What to Wear to Water Aerobics (Simple, Easy Checklist)

Spending the afternoon at the pool or beach in summer can be great for recreation, but did you know you can multitask there? You can enjoy an escape from the boredom of the indoors, find relief in the heat from the pool, and still squeeze in a workout session if you have the right attire for water aerobics.

When thinking of what to wear to water aerobics, you must first wear a one-piece swimsuit since it offers you much more flexibility when doing all the exercises. It is also comfortable for the situation. You should also wear water shoes to get more traction in the water.

Water aerobics accessories make training underwater more convenient, providing the confidence and resilience needed to keep pushing on for the entire length of the workout endeavor. This article discusses all the essentials you will need for water aerobics, along with several optional accessories that can make your exercise sessions more enjoyable.

Dressing Up for Water Aerobics

Those participating in water aerobics for the first time are often under the impression that all they have to do is throw on a swimsuit and go. Unfortunately, it’s not this simple. Dressing for water aerobics can be tricky, as not all swimsuits will be tailored toward underwater aerobics classes.

Water aerobics is an appealing and effective way of getting into shape. While classes vary, the importance of having the right attire for the exercise cannot be overemphasized. So here is what you should consider, in a nutshell.

The first thing that should come to mind is wearing a swimsuit that allows for greater flexibility and comfort when performing the staple exercises of water aerobics. These factors should take precedence over everything else, even if it means sacrificing aesthetic appeal, as you don’t want to have to fuss around with your swimsuit in the middle of the workout.

Next, you should look into investing in a solid pair of water shoes that will provide additional traction in the water. Not only are water shoes favorable for the workout itself, but they’re also beneficial for walking around the pool and locker room after the workout session.

Additionally, if you’re the more reserved type, there are multiple types of conservative swimsuit styles that may be of interest to you. For example, swim dress swimsuits are a popular choice among women, whereas swimming shirts are a popular choice among men.

Lastly, you will need to bring a towel to dry off and keep yourself warm for the time outside the pool.

PRO TIP: Take note of the water aerobics dress code according to the facility you wish to attend, as some facilities have more rigid rules than others. For example, certain swimming facilities may require swimming caps for people with longer hair, while others do not.

Below, you will find a comprehensive list of ideas for what you should wear to water aerobics. While a few of the following items are essential, some of the items are merely included to supplement your training.

Swimming Suits

As aforementioned, you will need a swimming suit that is comfortable, breathable, and flexible, permitting your body to move freely regardless of the aquatic exercise you are doing.

If your aerobics include traditional lap swimming, it’s highly recommended that you wear a swimsuit designed to reduce water drag. Although swimming attire that features thinner straps and higher cuts is better suited for moving seamlessly underwater, it is important to consider proper support and dress code.

To help you know exactly what to look for in a water aerobics swimsuit, I have outlined several explicit features that you should actively search for in the subsequent sections.

Swimsuits for Women

For women, swimsuits are often designed based on preference, meaning you’re likely to be overwhelmed with a cascade of various swimsuit styles and sizes. So the question remains, how do you get to choose the best swimsuit for water aerobics?

Typically, women tend to wear a one-piece swimsuit to water aerobics to maximize flexibility and comfort without worrying about straps falling in the middle of an exercise. Here are a couple of features to look out for in a one-piece swimsuit to get the most out of your water aerobics sessions:

  • Thick Straps – Water aerobics requires you to move your arms in a wide range of motion. Thicker straps help to prevent the suit from digging into your shoulders and sliding around at random. Furthermore, wide strap swimsuits are now on the upward trend, allowing you to wear this swimsuit for both water aerobics and other recreational swimming purposes.
  • Higher Neckline – With the high degree of movement in water aerobics workouts, it’s necessary to have a firm and supportive swimsuit. Under these circumstances, it’s preferable to wear a suit with a higher neckline to hold everything in place. A higher neckline adds dimension to your swimsuit while helping you feel confident and secure when performing basic water aerobics activities.
  • Fuller Bottom – In swimming competitions, you’re likely to come across swim suits with a higher cut at the legs to reduce water drag. Water aerobics does not have a great emphasis on lap swimming with speed. Support and comfort take precedence, which is why many women elect to go for a suit with less exposure.

