Water walking: What Is It And How Does It Work?

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  31.01.2023
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Water walking, is it for you? It just might be!

Water walking uses water as friction, great because it uses many of the body’s muscles. It’s also low-impact and great for heart and lungs, good for people recovering from injuries or with muscle conditions. Plus, it’s easy to do anywhere, since you don’t need any special equipment.

In this article, I’ll explain what it is, WHY it’s beneficial, and how you can get the most out of it. Plus, I’ll get you some tips on how to get started on your first day.

What is water walking

Why You Should Take a Dip in the Pool

The Benefits of Water Walking

Water is much more dense than air, so when you exercise in it, you get a much better workout than you would on land. When you walk in water, the workout will give you extra resistance that helps you strengthen your muscles in ways you can’t on land. Plus, you’ll burn more calories, which is great for weight loss.

Water walking is also a low-impact exercise, which means it’s easier on your bones and joints. So it’s a great option for pregnant people, people recovering from an injury, seniors, and anyone new to exercise.

Water Walking is Good for Your Heart and Lungs

A study from 2015 found that walking in water can raise your heart rate more than walking on land, giving your heart and lungs a great workout. Plus, another study found that water walking can help lower your blood pressure, especially for those who are new to exercise. And if you suffer from spinal stenosis, a study found that 12 weeks of water walking can help improve your balance and muscle function.

So What Are You Waiting For?

If you’re looking for a great way to get fit, why not take a dip in the pool? Not only is it a low-impact exercise, but it can also help you:

  • Strengthen your muscles in ways you can’t on land
  • Burn more calories
  • Raise your heart rate
  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Improve your balance and muscle function

So what are you waiting for? Get your swimsuit on and take a dip in the pool!

What Do You Need to Get Started with Water Walking?

Gym Equipment

If you’re planning to take a dip in the pool and get your water walking on, you won’t need much gear. Most gyms will have the necessary equipment for you to use, and some may even have water treadmills or elliptical trainers. All you’ll need is a towel, swim cap, and if you’re feeling fancy, a pair of goggles.

Equipment for Solo Water Walking

If you’re planning to do some water walking on your own, you may want to invest in some of the following gear:

  • Strap-on wrist or ankle weights
  • Hand webs or resistance gloves
  • Foam dumbbells

You can find all of these items online, so get shopping!

Have Fun!

Water walking is a great way to get fit and have fun at the same time. So don’t forget to smile and enjoy yourself while you’re in the pool!

How to Make a Splash with Water Walking

Getting Started

If you’re ready to take the plunge into water walking, start off by wading in water that’s waist-level. To make sure you’re walking with the right form, keep your core and back muscles engaged, back straight and lengthened, shoulders back, chin up and ears over your shoulders. As you walk, make sure to:

  • Keep your torso upright without leaning too far forward or to either side
  • Take long strides
  • Swing your arms as you walk

Diving Deeper

Once you’ve got the basics down, you can move into deeper water. Start off slowly and gradually increase your speed. Before you know it, you’ll be walking on water like Jesus! Just make sure to keep your eyes peeled for any sharks.

Get Creative with Water Walking

High Knees

Once you’ve got the hang of walking in water, you can spice up your routine with some variations. Start small and work your way up to two or three laps of each.

High knees is a great way to add intensity to your water walking and work those leg and core muscles, as well as your glutes and hip flexors. Here’s how to do it:

  • Engage your core and lift your right knee as high as you can.
  • At the same time, raise your left arm.
  • Switch and do the same with your left knee and right arm.

Walking Lunges

Walking lunges are a great way to work your quads, hamstrings, calves, and glutes. To do this exercise, you’ll need to be in water that’s at waist level. Here’s how to do it:

  • Step forward with your right foot.
  • Lower your front thigh so it’s parallel to the bottom of the pool. Make sure your right knee is in line with, but not over, your ankle. Keep your back leg straight.
  • Bring your left foot forward, and continue by stepping forward with your left leg.
  • For an extra challenge, try doing side lunges instead of forward lunges. This will help work your adductor muscles which are located on the inside of your thighs.

Sideways Walking

This water walking variation targets your inner and outer thigh muscles. Here’s how to do it:

  • Stand sideways with your right hip leading.
  • Step your right foot to the side.
  • Bring your left foot to meet your right.
  • Continue like this until you get to the end of the pool.
  • Walk back with your left hip leading.

Level Up Your Water Walking Workouts

Upper Body Workouts

If you’re looking to take your water walking up a notch, why not try adding some wrist weights, foam dumbbells, resistance gloves, or hand webs? These can give your upper body a real challenge and make your workout more intense.

Lower Body Workouts

For those wanting to really push their lower body, ankle weights are a great way to up the intensity. Or you could try walking with a resistance parachute. If you’re feeling extra brave, why not try jogging or running in water?

Interval Training

Interval training is a great way to get your heart rate up and really challenge yourself. Here’s how it works:

  • Jog or run for 30 seconds
  • Walk at your regular speed for a couple of minutes
  • Repeat for 5 to 10 minutes

So if you’re looking to take your water walking to the next level, give these exercises a try!

Tips for a Safe and Fun Water Workout

Stay Hydrated

It’s easy to forget how much you’re sweating when you’re in the pool. So don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated, especially if the pool is heated.

Watch Out for Slippery Surfaces

Be careful of slippery surfaces, sharp edges and corners. To help prevent slips, it’s best to wear water shoes.

Floatation Device

If you’re not a strong swimmer or have balance issues, it’s a good idea to wear a floatation device.

Stop if You Feel Pain

If something doesn’t feel comfortable, don’t force it. Stop and take a break if you feel any pain.

Avoid Heated Pools

It’s best to avoid pools that are heated above 90°F (32.2°C). Pools heated at 82 to 88°F (27.8 to 31°C) can help soothe pain, but it’s not safe to work out in water that’s heated above that range.

