Best No-Swim Workouts for Any Body of Water

Whether you’re taking a dip in the backyard pool or spending a week at the shore, there’s an easy workout move that will help you get fit. Even if you’re not that into swimming.

By Megan Othersen Gorman


Water Workouts4. Best Workout in a Lake: Fin Intervals
Safety is your biggest concern when lake swimming, warns Sanders. “You’ll be hard for boaters to see. A bright swim cap can help, but that alone won’t keep you safe.” For maximum above-the-water visibility, Sanders suggests donning fins, grabbing a colorful raft, and performing fin-kicking intervals from one pier to another. Too many jet skis in the area? “Use fins with your buoyancy belt, and kick while in a seated position, with your legs in front of you, with your back against a pier,” she says. “You’ll get great core workout.”

5. Best Workout in a River: Kick against the Current
Here, again, safety is a big concern. Whether you’re swimming or exercising, Sanders suggests wearing a personal flotation device, as well as a pair of swim shoes so your feet are protected. Know the area you’re swimming in, she says, and be sure there are no hidden dangers such as drop-offs, rapids, underwater trees, or other obstacles that may get in the way. And never dive into open water without knowing the depth. For a bout of simple exercise, Sanders suggests anchoring yourself with your back against the bank or a boat, so you’re facing into the current, kicking forward with legs in front to build your quadriceps (the muscles at the front of your thighs).

6. Best Workout in the Ocean: Surf-Striding
Running or walking along the beach with your feet immersed in the surf is a simple—and splashy—way to add resistance to an already excellent workout. “Both sand and waves offer great resistance for all movements,” says Sanders. “So you’ll increase the intensity of your workout even as you up its fun factor, simply by taking your strides into the surf.”

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