Water Aerobics for Tightening Arms

A noodle can help shape your arms in the water.
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Water aerobics offers a low-impact cardio workout with resistance worked in; according to Bucknell University, the water provides 12 to 14 percent more resistance than air. You can increase the resistance to help tone your arms by using foam flotation devices or water dumbbells, pieces of round foam attached to a plastic handle. The more foam you use, the more resistance you encounter in the water.

Arm Lifts

There are several types of arm lifts you can do as part of your water aerobics regimen, with or without water dumbbells or other flotation devices to increase the resistance. Stand neck deep in water to add resistance to your entire arm and shoulder area. Hold your arms at your sides and raise your arms out by your sides until they are level with your shoulders, then lower. Add arm circles at the top for a more intense workout, or open and close the arms at the top of the lift. Do the same exercise with your arms out in front of you. Push with your palms down, then with your palms up, to work the front and back of your arms. Pushing a noodle down -- or pulling it down, if your palms are face up -- can add resistance.


Punching in the water allows you to experience resistance throughout the motion, not just when you connect with a punching bag. Bend your knees slightly and keep your back straight. The water should be about neck high with your knees bent. Punch straight out in front of you, alternating arms. Change it so you're punching down at an angle, then punching straight down by your sides. Control the movement as you punch out and pull your hands back in.


Triceps are a difficult area to target with nearly any exercise routine, but pool dips can help you add triceps work to your water aerobics plan. Put your back against the pool wall and place your hands on the deck behind you. Push your body up with your arms until your elbows make a 90-degree angle and your biceps are level with the pool deck. Lower yourself back into the pool slowly, controlling the motion. If you can't do dips at the gym, try them in the water, where your body is somewhat buoyant.

Curls and Kickbacks

Incorporate the same moves you use in the gym to your water aerobics workout. Hold your arms down with the palms facing out and pull your hands up toward your chest, keeping your elbow against your body to work your biceps. Or, you can lean forward slightly with your knees bent and your hands beside your chest. Extend the arms behind you to work your triceps. Use water dumbbells for more resistance. A flotation belt can help you stay upright in the water as you shift your weight forward.

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