9 Beneficial Water Exercises for Seniors

water exercises for seniors

If your parents or grandparents are yet to participate in water exercises, it’s time for them to have a new experience and enjoy the benefits of these activities.

Water exercises are a great way for older adults to stay healthy and fit. They are low-impact, easy on the joints and, as such, ideal for older people. The water buoyancy reduces gravity pull, making your loved ones feel lighter and more balanced. The natural qualities of water also provide resistance when moving around within it, which is a great way to develop muscle strength.

Although our older loved ones may find it challenging to engage in physical activities, water exercises should bring enthusiasm and fun to their exercise routine. This will help them lead happy, fun-filled and active lifestyles. While Seasons Retirement does not offer access to water exercises or water activities at this time, we encourage our residents to access pool spaces or classes offered locally around their area.

These water exercises for seniors are safe, fun, beneficial, and moderately intensive for your older relatives. Let’s check them out.

1.   Water Walking

This is one of the most straightforward water exercises for seniors, similar to regular land walks. Older adults who enjoy brisk walking will appreciate the similarity to this water activity. It generally involves starting from the pool’s shallow end, then walking back and forth from one wall to the other.

As your older loved ones walk in the water, the water offers some resistance, making the routine more challenging. The activity is an excellent way to burn calories and help develop muscle strength. Also, water walking can help relieve back pain, helping to maintain an ideal overall posture.

2.   Arm Curls

Arm curls in water strengthen the arms and build upper body strength. For this exercise, older adults can use a pair of water weights for more resistance. To carry out this exercise:

  • stand in the pool, holding a pair of comfortable weights
  • hold the weights in front, with the palms facing front
  • bend the elbows, curling the arms towards the chest

Your older ones should continue this process in slow movements and repeat the steps until they are satisfied.

3.   Aqua Jogging

Older adults can increase the intensity of their water workouts with aqua jogging. They’ll burn lots of calories due to the exercise intensity.

Water jogging requires one to continue alternating their legs — as they would when jogging — inside water. Your loved ones can practice jogging forward and returning to the starting position. They can increase their pace depending on their fitness level.

Aqua jogging increases the heart rate and can reduce the risk of a heart attack. While practicing this exercise, ensure your older loved ones stand upright and lean forward slightly.

4.   Flutter Kicking

Often used in swimming styles, flutter kicking offers excellent health benefits for older people. This exercise helps build the lower body muscles of the thigh, core, and glutes.

It’s a fantastic option for cardio exercise that’s also low-impact, and it’s well-suited for older adults since it can be performed with or without a kickboard. Flutter kicking is suitable for older adults, as it isn’t challenging to achieve and helps to tone the muscles.

To perform this exercise:

  • hold onto one side of the pool
  • flatten your body in the water
  • flap your legs up and down while keeping your body straight and your feet together

Depending on their strength, older adults can increase their kicking duration.

5.   Chest Fly

Pool exercises for seniors, like chest fly, focus on the chest region.

For this exercise,

  • stand in the water with your feet separate — one in front of the other — and bend your knees. This is to ensure balance in the water
  • stretch out your arms, keeping the elbows straight, and push the arms through the water to your sides and back to the front

Using water weights for this exercise helps increase water resistance and maintain strength.

6.   Standing Water Push-Ups

Standing push-ups are great for building the upper body and improving balance, coordination, and agility.

To begin this exercise,

  • keep your palms flat on the surface of the pool’s edge and lower yourself into the water.
  • with your arms and elbows fixed, use your palms to push upwards, raising yourself back to the start.

This effective cardio activity improves body strength without stressing your older loved one’s joints.

7.   Leg Lifts

Leg lifts focus on the legs, strengthening the leg muscles. The resistance the water provides makes it possible to work the leg muscles.

For this exercise,

  • hold onto the pool wall or stairs
  • ensure your feet are slightly apart
  • maintain a straight position and slowly lift your leg forward and backward
  • repeat this process for the other leg

While doing this, you can point your toes while swinging the leg forward and relax it as you swing back. Aside from exercising the leg muscles, leg lifts also help improve balance.

8.   Water Marching

Water marching is a simple and effective water aerobics for seniors. It’s similar to the regular marching on land. This exercise makes the whole body move, and the water resistance allows you to work harder. As a result, your older ones burn more calories.

To begin,

  • raise one leg through the knee and then the other leg
  • slowly march through the water while keeping a straight back and front gaze

While marching, the right hand should move in sequence with the left leg, and the left hand should move in line with the right leg. Older adults should ensure to maintain a straight posture while practicing this exercise.

9.   Swimming

Swimming is an effective full-body exercise for older adults that help improve flexibility and range of motion. It works the hands, legs, and all major body muscles simultaneously.

This activity is ideal for older adults who want to practice low-impact cardio exercises. Swimming improves cardiovascular health in older adults, helping to reduce blood pressure and maintain good cholesterol levels.


Water exercises provide older adults with more creative and fun ways to exercise — different from regular land workouts.

These exercises are not very intensive and so are ideal for older adults. It’s advised to begin with more straightforward exercises before proceeding to the advanced ones.

At Seasons Retirement, we provide valuable information on various topics concerning older adults, in line with our commitment to improving the lifestyle of our residents.

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