Four pool moves that can be cool summer exercises

Fitness expert John Platero shows us four easy moves in the pool to counteract the seated position. Platero created this combo with desk jockeys in mind.


When the heat is on, you might lose your motivation to hit the gym. But the typically warm days of Southern California’s late summer offer a perfect excuse to take your workout into the pool, where it’s nice and cool. You’ll still work up a sweat, said John Platero, director of education for the National Council for Certified Personal Trainers, but you’ll hardly notice.

Platero created this combo with desk jockeys in mind. “Sitting in front of the computer … is not a great position for your posture. These four easy moves counteract all the sitting.”

Ideally, these moves are done in water that’s chest-deep. Please keep safety in mind. You’re likely to get winded, so you might want to be near the edge of the pool, where you can easily rest and catch your breath.


What they do

These four circuit moves — the sun squat, touchdown, split jacks and the jackknife — work the entire body while helping you stretch out hips that are most likely overly tight and shortened from lots of sitting.

What to do

The sun squat: Stand with feet shoulder distance apart, hands reaching for the sky. Squat — this will likely take you under water, so be ready to hold your breath — and then thrust your hips out when you return to standing position. The buoyancy will help you get a great stretch at the top of the move.

The touchdown: Stand with feet shoulder distance apart, hands reaching for the sky. Hop into a lunging position, and then return to standing. Alternate legs. The buoyancy will help you drop deeper into the squat than you’d likely be able to do on land.

Split jacks: Just like jumping jacks, but you’ll get more of an inner thigh and ab workout due to the resistance provided by the water.


Jackknife: Take a break to catch your breath if needed before performing this underwater move, and then pause as needed during repetitions. We’re not after speed, we’re after form and resistance. The move begins by lying facedown in the water, hands straight out ahead. Use your core muscles to swing your hands and feet toward each other, and then return to the starting position, and gently hyperextending your back and hips for a great stretch. This is a challenging move, and don’t expect your feet and hands to actually meet. Expect to get winded, fast.

How much

Perform these four moves in a circuit, with five to 10 repetitions for each move. You may not be able to perform as many jackknifes, and that’s fine. Repeat the circuit three to five times. Add more repetitions as you become more comfortable with the moves.