These are not your grandma's water aerobics tools.

By Susan Brickell
July 27, 2020
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If you're planning on spending afternoons at the pool or beach this summer, you can actually multitask while you're there: Enjoy an escape from your indoor lifestyle (thanks to coronavirus quarantine), find relief from heat waves in the cool water, and squeeze in a workout. Water aerobics offers a great way to add variety to your cardio and strength training routine—and incorporating a few aquatic fitness tools can help make your workouts more challenging and fun. (Related: This Crazy-Creative Pool Float Workout Will Make You Sweat This Summer)

Before you roll your eyes, hear me out. While you might be under the impression that water aerobics is strictly for the elderly, underwater workouts are popular for a reason: They are an effective way to incorporate cardio into your routine without the impact. Translation: You won't risk injuring your knees or other joints like you would with say running or plyometrics. This is because the water allows you to stay afloat as you exercise, and eliminates added weight on your joints—making it a smart option for those with previous injuries or for those who want to be able to get a sweat session in outside without worrying about heat exhaustion. Plus, water creates added resistance to make your workouts ~that~ much harder while working on both muscle strength and endurance.

Opt for a few pieces of water aerobics equipment from the list below to help target specific muscle groups (hello, six-pack abs) and keep you motivated to reach your #fitnessgoals. Keep scrolling for the best water aerobics equipment that's perfect for beginners, serious swimmers, triathletes, and more. (Related: The Best Kayaks, Paddleboards, Canoes, and More for Water Adventure Seekers)

Sunlite Sports High-Density EVA-Foam Dumbbell Set

AMAZON

Amazon's best-selling "aquatic exercise equipment," this dumbbell set is made of pool-safe EVA foam—which provides flotation and low water absorption—and has soft, padded handles to prevent blisters. It will help create more resistance under the water, improving your endurance and flexibility, and can be used for a variety of activities from pool exercises to physical therapy to water Zumba.

One reviewer wrote: "These barbells do the trick for me. I only do water aerobics and these have helped a great deal with my upper body strength. Would buy them again!"

TAGVO Aquatic Gloves

AMAZON

These neoprene, webbed gloves are ideal for water resistance training (they'll give you a good amount of drag as you swim) and help to strengthen muscles while giving you an intense upper body workout in the water. Even better? They are Amazon's most popular "swimming aquatic gloves," so you know they're worth it. (Related: 5 Ocean-Friendly Exercises to Soak Up the Best of Summer While You Work Out)

"Awesome resistance!" raved one shopper. "I had to actually take them off after a while lol I got a great arm workout while water jogging. They dry really quick."

Buy It: TAGVO Aquatic Gloves, from $10, amazon.com

VIAHART Swimming Kickboard

AMAZON

Under the impression that kickboards are just for the kiddies? Well, you're sorely mistaken. Use a kickboard to practice your strokes, kicking drills, or to target specific muscles like those that make up your abs. Case in point: Holding your kickboard at arms's length (and keeping your arms still) while swimming laps forces your lower body and core to work super hard to keep you afloat and moving forward.

"I bought this kickboard since my pool is only now open for laps, and I wanted to have an option to just kick a bit," shared a customer. "I have used this board several times, and I really love it. The design with the two hand openings is a great option and allows you to keep your hands in front of you and improve stroke."

All Pro Adjustable Aqua Power Aquatic Ankle Weights

AMAZON

If you love exercising with ankle weights on land, you'll love this set meant for the pool. The neoprene bands wrap comfortably around to your ankles, and are specially designed to add even more resistance to your pool workouts while also improving your endurance. (Related: The Super Sculpting Swimming Workout That Doesn't Involve Laps)

"Wow! I've burned a lot of calories in the pool exercising with these the past 2 weeks, but it's the shape my legs have now that makes me so happy," wrote a buyer. "I've used them in the pool daily for about 90-minutes. The weights are comfortable and very well made." 

Nordesco Aquaflex Paddles

AMAZON

Build upper body strength with this pair of paddles, which features adjustable fan blades so you can play with resistance. Many shoppers noted that they use these in their water aerobics classes and also in at-home aqua therapy after surgery.

One reviewer said: "I bought these so I could continue the aqua therapy at home that I was doing after having back surgery. These are the same paddles I used with my physical therapist. They work great, just turn the dial to adjust the resistance."

Speedo Push Plate Sculpt

AMAZON

Get a full-body water workout with this handy, versatile tool. The design helps to intensify vertical motions, increases stability, and allows for a multitude of movements to engage different muscle groups, including your upper body and arms, as well as your core (via trunk rotations and rotational presses). (Related: The Best Pool Exercises for a Full-Body Workout)

"ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!" raved one enthusiastic customer, who uses it for circuit training in water. "I wish they had come up with this decades ago. Lightweight and portable, but just add water and you get a workout that will kick your butt!"

All Pro Aquatic Exercise Belt

AMAZON

Adjustable up to 10 pounds, this waterproof exercise belt uses small iron weights (that can be added and removed) to keep you down in the pool and to help create more drag as you walk or jog in the water. To keep safety top of mind, use this in the shallow end (or at a depth you can still stand with your head above water) and start with a lighter weight.

"I really like this All Pro Water Walking Belt and use it along with hand weights to walk and jog in the pool at the local "Y," wrote a shopper. "It keeps me balanced in the water and also provides strength training." 

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