Pick an area of the pool where your arms and legs are underwater and your feet touch the floor.
Heels Up: Walk or jog forward, lifting your heels high toward your butt. Add variation by adjusting your tempo to two slow kicks followed by two quick kicks. Move your arms as if you were performing the breaststroke, keeping your thumbs up to assist your forward movement.
Knees Up: Walk or jog backward, lifting your knees high in front. Add variation by adjusting your tempo to two slow kicks followed by two quick kicks. Move your arms in reverse breaststroke (as if you were giving someone a hug) to assist your backward movement.
Tightrope Walk: Imagine that you’re walking on an underwater tightrope. Step one foot directly in front of the other, making your strides as long as possible and using your arms for balance. Make it harder by bending your elbows with your hands lifted out of water, as if motioning “I surrender.”
Stair Climbing: Stand in the shallow end of the pool facing the stairs. Step up onto the lowest step, and then back down. Repeat 10 times, slowly, leading with your right leg; then 10 times leading with your left leg. Turn sideways so the steps are on your right and step up, leading with your right leg, 10 times. Turn so the steps are on your left and repeat with your left leg. Finally, turn so the steps are behind you and step up backwards 10 times, leading with the right leg and 10 times leading with your left leg. Hold on to the bar or side of the pool for balance if necessary, but don’t pull yourself up with your arms.
Jumping Jacks and Kicks: Moving backward, perform one jumping jack followed by one front kick. Repeat, this time kicking with the opposite leg. Keeping your back straight, reach toward your foot with the opposite hand on each kick.
Side Step and Slide: Step out to your right in a wide stance, dragging your left foot to meet your right. When you reach the end of the pool, repeat, stepping out to the left and sliding your right foot to meet. Arms should follow the legs out with each side step, then come behind your back as you pull your legs together.
Knee Swing: Walk Swing your knee to the front, then to the back, then to the front again. Then extend your leg to take a giant step forward. Repeat on the opposite side. Use your arms for balance or make it harder by lifting your arms out of the water and keeping your forearms crossed at chest height.
Tuck Travel: Drop low in the water, imagining you were seated in a chair. Tuck both knees toward your chest as you push off the pool bottom to travel backward. Move your arms in reverse breaststroke (as if you were hugging someone) to guide your backward movement.
Football Drill: Moving laterally, cross one leg over in front and then in back (in a grapevine pattern) for 8 counts. Then drop low in the water, as if you were seated in a chair, and run in place as fast as you can for 8 counts. Stay low in the water and run in place, this time moving your feet out-out-in-in, as if you were running through tires, for 8 counts. Stand up, then repeat all moves on the opposite side.
Core Ball Drill: Stand in a lunge with your right leg bent and your left extended behind you. Hold an inflated ball about 6 inches in diameter (like those found in a drugstore or toy store) with both hands directly in front of your navel. Keep your shoulders down and back. Hold this position for 30 seconds, engaging your core to keep you upright. Switch legs and hold for another 30 seconds.
Cool down with 3 to 5 minutes of walking forward, backward, and laterally across the pool, then stretching your arms, legs, and torso.
The performance of the exercises mentioned above will depend greatly upon you general health & fitness level. Always warm-up and stretch out before practicing these exercises. There is no doubt that swimming combined with these exercises will add variety and fun to your cardio workout.