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15-Minute Low-Impact Aqua Jogging Workout

Got a Backyard Pool? Add Aqua Jogging to Your Cardio Routine

Close up of young female swimmer with smartwatch getting out from swimming pool
Besides serving up respite from sweltering temperatures, a backyard pool offers refreshing cardio alternatives to that muggy mid-afternoon jog.

The most obvious opportunity is simply swimming from side-to-side, but not all backyard pools are shaped well (or even long enough) for a solid lap swimming workout.

That's why we suggest giving aqua jogging your full attention.

"Aqua jogging is a safe and total-body workout for anyone looking to strengthen their entire body, post pregnancy or surgery, if you're new to exercise, or if you just want to have fun while working out!" Jenni Lynn, AEA aquatic specialist and creator of S'WET, says.

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If simply cooling off on a hot summer day isn't enough motivation to jump on in and jog it out, maybe the workout's expansive list of physical and mental benefits will be.

Jenni Lynn says that aqua jogging can increase cardiovascular endurance, improve agility, strengthen core muscles, aid in weight loss and weight management, decrease stress, increase flexibility and range of motion, and improve balance and coordination.

Bonus: due to the buoyancy of the water, it's also low impact for your joints, making it an ideal form of cardio for those with arthritis or joint issues.

"When the body is submerged to chest level, you're alleviating close to 80 percent of body weight, which decreases the load of impact to the ground. If you are fully suspended in deep water with a flotation belt, you are taking 100 percent of joint impact out, creating a completely impact-free, total-body workout. As always, aquatic fitness shoes are strongly recommended for all shallow water workouts, especially for those suffering from joint pain or issues," Jenni Lynn explains further.

After you've applied some SPF, get started with this 15-minute routine.

Jenni Lynn says the interval-based workout is broken into 30-second segments, but can also be modified for shorter and longer time periods — use a clock to track your timing.

She also recommends self-pacing and focusing on form over speed, and maintaining a steady tempo, regardless if it's slow, moderate, or fast.

Last, but certainly not least, be sure you're properly hydrating!

For more reference on the moves below, check out this visual guide created by Jenni Lynn.

Start at chest/armpit level in the water.

  • 30 seconds of March/High Knees to get hips and ankles warmed up.
  • 30 seconds of Hamstring Curls while sweeping arms side-to-side.
  • 30 seconds of Tire Run Right Leg: Imagine standing inside a tire or inner tube on the pool floor. Aim to jog 'out' to the side with your right leg, and then 'in' to the center with your right leg, touching down softly.
  • 30 seconds of Tire Run Left Leg: Repeat the process above with your left leg.
  • 30 seconds of Tire Run: Both legs running in and out of a tire with your knees up.
  • 30 seconds Wide Leg Jog: While opening and closing your arms under the water, keep your shoulders down and focus on using your chest to compress and push the water forward, then use your shoulder blades to reverse and push/pull back.
  • 30 seconds Travel Jog Forward and Back: Jog eight counts forward and eight counts backward.
  • 30 seconds Lateral Travel Side-to-Side: Jog eight counts left and eight counts right.
  • 30 seconds Square Run: Travel eight counts right, eight counts backward, eight counts left, and eight counts forward.
  • 30 seconds Square Run: Switch direction of square.
  • 30 seconds Stationary Sprint.
  • 30 seconds Travel Jog Forward and Backward at an easy pace.
  • 30 seconds Stationary Sprint.
  • 30 seconds Lateral Travel Side-to-Side at an easy pace.
  • 30 seconds Stationary Sprint.
  • 30 seconds Hamstring Curls while sweeping arms side-to-side.
  • 30 seconds Stationary Open and Close Legs: Try to stay in the semi-squat position — with your shoulders close to or under water and your feet parallel with toes pointing forward. Your feet should slide open and closed along the pool floor.
  • 30 seconds Alternating Ankle Reach: Stand in a wide stance with your arms out and resting on the water. Lift your left ankle up and bring your right hand under the water to tap it. Repeat with the other arm and leg.
  • 30 seconds Wide Leg Run: While opening and closing your arms under the water, keep your shoulders down and focus on using your chest to compress and push the water forward, then use your shoulder blades to reverse and push/pull back.
  • 30 seconds Wide Leg Jog: Travel forward and backward using your arms to help push and pull.
  • 30 seconds Alternating Soccer Kicks With Parallel Arms Front and Back: Pretend you're kicking a soccer ball under the water. As you kick one leg forward, pull your arms back.
  • 30 seconds Travel Jog Forward and Backward With Arms Overhead.
  • 30 seconds Alternating Soccer Kicks With Parallel Arms Front and Back: Pretend you're kicking a soccer ball under the water. Start with your arms extended and flat on the water. As you kick one leg forward to 'kick the ball,' pull your arms back. Repeat with the other leg.
  • 30 seconds Final Sprint.
  • 30 seconds March/High Knees.
  • 30 seconds Hamstring Stretch: Extend leg forward, and then point and flex ankle. Repeat with the other leg.
  • 30 seconds Slowly Walk in Big Figure 8.
  • 30 seconds Quad Stretch: Hold foot behind body, or just let leg float with a bent knee. Repeat with the other leg.
  • 30 seconds Figure 8 With Right Leg: Open and close the hip while making a Figure 8 with your kneecap.
  • 30 seconds Figure 8 With Left Leg: Open and close the hip while making a Figure 8 with your kneecap.

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Image Source: Getty Images / d3sign
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