8 Ways To Work Out In The Water – Perfect For Hot Summer Days

Am I the only one who is sweating bullets this summer? While I love working out outdoors in the sunshine (mostly because I want to get a suntan), there’s definitely days where it is just too hot to workout outside and I am not in the mood for the gym. What do I do? Jump in the water, of course. Whether you are in the pool, at the lake, or on a beach vacation, here are some things you can do in the water to stay active and get in a great workout without overheating. Remember to put on sunblock before working out outdoors no matter what the sport. Okay, moving on…

water aerobics

Tread water

You might be surprised to know that just keeping yourself afloat and your head above water can be a great workout. Can you keep your hands out of the water at the same time? Try it!


You can do this in a pool, ocean or lake – but make sure the water isn’t deeper than your chest. Use your arms and your legs and run as fast as you can. Always be careful (if in a lake or ocean) that the bottom is free of rocks and other things that might hurt your feet. Sometimes when I am swimming laps in the pool at my gym I will swim two laps and then run two laps – forward and backwards of course. Give it a try.

Ins & Outs (pool only)

Swim to one side, push yourself out of the pool, dive or jump back in and repeat. If you really want a great workout, get out of the pool do some exercises like push ups, burpees, squats, lunges or sit ups. Be aware and cautious that it could be a bit slippery, you don’t want to hurt yourself. We used to do this type of training for conditioning when I played water polo in high school – awesome workout!


Use those legs, squat down low and explode out of the water. This works best when the water is between your waist and shoulders. If you’re a good swimmer, this can be fun to do in deeper water: Let yourself sink down to the bottom in a nice straight “pencil” position and then jump up pushing up from the bottom of the pool. Probably not a good idea to do in deep ocean or lake water, you never know what might be at the bottom that could hurt you.

Swim (of course)

Swimming is a great workout and can burn 400-500 calories or more per hour, depending on the intensity and your current weight. I always feel so refreshed after a swim and I can really feel my heart rate elevate. Freestyle, breast stroke, back stroke or butterfly – try them all.

Kick Boxing

This works best when the water is just a bit lower than shoulder height. Bend your knees and squat down a bit and start throwing punches and kicks. The resistance from the water is intense, and you will totally work your core and stabilizing muscles in your legs trying to keep your balance.

Water Skiing & Wakeboarding

Both take a lot of core control and balance. If you have never tried it before, be prepared to fall – a lot! But smile in the process, it’s a lot of fun and the perfect activity to do with your friends.

SUP anyone?

This is, by far, my favorite thing to do outdoors in the water. Stand Up Paddleboarding (aka SUP) is a lot of fun and a great upper body, core and stabilization workout. As the sport is getting increasingly popular, you can usually find a location to rent a SUP pretty easily at most lakes and harbors. Learn the basics of SUP in this video, grab a group of your friends or family together and head out.


Lunden Souza Lunden Souza is an Online Fitness & Lifestyle Transformation Coach. She helps people all over the world create a sustainable healthy lifestyle, so they'll never have to "start over" again! Connect with @lifelikelunden for real-life strategies to get on track for long-term health in both body and mind. View all posts by Lunden Souza