Aqua Jogging Workouts

Here’s a list of aqua jogging workouts, which we’ll add to regularly. If you have a good workout you’d like to share, feel free to contact us via our Contact page. We’ll publish your workout and link to your website, if applicable …

Of course, all these workouts are guidelines only and can be adapted to your fitness level or time constraints. Just adjust the suggested times accordingly …

For a Comprehensive Guide to Aqua Jogging  … Click Here

Remember, aqua jogging workouts compare favorably to traditional running workouts. Physiology studies have shown that a water running workout like those shown below will get your heart rate to within 90% of a running regimen, assuming the same time and exertion level. Even if you just want a good cross training activity, these workouts fit the bill.


We use some standard terminology in outlining the workouts. We use an intensity level scale of 1 to 5, similar to what is used in an indoor cycling class. Level 1 is easiest, Level 5 is hardest. Here’s a brief explanation:

Level One: This level is used for warm up and final cool down. Similar to a moderately brisk walk.

Level Two: Best described as light to moderate, like an easy jog. This level is great when you’re just starting aqua jogging or focusing on your form.

Level Three: Moderate is the best term for this level. Compare it to a brisk jog; if you’re a runner, this would be the pace at which you’d do a short run of say 1-2 miles.

Level Four: Hard. Compare this to running at a race pace, but not sprinting. You ultimately want to be able to maintain this level for 5-10 minutes if you can’t already.

Level Five: Very Hard. Think of this is a short burst sprint.

Aqua Jogging In A Crowded Pool

Unless you have access to a private swimming pool, you’ll typically be sharing space with lap swimmers or casual recreational swimmers while you’re aqua jogging. In order to avoid bumping into people, or having them bump in to you, we suggest you “carve out” a little space by doing your water running in square patterns. That is, jog a few feet forward from a starting point, turn right, and so on until you get back to your starting point. You can always reverse directions for a change of pace.

If you like to measure your progress in terms of laps covered, make your first right turn about 1/4 of the way down the lap. That way, every compete square is one lap …

Specific Aqua Jogging Workouts

Here’s a collection of aqua jogging workouts we use for cross training purposes. We list specific time intervals, but these of course can be adjusted to your individual circumstances. The levels listed correspond with our chart on this page (see above). You can easily increase the resistance level of these workout plans by using hand weights designed for water use, or by wearing a weighted aqua vest.

One of our favorite warm up exercises is performing a cross country ski movement in the water for three to five minutes. In this exercise, your arms and legs are straight, and you scissor your legs forward and back. Lead with your toes and coordinate your arm movements in the same way, exactly like cross country skiing.

Introductory Aqua Jogging Workout For Beginners

This workout is very straightforward and is designed for new aqua joggers. It’s 20 minutes in length which helps build your endurance for longer and more challenging sessions. This is the first workout we did when we started aqua jogging, and we did it four times over a two weeks period. It’s also an excellent workout for those getting reacclimated to water based exercise:

Minutes 0 – 3: Warm up, Level One.
Minutes 3 – 9: Increase intensity to Level Two. You should still be able to hold a conversation.
Minutes 9 – 12: Three minutes of increased effort level up to Level Three. Conversation limited to a few words at a time.
Minutes 12 – 18: Reduce intensity level back to Level Two.
Minutes 18-20: Two minute cool down at Level One.

As you can tell, this is a good beginner workout with most of the work (12 minutes of 20) at Level Two. There’s a short burst from minutes 9 – 12 at a higher intensity. If you’ve never aqua jogged, this relatively quick 20 minute workout is a great place to start …


Intermediate 20 Minute Aqua Jogging Workout

This workout is more challenging – you ramp up and stay at a high level for 10 minutes, then ramp back down. If you’re pressed for time but still want a challenging cardio session, try this one:

Minutes 0 – 3: Warm up at Level One.
Minutes 3 – 5: Increase intensity to Level Two for two quick minutes …
Minutes 5 – 15: Push yourself to Level Four, full out running at a race pace, for ten minutes. You’ll be challenged for sure!
Minutes 15 – 17: Ramp back down to Level Two for two minutes.
Minutes 17 – 20: Cool down, back at Level One.

You can easily expand this workout to 30 minutes by adding two minutes to each of the five increments. We recommend you get used to aqua jogging before taking this workout on; even if you’re in great shape, working out in the water is decidedly different than running or other land based workouts. Start this workout at 20 minutes and then go to 30 when you feel ready …


“Two and Two” 30 Minute Aqua Jogging Challenge

This 30 minute workout is super easy to follow, because after a short warm up, you simply alternate two minutes at different levels …

Minutes 0 – 5: Five minute warm up at Level One.
Minutes 5 – 25: For this 20 minute segment, you’ll be alternating at a moderately easy pace (Level Two) for two minutes, then a hard pace (Level Four) for two minutes. Two minutes moderately easy, then two minutes hard. You’ll repeat the cycle five times, giving you an excellent interval workout.
Minutes 25 – 30: Cool down at Level One.


Advanced High Intensity Interval Aqua Jogging Workout

This is a very challenging workout that’s based on high intensity aerobic activity followed by short rest periods. This is based on an indoor cycling workout and translates very well to the swimming pool.

For a 30 minute session, here’s what I do:

Warm up for three minutes at Level One.
At the end, cool down for three minutes, also at Level One.

That leaves 24 minutes in between. I structure the 24 minutes into six distinct intervals of four minutes each.

Each four minute interval is 3 minutes hard (Level 4 or Level 5 if you can maintain it), followed by one minute of recovery at Level Two. I repeat the four minute interval six times (6 x 4 = 24 minutes). Believe me it’s tough!


30 Minute “Ramp Up, Ramp Down”  Aqua Jogging Workout

I like this workout because it’s steady pace and doesn’t require too much thinking! Instead of an interval session, this one is more “steady pace” which ramps up, hits a peak, and then ramps down …

Minutes 0 – 3: Warm up at Level One.
Minutes 3 – 10: Increase intensity to Level Three (moderate).
Minutes 10 – 18: Increase your intensity to Level Four (hard).
Minutes 18 – 20: A short two minute burst at Level Five (very hard).
Minutes 20 – 27: The “ramp down” stage … Level Three for seven minutes.
Minutes 27 – 30: Cool down at Level One.

While this workout might seem easy or not too challenging, you’ll be surprised when you try it! The key is the two minute burst between minutes 18 to 20. When you finish those two minutes, you’ll be ready to ramp the intensity back down!


To get the most out of these aqua jogging workouts check out our aqua jogging workout guide.

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