Why Water Aerobics Can Be Done in a Hot Tub (Explained)

Water aerobics is a type of resistance training that’s typically done in relatively shallow pools. Though, there’s a fair amount of people out there that wonder whether doing water aerobics in the comfort of their hot tub—as opposed to the pool—is a realistic possibility.

You can do water aerobics in a hot tub because the water is at an ideal depth, the exercises don’t require much space, and the warmer water doesn’t negatively affect performance. Hot tubs may even be better in some cases than pools since the warmer water helps to better loosen up the muscles.

Whether you’re 20 years old or 80 years old, doing water aerobics in your hot tub is feasible, regardless of your current physical shape or injury status. So without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why hot tubs are well-suited for water aerobics.

Why Water Aerobics Can Be Done in Hot Tubs

Although water aerobics is typically conducted in a pool setting, this does not mean that you cannot perform this physical activity in a hot tub. There are plenty of reasons to back up this claim, which we will discuss in the subsequent sections.

Waist-Deep Water is Ideal for Water Aerobics

Most water aerobic activities are held in shallow pools where the water lies about waist-deep. This way, participants can still experience the resistance of the water without having to fight to keep their heads above water constantly. Some water aerobic exercises are geared specifically toward deeper waters, but these are in the minority.

Since the water level of hot tubs is also about waist-deep, hot tubs can serve as an acceptable venue for water aerobics. Therefore, whatever water aerobics exercises you do in the pool, you can typically do in the hot tub as well.

You may be surprised to find that although water is 12 to 15 times more resistant than air, water aerobics workouts do not exact a heavy toll on the joints, even when they’re done in a hot tub (source). This is because the waist-deep water level of a hot tub also offers the right amount of buoyancy to keep the pressure off of your joints while still allowing you to breathe with ease.

In fact, it’s recommended that those who struggle with arthritis or chronic pain perform exercises in waist-deep water since any impact on the body is diminished.

If the water level of hot tubs were any higher or lower, water aerobics would not nearly be as much of a viable option. Fortunately, the waist-deep water level is perfect for providing sufficient resistance while keeping joint pain to a minimum.

Water Aerobics Exercises Don’t Require Much Space

In addition, it’s important to note that you can do water aerobics exercises in a rather confined space. You don’t need a roomy pool to get in a solid water workout.

Take water walking or leg lifts, for example. These exercises only require a bit of standing room in the water to be performed effectively. Not much horizontal space is required. Even a fairly small hot tub that seats two to four people would suffice for these exercises. Any additional room would be considered a luxury rather than a necessity.

In addition, it’s worth noting that the majority of hot tub walls stand about 34 to 42 inches tall (source). This affords the average person plenty of vertical water space for waist-high exercises, such as water cycling and leg flutters.

As a general rule of thumb, you should be able to do water aerobics exercises painlessly so long as you have adequate room to stretch out both your arms and legs. They should be able to move freely out to the sides and towards the front of your body.

Warmer Water Doesn’t Significantly Affect Workout Performance

Furthermore, the warmer temperature of the water should not have any serious adverse effects on workout performance, as long as you make certain that you feel comfortable in the water.

According to the experts, water temperature should be between 84 degrees Fahrenheit and 88 degrees Fahrenheit for the best results.


However, when it comes to physical therapy-type workouts, warmer water is generally thought to be better. Cool water may sometimes be refreshing when working out on a hot day, but older people and young children tend to prefer the water a bit warmer than others.

The water temperature should never broach 93 degrees Fahrenheit, though, as this could heat a person’s core body temperature to unhealthy levels. Under severe circumstances, exercising with such a hot water temperature may lead to hyperthermia (source).

You can learn more about the risk of contracting hyperthermia from swimming in warm waters by reading through Why Your Body Feels Hot After Swimming (Explained!).

If you have any cardiac problems, like high blood pressure, keep the water temperature on the cooler side. The heart tends to become more stressed when it’s hot. Most hot tubs can drop to as low as 80 degrees Fahrenheit, so this temperature adjustment shouldn’t be a major issue.

Better to Do Water Aerobics in a Pool or Hot Tub?

You already know that you can do water aerobics in a pool or a hot tub. Now, the next logical question to ask is, “Which one is better?”

Benefits of Doing Water Aerobics in the Pool

If you plan to do any water aerobics that demands a lot of space, the pool is your best bet. Say, for example, that you want to go mobile and actively move in the water by walking a couple of laps. With the spaciousness of a pool, this is completely doable. With hot tubs, on the other hand, it’s out of the question.

Furthermore, pools allow water aerobics participants to utilize any pieces of equipment that they would like, like aqua bikes or underwater treadmills. This is not an option with hot tubs.

Plus, who knows what sort of damage that the excess heat could inflict on your workout equipment?

Yet another positive of doing water aerobics in the pool is the solid footing. Hot tubs do not always have the flattest bottom. There may be drains, jets, or textured designs that can disrupt your footing during your session. It would be best if you didn’t have to worry about slipping around inadvertently in the middle of your workout.

Swimming pools have a hard, flat surface conducive to movement, which allows people to go through their workout without skipping a beat. Active participants don’t have to give a second thought to their footing whatsoever.

Lastly, the cooler temperatures of a pool may be beneficial for those with cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure. Pregnant women are also encouraged to avoid the higher water temperatures of the hot tub. Though, it should be pointed out that the heater can be turned off in a hot tub, which would completely resolve the water temperature problem.

Benefits of Doing Water Aerobics in a Hot Tub

First and foremost, many people find that the warmth of the water is the biggest benefit of doing water aerobics in a hot tub.

Not only does the warm water feel more comfortable on the skin, but it also helps to loosen up the muscles and the joints. The warmth of the water will automatically increase your blood flow to get your heart pumping while supporting your body and muscles.

Plus, this added comfort and increased blood flow may offer the mental boost you need to get through the entirety of your workout. It should go without saying, but maintaining a positive mental attitude is key to having a successful water aerobics session.

Furthermore, hot tubs also have the benefit of seating. Unfortunately, most pools do not come equipped with seats. This can complicate things, especially when performing certain exercises that are done from a seated position.

Water cycling, for instance, is a popular water aerobics exercise based around the seated position. This exercise is easy to do in a hot tub but tough to do in a pool.

Some Water Aerobic Exercises You Can Do in Hot Tubs

There are many different aerobic exercises that you can do in your hot tub. Here are five of the most common (source):

  • Aqua Jogging – You can do this by jogging from one side of the hot tub to the other or by jogging in place. Either way, you will get a good workout because of the water’s resistance. Continue for about one or two minutes. 
  • Ball Pushes – Holding a beach ball and standing up with your arms straight in front of you, push the ball down to touch your legs. Keep your arms as straight as possible. Do these 10 to 20 times.
  • Cycling – In a seated position, put your legs in front of you and move like you are pedaling a bike. You can do this three times with 10 to 30 repetitions each.
  • Flutter Kicks – Face the side of the hot tub and hold onto the wall.  Then let your legs and body float to the surface behind you. Kick your legs like you are swimming at a steady pace until you feel your heart pumping.
  • Jumping Jacks – Do these in the same way that you would if you were not in water. Start with your feet together and arms down. Jump up and move your arms up and legs out. