit if they knew about us.  Thank you in advance for your support. 

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.