With the heat and humidity, summer fitness center workouts can be tougher than usual. The good news is that there are great ways to make “leisure” activities like swimming double as effective workouts, too. When the heat starts to get to you, why not hit the pool or lake and enjoy some of the benefits of water workouts with these ideas?

The benefits of water workouts

First, water workouts are low impact, but they still offer some resistance, which is why athletes use water sports to cross-train and come back from injuries. Even if you’re not an athlete, maybe you can’t normally do high-impact cardio moves like running or jumping because of the stress on your joints. Doing these activities in the water can allow you the benefits without the bodily stress.

Second, doing exercises in the water challenges your balance. Whether it feels like it or not, your stabilizing muscles get a workout in the water, but in different ways than when you’re on a solid surface. In a way, it makes water workouts great cross-training for stability.

Third, water activities may enable you to have greater endurance for a higher overall calorie burn. work out longer than you’d be able to in the fitness gym. Surrounded by the cooling influence of the water, it takes longer to fatigue from overheating and sweat loss. Since the water can either aid or act as resistance against your movements, it can also make it easier to do activities like running or spinning longer than you’d normally be able to.

Just because your workout happens to be in the pool, don’t feel pressured to wear a swimsuit. Close-fitting workout gear that’s moisture-wicking is perfect for both modesty and comfort (if it’s UVA/UVB protective, even better!).

Ideas for Water Workouts

HIIT-style circuits

A growing number of fitness programs in the U.S. and the U.K. take HIIT or circuit-style training underwater. Whether it’s cardio moves like sprints or spinning on an underwater cycle, you’ll get a good calorie burn while staying cool in the pool. Water-based HIIT workouts benefit from both the low-impact nature of water sports and the ability to workout harder for longer.

Stability Training

To make the most of the way water challenges stability, focus on one-legged moves while in the water. You’ll notice improvements to your balance while on dry ground.

Strength Training

You can do bodyweight training moves like push-ups and triceps dips on the sides of a pool. Since they’ll be easier to do, you’ll test your endurance by getting in a greater number of reps. Other ideas are squats in shallow water or using weighted belts to swim or do other activities in the water.

If you’re looking for more ideas for water-based workouts to supplement your summer fitness gym routine, check out Speedo USA’s videos and circuits.