Pool Workout: Cardio Strength Interval


Cardio + Strength Workout In The Pool

Pool workouts or water workouts are awesome for so many reasons. As many of you know, they are very low impact making these this type of fitness great for those who are suffering from injury, joint pain or just like the feeling of no impact workouts for their body. Pool workouts are also great for cross training for any type of sport including professional, amateur and leisure sports.

We incorporate pool workouts for our private fitness retreat guests if they are interested in adding water activity into their schedule (and if it helps them meet their goals/preferences). These types of workouts are so versatile and fun and they end up being a great way things up and a way to keep workouts fresh and new. I’ve written another pool workout that has become one of our most popular blog posts which is why I decided to create this particular pool workout. Not only can you get a great workout in the pool but it’s like multitasking — you can enjoy being outside in the sun while getting your workout in at the same time. Obviously, if you’ve checked out our website, you can see we love to be outside with our fitness retreat programs so it only makes sense for us to encourage getting out of the gym and into the outdoors for everyone!

If you want to check out our Intense Interval pool workout, go here: Pool HIIT workout. It’s a different format and is meant to be done pretty intensely to torch calories and challenge your body.

In this Pool Cardio + Strength Workout, you’ll get a blend of strengthening, toning and heart pumping cardio. Please make sure to work at your level and if you have any concerns about being in the water, to address those before beginning this workout. I also suggest making sure someone else is around (just in case) and that you have a flotation device if needed.



  • Warm Up: Always warm up for any workout. Because this is in the pool, you could walk, jog or even swim a few easy laps to get your body warm and ready to go. Make sure to warm up for about 4 - 7 minutes or until you feel ready to go.

  • Go At Your Own Pace: Yes, you want to challenge yourself in this workout but each of you needs to challenge yourself in your own way for your own fitness level. You want to feel like you’re working out and your body is being challenged. That feeling will be different for someone who has never worked out before versus someone who works out hard regularly.

  • Be Prepared: Make sure you have water, electrolyte replacement, a water resistant watch to time your movements, a towel to dry off with and a flotation device for safety before you begin the workout. Being prepared is always half the battle and this workout is no different.

  • Interval Style Workout: This is an interval style workout meaning you’ll take small breaks in between movements but a bigger break at the end of each circuit. Time the workout for your fitness level and the amount of time it takes to recover in between circuits. In addition, you may need to increase or decrease time for each actual interval based on your current level of fitness.



*Move from one exercise to the next with as little time in between as possible (about 5 - 15 seconds).

  • Push Ups On The Wall (do a plyo push up if regular push ups are too easy) - 20

  • Upper Body Swim Freestyle (as fast as you can - use the upper body only - no legs) - 30 seconds

  • High Knee Run In Place - 30 seconds

  • Rest - 30 seconds

  • Repeat circuit 2 - 3 times

*Move from one exercise to the next with as little time in between as possible (about 5 - 15 seconds).

  • Squats w/Alternating Knee Up - 20 (each side)

  • Squat Jumps - 30 seconds

  • Water Sprint (run) - 30 seconds

  • Rest - 30 seconds

  • Repeat circuit 2 - 3 times

*Move from one exercise to the next with as little time in between as possible (about 5 - 15 seconds).

  • Backstroke (as little lower body as possible) - 30 seconds

  • Reverse Lunge Knee Up - 15 each side

  • Tread Water (as hard as you can - no hands if possible) - 30 seconds

  • Rest - 30 seconds

  • Repeat circuit 2 - 3 times

*Move from one exercise to the next with as little time in between as possible (about 5 - 15 seconds).

  • Long Jumps (gain as much distance as you can - hard in the water, right?) - 20

  • Hop Right Foot (moving forward) - 30 seconds

  • Hop Left Foot (moving forward) - 30 seconds

  • Swim Upper Body Only Breast Stroke - 30 seconds

  • Narrow Push Ups (tricep push ups - on wall - regular or plyo) - 30 seconds

  • Rest - 30 seconds

  • Repeat circuit 2 - 3 times

Cool Down: Same as warm up (4 - 7 minutes or until heart rate has dropped and you feel comfortable).



Personally, I love pool workouts and I do them regularly. I love the feeling of being weightless in the pool but I also love the challenge. If you put enough energy into it, a pool workout can be intense and fun all at the same time. I put in a ton of miles each week with our fitness boot camp guests so having zero impact also makes this workout easier for me to fit in.

To summarize, it’s important to warm up before beginning the workout, be prepared with the appropriate tools and work at your own pace. Once you’ve finished the workout, cool down and jot down (either physically or mentally) how you felt the workout went, whether or not you worked hard enough (or too hard) and how you could change it in the future.

Be sure to check out our other pool workout too: Pool HIIT

If you have any questions or comments about this workout, please leave them in the comment section below. I’m happy to answer questions!

If you need personalized health, fitness or nutrition guidance, make sure to check out our Health & Wellness Coaching or our Personal Training. In addition, join us for a fitness getaway to jumpstart your healthy habits!

Good luck and be safe!

*Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes. It is not mean to treat or diagnose any physical or health issue. It is recommended to consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program.

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