Seek Help Immediately

If you experience any of the following, stop immediately and seek help:

  • Light-headedness or dizziness
  • Unable to breathe
  • Fainting or feeling weak
  • Pain or pressure in your chest or upper body
  • Nausea
  • Confusion

Talk to Your Doctor

Before starting any water workout, it’s important to talk to your doctor, especially if you have any medical concerns or take prescription medications.

Take the Plunge into Water Aerobics Exercise

Aqua Walking: A Low-Impact Introduction

If you’re looking for a way to get into water aerobics exercise without diving in head first, then Aqua Walking is the perfect starting point. It’s a low-impact bodywork that offers a light introduction to water aerobics. Plus, the water’s buoyancy supports your body’s weight, reducing stress on your joints and minimizing any pain.

Benefits of Aqua Walking

Aqua Walking has a ton of benefits, including:

  • Stress relief and natural pain relief
  • Strengthening and building muscle
  • Increased confidence in performing daily activities
  • Stimulating the immune system
  • Aiding lymphatic drainage
  • Increasing blood circulation
  • Relaxing both your body and mind

Backward-Walking: A Form of Exercise

Backward-walking in water is a great way to build strength in your quadriceps, stomach, and core muscles. Plus, it uses more energy in a shorter period of time, and burns more calories. It’s also great for those recovering from hamstring strain, as it reduces hip range of motion.

The Benefits of Backward-Walking

Backward-walking has a ton of benefits, including:

  • Reduced shear force on the knees
  • More energy in a shorter period of time
  • Burns more calories
  • No eccentric loading of the knee joint
  • Increased endorphins released by the hypothalamus
  • Reduced soreness and fatigue
  • Increased endurance, flexibility, range of motion, balance, and coordination
  • Removal of metabolic waste
  • Enhanced immune system response
  • Re-vitalized energy circulation along meridians
  • Assisted body in tissue healing
  • Developed muscular and cardiovascular endurance
  • Increased cardiovascular function
  • Strengthened hip bone
  • Slowed bone density loss
  • Improved self-esteem
  • No swimming ability required (also read water walking vs swimming explained)

Relaxation and Pain Relief: The Watery Way

The Benefits of Aqua Walking

Aqua walking is the perfect way to get some exercise without putting too much strain on your body. Here are some of the benefits of this low-impact activity:

  • You only weigh 10% of your land weight, reducing the impact on your joints.
  • Water provides 12 times the resistance of air, so you get a great workout.
  • Turbulence in the water helps strengthen your core muscles.
  • Increased confidence in performing daily activities.
  • Unlike medications, there are no side effects.
  • Regular aqua exercise can improve pain and stress symptoms.

How to Aqua Walk

Aqua walking is a great way to get started with aqua aerobics. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Find a waist-high sea or warm pool.
  • Take advantage of the water’s buoyancy to support your body weight and reduce stress on your joints.
  • Make sure the water temperature is between 29 and 34.4ºC.
  • Enjoy the thermal properties of the water, which can stimulate your immune system, aid lymphatic drainage, and increase your blood circulation.

The Bottom Line

Aqua walking is a great way to relax, get some exercise, and take it easy on your joints. Plus, the thermal properties of the water can help you feel both physically and mentally relaxed. So why not give it a try?



Water Walking Vs Water Jogging

Water walking and water jogging are two popular exercises that are great for getting in shape. Water walking is done in waist-high or chest-high water, while water jogging is done in deeper water. The difference between the two is that water walking has more resistance because your feet are touching the bottom of the pool, while water jogging has less resistance as your feet don’t touch the bottom.

Water walking is a great way to burn more calories than water jogging. You can really feel the resistance in your legs and arms as you move through the water, making it a great workout. Plus, it’s a lot of fun! On the other hand, water jogging is a great way to get a low-impact workout without putting too much strain on your body. So, if you’re looking for a way to get fit without overdoing it, water jogging is the way to go.

Water Walking Vs Land Walking

Water walking is a great way to challenge and strengthen your muscles in ways that land-based exercises just can’t. The extra resistance of moving through the water requires more effort, which can help you burn more calories and aid in weight loss. Plus, it’s a fun way to get your heart rate up and get a good sweat going.

On the other hand, land-based exercises can be more convenient and easier to do. You don’t have to worry about the extra resistance of the water, and you can move at your own pace. You can also use a variety of equipment and tools to help you get the most out of your workout. So, depending on your goals and preferences, you can choose the type of exercise that’s right for you.


What is a water walking class?

Water walking classes are a great way to get a low-impact workout while having fun in the pool. It’s a great way to get your heart rate up and strengthen your core muscles without putting too much strain on your body. You’ll be using the natural resistance of the water to help you work out, so it’s perfect for those just starting an exercise program or those who don’t want to go too hard. Plus, it’s a great way to improve your balance, coordination, and flexibility. So, if you’re looking for a fun way to get fit, water walking classes are the way to go!

How do you start water walking?

Water walking is a great way to get your feet wet in the pool! To start, stand in waist-high water and swing your arms as if you were walking on land. Make sure to keep your back straight and your core tight so you don’t lean too far forward or to the side. Don’t walk on your tiptoes either. It’s that easy! Water walking is a great way to get your heart rate up and get some low-impact exercise. So go ahead and give it a try!


Water walking is perfect to get your heart rate up, get a little stronger, and TRAIN those muscles, all without putting too much pressure on your body.

Beginners and pros alike can find ways to make it beneficial. Just remember to bring your towel, swim cap, and maybe some wrist or ankle weights, and you’re good to go!s

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Kauai Surf Report is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new sports with everything surfing at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2019 to help loyal readers with surfing and water sporting tips.