water exercise equipment

Must-have water exercise equipment for your backyard spa

The pressure is off when you are exercising in the water — literally. The buoyancy of the water relieves stress on your joints while allowing you to move your body with less pain. Water also acts as a form of resistance, so you can do strength exercises without heavy weights. 

But you can use water exercise equipment to get the most out of your workout or just switch up your routine.

There are a lot of great pieces of water exercise equipment, from aquatic dumbbells to ankle fins. Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spas also come with rowing bars and resistance tubing. In addition, the H2Xercise aquatic workout book will give you exercise ideas and show you how to use water fitness equipment.

Whether you are looking to get active or take your swim spa sessions to the next level, these must-have pieces of water exercise equipment will help you reach your fitness goals.

water exercise equipment
 Aquatic exercise, with the combined benefits of resistance and buoyancy, allows you to get in a great workout while increasing your strength, endurance, and flexibility.

Water exercise basics

People can have a lot of preconceived ideas about who can benefit most from exercising in the water. Only seniors use the pool for aqua aerobics. Water exercise is easy. However, water has a greater resistance than air and any movement will take more effort than it would on land. As such, water exercise can be just as effective (if not more so) than anything you would do in the gym. 

Water, though, has natural buoyancy. This property reduces the effect of gravity on your joints. The buoyancy also provides extra support for your muscles and joints, allowing you to work out harder while putting less impact on your body than you would on land.

What does that mean? You can go through your exercise routine while feeling less pain and with greater mobility. 

 Aquatic exercise, with the combined benefits of resistance and buoyancy, allows you to get in a great workout while increasing your strength, endurance, and flexibility.

Research shows that water exercise can be particularly beneficial for people with balance issues, previous injuries, chronic conditions like fibromyalgia, and pregnant women.

But if you are having trouble making it to the pool for a water exercise session, there are other ways to incorporate it into your daily routine. A Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spa is an at-home exercise pool that allows you to swim, exercise, and relax on your schedule.

The swim spa is insulated and heated, allowing you to set the water temperature so you’re comfortable. The best temperature for swimming is between 82 degrees and 85 degrees. However, if you are using the swim spa for water exercise, warmer water is ideal. Consider setting the temperature between 92 degrees and 95 degrees.

h2xercise equipment
You can use rowing bars, resistance tubing, and other equipment to take your workouts to the next level.

Best water exercise equipment for home 

From stationary swimming to water walking, there are so many ways to incorporate water workouts into your routine. You can keep your routine fresh and fun by incorporating water aerobics equipment into your swim spa workout.

Resistance tubing

Attached to the stainless steel bar of your swim spa, resistance tubing can be used for upper body and core exercises. You can also use it to challenge balance and coordination. Your H2Xercise kit comes with a set of resistance tubing to use in your Master Spas swim spa.

Exercises: Standing row and variations, chest press, tricep extensions, overhead press, bicep curls

Rowing bars

Rowing is a great form of exercise. It helps improve your strength and mobility while even getting your heart rate up. Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spas come with rowing bars, which easily clip into either side of the swim spa.

You can use the rowing bars as part of an interval workout or a strength-based set. All you have to do is adjust your pace. Slower movements allow you to focus on the muscle contraction. When you row faster, you will have to work harder to push the bars through the water. 

Water bells

Water dumbbells are made of buoyant foam that increases the resistance of body movement in the pool water. 

There are a variety of aquatic dumbbells available for swim spa or pool exercises. The dumbbells can be used for any level of exercise and are ideal for general fitness, strength, speed, and endurance. Some water dumbbells feature a paddle design, which catches the water and maximizes the resistance of the water. 

Pool barbell

Barbells can be an intimidating piece of equipment at the gym, especially if you’re new to free weights. But barbells designed for the water can be used for a variety of exercises. You can use the water barbell for support and balance. Alternately, using the barbell under water increases the resistance of any strength exercise. You can use it for chest presses, bicep curls, and shoulder raises. 

