pool exercises with noodle

Best Pool Exercises with a Noodle for Legs

If you’re searching for effective methods to exercise your lower body while in the water, look no further! Explore these pool exercises using just a noodle, designed to fortify and sculpt your legs, glutes, and core.

The pool noodle, a buoyant foam cylinder, is not only a versatile tool for pool leisure but also an effective accessory for pool exercises, offering added resistance and support for various body positions. Whether you’re engaging in low-impact workouts or seeking to enhance muscle strength, the size and density of the foam noodle play a crucial role in the intensity of your exercise. Delve deeper into the world of pool exercise equipment and discover innovative ways to incorporate the noodle into your aquatic fitness routine by reading further here.

And if you’re just starting with water workouts, it’s a good idea to take some time to read this article. It covers everything you need to know before you even get wet! 😉

All set for pool exercises with a noodle? Grab your noodle and let’s get started!

Pool Exercise #1: Single Leg Press

Starting Position: place the noodle underneath the arch of one foot.
Press the noodle down until it touches the bottom of the pool. Keep you feet parallel, not rotated out. Stand sideway next to the wall and use one hand to hold for support and stability. Water should be about chest level. If you go deeper, you’ll be much less stable.

Movement: Slowly bend your knee to allow the noodle to float your leg back upward. Press the noodle under your foot downward until it hits the bottom.

Progression: As you press down the noodle, raise your standing heel off the floor. Then lower the heal back down as the other leg floats back up. Perform 10 to 20 reps.

Technique + key points

  • Maintain an upright position so you keep your spine neutral. Avoid spine flexion or hinging forward at the hips.
  • Instead, engage your glute (butt) muscles.
  • Keep your standing leg straight and strong. Don’t bend your knee. Hold your hips level. Be sure not to hike the hip of the moving leg.

Pool Exercise #2: Front Split Press

Starting Position: Stand with one foot on the center of a noodle. Spread your legs to a front split.
Your back leg is touching the bottom with your heel off the floor. Stand sideway next to the wall and hold it for more support and stability.

Movement: Allow the noodle to float your leg upward right in front of you. Press the noodle down with your foot until it hits the bottom.

Technique + key points

  • Maintain an upright position with shoulders over the hips.
  • Avoid spine flexion or leaning forward with your upper body.
  • Keep your moving leg slightly bent. Don’t lock your knee.

Pool Exercise #3: Back Leg Press

Starting Position: with one leg bent and the noodle sits underneath the ankle, face the wall and hold it with both hands for support. Standing knee is slightly bent and placed in front of the body.

Movement: extend the knee to press down on the noodle and get as close as possible to the bottom of the pool with the noodle. Perform 20-30 reps.

Technique + key points

  • Knee of the moving leg should be right under the hip. (Thigh perpendicular to the floor).
  • Isolate the movement to the knee only. NO movement at the hip joint, otherwise there’s a chance the noodle will slip up as you press down on it.
  • Neutral spine. Make sure you’re not hyper extending the lower back.

Pool Exercise #4: Frog

Starting Position: progression from previous exercise – join the other leg on the noodle. Both legs floating on the noodle (under ankles), hips turned out like a frog.

Movement: Bend the knees to bring heels up towards the butt, then press down to hit the bottom of the pool with the toes. Perform 20-30 reps.

Technique + key points

  • Hips turned out as much as possible throughout the exercise
  • Do NOT fully straighten the knees when pressing the noodle down, otherwise- the noodle will glide up.

Pool Exercise #5:The Swing

Starting Position: Sit on the noodle as if it were a swing.
Keep your feet off the floor and hold your arms straight out to the sides.
Make sure you have enough room underneath you to move your legs without hitting the bottom. Keep your feet pointed.

Movement: Extend and straighten one leg forward while bending the other backward, reaching the heel to your butt. Alternate kicking out smoothly with your right and left legs.
You should feel this making your leg muscles work. When you kick forward, it will affect the front of your thigh (quadriceps). When you kick backward, it will affect the back of your thigh (hamstrings).

Technique + key points

  • Maintain a neutral spine with no flexion.
  • Keep your chest wide open with your shoulders over your hips.
  • For added resistance, point your feet.

Pool Exercise #6: Side Walking

Starting Position: suspend your body in a side lying position with the support of the noodle behind your back. Feet off the floor.

Movement: Flex one leg forward and extend the other leg to the back. Switch and alternate your legs.

Technique + key points

  • Move from your hip joints with your legs straight and your feet pointed. Do not bend your knees.
  • Execute big straddles with your legs; use a full range of motion.
  • Hold your legs high up to the side. Don’t let them sink down toward the bottom.
  • Hold your body facing the front. Do not turn or flip over onto your back or front.

Pool Exercise #7: Bicycle

Starting Position: Suspend your body in a side-lying position with the support of the noodle behind the back. Keep your feet off the floor.

Movement: On your side, pedal your legs frontward as if you are on a bicycle. Turn around in a circle while on your side. Then reverse direction, pedal backward.
Complete two to three circles in each direction.

Technique + key points

  • Use a full range of motion. Make big bicycle motions with your legs.
  • For added resistance, point your feet.
  • If circling around in this exercise makes you feel dizzy, try it in a vertical position in deep water, supported by the noodles (or floatation belt if needed), pumping your legs in a bicycling motion to move forward and then backward, but not in circles.

Pool Exercise #8: Leg Circles

Starting Position: Place the noodle behind your back for support and rest your arms over the noodle.
Hold your legs straight in front of you, suspended off the floor.

Movement: Split your legs out to the sides, then bring them back together to complete a circle.
Tuck your knees in toward your chest and extend them straight forward to repeat the circle again.
Make 5-8 circles. Reverse direction.
Extend your legs straight back, make a split with your legs to the sides, and bring them forward to close.

Technique + key points

  • Keep your legs and feet suspended throughout the exercise. Don’t touch the bottom of the pool.
  • Hold your legs as high as you can off the floor. Try not to let them sink downward.
  • For a full range of motion, keep your legs straight and don’t bend your knees.

Watch the full workout video with all Pool exercises with noodle for legs: