f you are looking for something different to do in the pool, then our pool exercise ideas are just the thing. No swimming required, just a steady, simple workout using the resistance and support offered by water. This idea is crunches in the water.

You may have done or heard of crunches. They are a little like sit-ups but with your whole back leaving the floor. Crunches in water with a noodle are similar except the pool is the floor. They are a great way of working your stomach muscles but with the water reducing the stress and helping with movement.

You can do these crunches in any depth of water and the intensity can be increased by performing the exercise without a noodle.

Remember to always warm up before exercise. Check out our stretching section here for more on warming up. You can find leg stretch exercises here and upper body stretches here.

How to do crunches in the water

Starting position

  • Start by floating horizontally on the water’s surface, on your back using a noodle to aid floatation
  • Draw hips up towards the ceiling and lay head back in the water with your eyes up towards ceiling


  • Simultaneously, using your core, bring your head and shoulders forwards, and knees to chest
  • Once in a crunched position, lower your knees and shoulders to finish in an extended position, floating on your back, as you started

Advanced option

If you feel this is too easy then you can increase the intensity by the following methods.

  • Remove the noodle and do the exercise without it. This will work your core harder.

Simpler option

If you feel this is too hard then you can decrease the intensity by doing the following.

  • Use an additional noodle to increase buoyancy
  • Hold onto poolside and perform the leg extension in a horizontal position only.

source: https://www.swimming.org/justswim/flatten-stomach-crunches-water/#