10 Best Hot Tub Exercises | Hydropool Midlands

Water workouts in your hot tub or swim spa are a refreshing way to stay fit, offering natural resistance for strength-building and heat for relaxing your muscles. Let's dive into the 10 best hot tub exercises you can add to your fitness routine. 


But first, a warm up…

Warm Up


Arm Circles: 


Extend your arms to the sides, and perform slow, deliberate circles. This exercise helps to increase the mobility of the shoulder joint and strengthen the surrounding muscles.


Jumping Jacks:


Stand in the centre of the hot tub, starting with your feet together and arms at your sides. Simultaneously jump your legs out to the sides and raise your arms above your head, just like a standard jumping jack, but the water will provide extra resistance. Reverse the movement, bringing your arms down and legs together. Aim for about 10-15 reps, and do this for a few sets if you can.


Hopefully, you should be feeling your muscles warming up and your heart rate increasing slightly. Let’s move on to the actual exercises.



1: Knee Hug


This exercise is excellent for stretching and strengthening your lower body, particularly your hips and lower back.


How to do it: Start in a sitting position in the hot tub with your back to the wall of the hot tub. Lift your knees up and hug them to your chest using your hands. Try to keep your back as straight as possible and hold the position for a few seconds. Slowly lower your leg back into the water and repeat the exercise with the other leg. You can alternate legs or complete all reps on one side before switching.


Muscles worked: This exercise primarily targets your hip flexors and glutes. Additionally, it engages your core muscles for balance and stabilisation. It's also a good stretch for the lower back.



2: Flutter Kicks:


How to do it:


Start by leaning back against the wall of the hot tub. Extend your legs in front of you with your feet together. Keep your legs straight and quickly move your legs up and down in a scissor-like motion.


Muscles worked: This exercise primarily targets your hip flexors and lower abdominal muscles. It also works your quads and engages your core for stability.

3: Squats: 


Squats are a fundamental exercise for strengthening your lower body, and doing them in water provides additional resistance while being gentle on your joints.


How to do it: Stand in the hot tub with the water up to your chest or shoulders. Position your feet hip-width apart. Squat down as if sitting back into a chair, pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Keep your chest up and your knees aligned over your feet. Then, using your legs, push yourself back up to standing.


Muscles worked: This exercise primarily targets your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. Your core muscles are also engaged to maintain balance and stability.


4: Calf raises: 


Calf raises in the hot tub are an excellent way to target your calves, a muscle that is often neglected in people's workouts.


How to do it: Stand in the hot tub, position your feet shoulder-width apart and flat on the bottom of the tub. Raise your heels off the floor until you're standing on your toes, then lower your heels back down.


Muscles worked: Primarily the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles, which together make up the calves.


5: Wrist Curls: 


Wrist curls are great for working on your forearm strength, which in turn can improve your grip and arm wrestling performance. 


How to do it: Sit in the hot tub and extend your arms out in front of you, palms facing up. Make a fist and then curl your wrist towards your body, then extend it back out. Make sure the motion is controlled and only your wrist is moving. 


If you want to add resistance, you could use waterproof hand weights or even a water-filled bottle.


Muscles worked: This exercise primarily works the muscles in your forearms, specifically the wrist flexors.


6: Side Leg Lifts: 


Side leg lifts are a great way to work your hip abductors, which are the muscles that help move your legs away from the centre of your body.


How to do it: Lay on your side in the hot tub (making sure you can comfortably keep your head above water), and slowly lift one leg out to the side as high as you comfortably can while keeping it straight. Slowly lower it back down without letting it touch your other leg. Repeat this process for your desired number of repetitions, then switch to the other leg.


Muscles worked: This exercise primarily targets the muscles in your hips and thighs, it also works your core muscles as they work to maintain your balance.

7: Jog in Place: 


Jogging in place in a hot tub is a low-impact cardio exercise that can also strengthen your lower body.


How to do it: Stand in the hot tub, begin to jog in place, trying to lift your knees high with each step. The water will provide resistance, making this exercise more challenging than it sounds.


Muscles worked: Jogging in place in water targets your calves, quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Your core muscles also get worked as they help you to maintain balance and stability.



8: Clap your hands


Sounds simple enough right? Clapping your hands underwater can provide some extra resistance working the chest muscles.