Women’s water aerobics swimsuits should optimize for performance, comfort, support, and range of motion. To twist, jump, and bob in the water, your swimming attire should afford you both support and coverage.

Although obtaining all these features may seem like a headache at first, it’s actually easier than you would believe.

Swimsuits for Men

There’s no shortage of stylish men’s swimsuits and trunks that have the versatility required for water aerobics. But, like women, there are also several things men should consider when choosing what to wear before hitting the pool for a training session. Here are several factors you should keep in mind to dress appropriately for water aerobics:

  • Length – The style of your swim trunk is noteworthy, but not as important as the length. For the majority of guys, the recommended length is about two inches above the knee, regardless of height. This suit length offers the freedom of movement needed to twist and turn underwater with ease.
  • Waist – Swim shorts with drawstrings or elastic waistbands will help to assure that your swimsuit is safe and secure throughout the exercise session. Ideally, the adjustable waistband should lay flat to avoid adding unnecessary bulk to the waist of the shorts. Snap closures can also be an acceptable choice, as long as they’re not excessively tight and prone to unsnapping under the pressure of movement. The confidence that comes with a fitted swimsuit waist should not go overlooked, since it allows you to focus entirely on the workout at hand.
  • Style – This shouldn’t be at the top of the list of importance when it comes to water aerobics, since it’s a training session and not a fashion show. However, it also doesn’t hurt to look good and feel good in a swimsuit style that you like.

Water Shoes

Water shoes are designed to offer ankle support, prevent slippage in the water, and protect the feet from potential cuts and scrapes caused by rough pool surfaces (source). There are many styles and brands of water shoes to choose from for water aerobics. However, like swimsuits, it’s not easy to pick from the lot if you don’t know what to look out for.

If you still aren’t entirely convinced you need shoes for water aerobics, click over to Why You Should Wear Shoes for Water Aerobics (Explained) for more information.

Women’s Water Aerobics Shoes

Comfort and flexibility should be at the forefront of your mind if you’re a woman browsing through water shoes. Below, you’ll find two effective water shoe options meant for women:

  • The VIFUUR Water Sports Shoes – These shoes are extremely versatile, allowing you to seamlessly transition from water aerobics to poolside yoga without a second thought. They are designed from smooth, breathable fabric that permits the shoes to stretch like socks. Additionally, there are a wide variety of designs and color options that are sure to fit your unique style. As an added bonus, these water aerobics shoes are one of Amazon’s bestsellers, as they’ve proven time and time again that they can do the job.
  • Mishansha Water Shoes – This pair of water shoes is an alternative design that will have no problem fitting all your water aerobics needs. These shoes are quick to dry, lightweight, and breathable. Made with drainage holes, these shoes ensure adequate water flow in and out of the shoes. Lastly, they’re also fitted with a pull tab that allows you to remove them effortlessly.

Men’s Water Aerobics Shoes

Similarly, men need support, comfort, and a great deal of versatility from their water shoes. The following two pairs of water shoes are ideal for men that want to venture into the world of water aerobics.

  • Zhuanglin Men’s Water Shoes – These water shoes are constructed from 90% fabric, allowing your feet to breathe while still retaining a fairly light weight to twist and turn without added weights on your legs. In addition, the shoes are quick to dry and quite affordable.
  • Mishansha Men’s Water Shoes – Made from spandex material and fitted with rubber soles, these shoes are flexible, yet comfortable enough for water aerobics. They also have elastic adjustment straps to avoid the annoyance that comes with frequently untied shoes during exercise.

PRO TIP: If you do water aerobics exercises in a chlorinated pool, you can remove the chlorine from your water shoes by soaking them in Woolite overnight. This will keep your water shoes in tip top shape for your next water aerobics session!

Water Jogging Belt

If you want to further reduce the impact on the knees and hips during water aerobics, it may be in your best interest to wear a water jogging belt.

A water jogging belt is an excellent counteractive measure against joint impact while you churn away with your legs in the pool. The added buoyancy of the water jogging belt neutralizes the gravitational pull on your body in the water, so your joints don’t have to take on the full burden of your body weight as you exercise (source).