Ankle fins

Skip the leg machines at the gym and target your lower body with ankle fins designed for water exercise. Ideal for resistance and conditioning, you can use ankle fins as part of a dynamic water exercise routine whether you have a rehab routine after knee surgery or want to improve athletic performance. Use these ankle cuffs for water walking, leg raises, hamstring curls, and more.


Swimmers at the pool are often seen warming up with kick sets using a kickboard. A kickboard helps the swimmer to isolate their legs for kicking training, as well as work on speed and endurance. However, kickboards are not just for swimmers. They can be incorporated into your water exercise routine. These foam boards, which are inexpensive and easy to find, can be used for a variety of exercises in your swim spa. You can use a kickboard for upper body moves such as the push-pull and core rotations. Or, put the kickboard under your foot and press down to work on your balance and stability.

Pool noodles

Watermelon balls and unicorn rafts, inflatable ring tosses and floating basketball hoops. There are so many ways to have fun in the water. But even still, one of the most popular water toys is the pool noodle. But this simple toy is more than just fun for the kids. It’s one of the best pieces of water exercise equipment, and it’s ideal for water exercise routines in your swim spa. 

A basic pool noodle can be used for numerous exercises, whether you want to get your heart rate pumping or focus on strength. Place the noodle between your legs and mimic the motion of riding a bicycle. Hold the noodle between your hands and push and pull it through the water. The options are only limited by your creativity.

Water exercise discs

Similar to a dumbbell, water exercise discs are foam circles with a cutout for your hands. However, this piece of water exercise equipment is more versatile than a dumbbell. You can grip the disc for upper body and core movements or place it under your foot, similar to a kickboard. Another added benefit? The design allows you to hold onto the disc without added stress on your shoulders.

water running workout
Aqua jogging, or water running, can help improve your aerobic capacity without the pounding on your joints.

The truth about pool bikes and treadmills

Jogging in the water allows you to mimic the motion of running without the stress on your knees and hips. For runners or triathletes, it can be a way to continue to train while recovering from an injury. But it can also be a fun way to add some cardio in the swim spa without actually swimming. 

Pool running often involves a flotation belt and going up and down the lane. But aqua jogging in a swim spa is different. You can run against the endless current of a Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spa — no special equipment required. All Michael Phelps swim spas have non-slip flooring, which provides grip and comfort for any water exercise routine.

But what about an underwater treadmill?

On the surface, the underwater treadmill can seem like the best of both options — water exercise and running.

However, underwater treadmills are made of stainless steel. The components of the treadmill can rust over time and affect how the treadmill works. In addition, they can be expensive — especially since you can run in the swim spa without one. 

Another con of an underwater treadmill is that they can take up a lot of space. They can be awkward to maneuver and once they are in the water, they are in the water. The treadmill can get in the way of enjoying your swim spa. 

An underwater bike has similar drawbacks. They can occupy the entire swim area of your swim spa, leaving you little room to relax and recover after your exercise sessions. And, at more than 50 pounds, it can be challenging to lift out of the swim spa if you want to make room for recreation. 

According to an article in PLOS One, a peer-reviewed journal published by the Public Library of Science, aquatic cycling might not be as beneficial as one might think. The underwater bicycle does not have as many variations, limiting the functional capacity. The researchers also note that there’s little information about how an underwater bicycle changes your movement patterns and the overall effectiveness of the workout.

swim spa
A Master Spas swim spa can be a safe space to incorporate tools such as a center swim snorkel.

How to buy a swim spa

Are you ready to enjoy the benefits of water exercise, recreation, and relaxation year-round — even in the winter? Having a Master Spas swim spa at home allows you to enjoy the benefits of a pool without the maintenance. You can click here to get more backyard ideas and picture what a stationary swimming pool would look like in your space. Or, contact your local Master Spas retailer to learn more about swim spa ownership. Wondering how much a swim spa costs? You can request a quote here