Aqua Fitness is the general name for exercising in water. Not long ago this was regarded as therapeutic, functional training for the "older woman". Today, however, there is a wide range of aqua fitness classes: aqua jogging, aqua cycling, aqua-boxing, aqua pilates – to name just a few examples. So it is becoming something for everyone: for men and women of all ages and all fitness levels, from leisure to competitive sports.

Aqua fitness can be done in shallow or deep water. The exercises explained in this module are for the so-called shallow-water training, with an optimal water depth from 1.20 to 1.30 m. The trainee should be positioned so that the water surface is between the navel and the breast. The exercises can be done without equipment (although, should you be interested, there are is  equipment available to assist, such as aqua-jogging belts or a so-called pool noodles.)

In aqua fitness the positive physical properties of water are used. In the water, there are differences to outdoor training in terms of temperature, pressure and resistance. These properties have effects on the body, such as:

  • joint relief and balance training:

The body weighs only 10% of its weight.

The joints are relieved.

Balancing is difficult. This can be of advantage for training purposes.

  • Promotion of muscle strength and endurance

The resistance in water is 4-15 times higher than on land. Thus, when exercising in water  strength and endurance are better trained. The resistance of the water depends on the speed of the movement and the surface/body mass of the resistor.

  • Positive Impact on your organs.

With the increased pressure and higher conductivity of the water, the pressure on internal organs can be reduced, especially for the respiratory system, the heart and blood vessels. . For example, the heart rate is reduced in water of an average of 5 to 10 beats per minute.

  • Massaging effect for skin and connective tissue

The skin and tissues are bathed permanently in  the water and the increased pressure is usually a positive experience.  Thus, most women with cellulite and weak connective tissue benefit from training in the water.


Tips for the first aqua fitness units

These notes cannot replace a professional aqua fitness hour, but should be seen as a little "Easy Entry".

Getting used to the water and the environment

For the ideal start, look for a place in the pool where you feel comfortable. Familiarise yourself with the environment and with the water characteristics, the changing conditions of heartbeat and respiration, the pressure on the blood vessels, the changed balance.

Good stance as a starting position

Whether in deep or shallow water, a good stance during the training is a prerequisite for an effective workout. In shallow water the safest way is to  stand with your feet slightly apart with the knees slightly bent.  The abdominal and pelvic muscles  are tense.. Pull your shoulders back and down,  so you do not cramp the upper body area.

The hands as balance compensation

Once you have found a stable position, you can consciously use your hands alongside your body. Make slight circular motions and let them grow larger. They should be capable of the movement using  the upper body to compensate, without departing from your original balance.


There are no general requirements for doing aqua fitness. It is important that you feel comfortable and do not suffer from any serious acute internal illness  or neurological condition. If you do suffer from high blood pressure and heart problems, you should be very careful with aqua fitness though! If you are unsure, please ask your doctor!

Since Aqua Fitness is a low impact sport, you can participate without worries, even if you have knee, hip and back problems.

You might want to wear aqua fitness shoes, but they are not a prerequisite!

Watch our appetizer video or go on for examples of specific exercises

Exercise 1. The jumping jack

The starting position is legs apart. . The arms are in the water and  stretched out parallel to the ground at an angle of 180°. From this position, the legs are opened by jumping slightly and pushing your legs and feet together. Similar to the 'puppet's arms' your arms are also closed during this process, the hands touching in front of body.

As an exercise variation of the jumping jack, you can open your arms when the legs are closed.

Exercise 2. The scissors

Starting position is a step position: your legs are apart with one foot in front of the other. From this position your legs now move back and forth in opposite direction, like scissors; always pressing your feet to the ground. The arms swing in opposite direction to the legs.

The aim of this exercise is to improve physical endurance, as well as muscle endurance of the shoulders, arms and legs.

Exercise 3. Shovelling water

Begin the exercise with both of your arms stretched out at shoulder height. Now make a step with your right leg forward, upper body and arms are likewise brought forward so your arms almost touching the front. The left leg loses contact with the ground and is stretched to the back. Then the opposing movement starts back starting with the upper body. The arms are shovelling to the rear of your body through the water. The left leg regains contact with the ground, while your right leg again goes off the ground and is stretched forward. If you successfully complete this exercise at a slow pace,  try it faster and with more force so you feel the resistance in the upper body. Then switch the leg.

The main aim of this exercise is to stabilise the whole body, improve your muscle endurance and strengthen your arms, shoulders. 

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      Table of exercises
      Aqua Fitness
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