How to do it: Sit in the hot tub, extend your arms out to the sides at shoulder width, then swiftly bring them together in front of you, clapping your hands. Then, push them back out to the sides. 


When pushing out your hands to the sides, move your hands slowly, and then explode them back in for the clap, the resistance of the water will make this motion more challenging.


Muscles worked: 


This exercise primarily targets your chest muscles (pectoralis major and minor).


9: Seated Twists: 


This exercise is a great way to work on your core muscles in the hot tub.


How to do it: Start by sitting on the floor of the hot tub. Cross your legs comfortably and maintain a straight back. Extend your arms in front of you at chest level. Now, slowly twist your torso to one side, keeping your legs in the same position. Once you’ve twisted to the side, then slowly twist back to the centre. Repeat the movement to the other side.


Muscles worked: The Seated Twists primarily target your core muscles. This includes your obliques (the muscles on the sides of your waist), rectus abdominis (your 'six-pack' muscles), and the deeper muscles of your core, such as the transverse abdominis.


10: Single leg deadlift:


The single leg deadlift in a hot tub can be a great way to engage your core, work on balance, and target the muscles in your lower body.


How to do it:


Stand in the hot tub with water up to your waist or chest. Stand on one leg and extend the other leg slightly behind you. Keep the foot of the extended leg just off the bottom of the tub. Bend at the waist and reach towards the foot of the standing leg, maintaining balance. Return to the starting position to complete one rep. Do several repetitions, then switch to the other leg.


Muscles worked: 


This exercise primarily targets your hamstrings and glutes. It also works your lower back muscles and engages your core for stability and balance.

Follow along to an AquaFit video


Watching an AquaFit video is an excellent way to get a structured, water-based workout in your hot tub. These workouts are specifically designed for performance in water, making them a perfect fit for your hot tub fitness routine.


There are plenty of AquaFit videos available online. Websites like YouTube are full of different options that cater to various fitness levels and goals. Be sure to choose one that's suitable for your own fitness level and the exercises you want to do.


Once you've chosen your video, set up your device so that it's safe, secure, and you can easily see the screen from the hot tub. Be sure to position it far enough away from the hot tub to avoid any water damage. If you're using a smartphone or tablet, consider using a stand or mount to hold it in place. Now it’s time to begin the work out.



Cool down


The cool-down phase after a workout is an essential part of any exercise routine, yet it's often overlooked. This period allows your body to gradually transition from the intense physical exertion of your workout back to its normal state. This can offer a wealth of benefits such as gradual heart reduction and decreased risk of injury. 


Here’s some cool down exercises you can do from the comfort of your own hot tub

Floating Stretch:


If your hot tub is spacious enough, float on your back and stretch out your arms and legs. This allows your entire body to relax and unwind.


Shoulder and Neck Rolls:


Sit comfortably and roll your shoulders back in a circular motion, then switch and roll them forward. Also, gently tilt your head from side to side and then do some gentle neck rolls.


Quad Stretch:


It’s likely that you did quite a bit of work on your legs during the hot tub work, so give your quad muscles a nice stretch. Stand near the edge of the hot tub for balance. Bend one knee, bringing your foot towards your glutes. Use your hand to hold onto your foot, keeping your thighs parallel. You should feel a stretch along the front of your thigh. Hold for about 30 seconds, then switch legs.


Remember, the goal during the cool-down period is to lower your heart rate and relax your muscles. These exercises should be performed slowly and controlled, focusing on your breath and the relaxing nature of the warm water.


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Invest in a Swim Spa


Investing in a swim spa can take your water-based workouts to a whole new level. Unlike traditional hot tubs, swim spas are designed to be large enough for swimming and other water-based exercises. They are essentially a compact swimming pool with added benefits.


One of the main advantages of a swim spa is the adjustable water current feature. This allows you to swim against the current for a strenuous cardio workout, with the convenience of staying in the same place - a feature known as "endless swimming".


Aside from swimming, the added space and depth in a swim spa make it suitable for a wider range of exercises compared to a regular hot tub. You can perform aerobic exercises, water-based strength training, and even water yoga. The water resistance provides an added challenge, helping to build strength and endurance while minimising the impact on your joints.



So there you have it, 10 exercises you can do from the comfort of your own hot tub, which one was your favourite? 


If you’re looking to purchase a hot tub or perhaps a swimming spa to take your water workouts to another level, please get in touch.