To get the most out of aqua jogging belts, ensure you go for one with a thick, long-lasting form. These will not scrape your back as you twist and turn in the water.

Swim Training Gloves

If you’re looking to make your water aerobics more of a challenge, experimenting with aquatic gloves may be a good place to start.

Aquatic gloves will increase resistance while performing aquatic exercises since the gloves are typically fitted with webbing that moves slightly more water with every underwater hand movement (source). This added resistance gradually increases strength and endurance over time as the body adapts to the slightly increased workload.

There are a few aspects you should prioritize when buying swim gloves, such as:

  • the ability to be tucked into the swimsuit
  • open or closed fingertips
  • adjustable wrist straps

Aqua Resistance Fins

Contrary to popular opinion, these are not your ordinary swim training fins. These are devices wrapped on the ankles and wrists with blades that create additional resistance in the water. When wearing these fins, you will experience resistance regardless of the direction you swing, kick, or move your legs.

Water-resistance fins are an effective way to flex stabilizer muscles that are generally overlooked in water aerobics and other aquatic workouts. As a bonus, these fins also up intensity and resistance without impacting the joints.

These devices come in different sizes, with the 6-blade (maximum resistance) and 4-blade (minimum resistance) being the most common.

You can find further information on how to use this water exercise equipment in the video below:

Floating Equipment

Floating devices not only offer buoyancy but resistance as well. Some water aerobics trainers and facilities provide this equipment. However, if you’re uncertain if your swimming facility carries this kind of equipment, you may want to secure your own.

Wearing a floating belt when moving in water, from the shallow end to the deep end, offers a nice change of pace to the normal water aerobics workout. The belt also creates drag when you sprint in water, which is an added fitness benefit for your water aerobics exercises.

As mentioned earlier, having equipment that increases resistance and drag is a fantastic way to enhance your water aerobic workouts. Aside from the floating belt, there are many other exceptional options to create additional water resistance, including:

  • water dumbbells
  • water noodles
  • fitness gloves
  • water paddles

The added drag effect improves core engagement and strengthens the limbs. Additionally, having a wide variety of tools at your disposal will make your water aerobics sessions less monotonous and more enjoyable overall.

How to Choose What to Wear to Water Aerobics

A substantial portion of water aerobics participants find it difficult to choose which water aerobics outfit to wear due to the wide variety of swimsuit shapes, styles, materials, and prices. Selecting the right attire to wear to water aerobics will depend significantly on the type of activity you choose to pursue, the policies of the facility you attend, and your own personal preferences.

In essence, different swimming outfits are designed for specific workouts. For instance, swim gloves and floatation fins are specially designed to increase water resistance. Therefore, when choosing what to wear for water aerobics, your primary point of concern should be in the order of functionality, comfort, and style.

In terms of functionality, you should look for attire that offers adequate support to keep your mind off your bathing suit and concentrated on the workout itself.

As far as comfort is concerned, be sure that your suit is neither too tight nor too loose. Swimming outfits that come with adjustable features are reliable options for water aerobics since they’re able to fit the contours of your body perfectly. In addition, a comfortable outfit will allow you to move with absolute freedom, irrespective of the activity you engage in.

When it comes to style, choosing the right attire for water aerobics is a matter of personal preference. For example, some people like long-sleeved t-shirts in place of tank tops. Others like loose pants over swim trunks. Since tastes differ, water aerobics clothes are usually designed to meet specific preferences. It’s ultimately up to you to browse to find out which style suits you best.

High-quality water aerobics outfits may be somewhat costly, but the best items are not necessarily the most expensive. Don’t be afraid to browse online and in retail stores to find the comfortable and stylish option for you. Looking good enhances confidence, which will ultimately better your attitude towards the workout and improves results.

The Bottom Line

To dress for water aerobics, focus on functionality, comfort, and style. These three aspects should guide you on what to wear to water aerobics or any other water-related exercise for that matter.

With all the swimming attire available nowadays, you shouldn’t have too difficult of a time finding an outfit that fits these criteria, provided that you follow the advice described above.

Sources: 1 2 3

Austin Carmody

I am the owner of HydroPursuit. I enjoy kicking back and getting out on the water as much as I can in my free time.

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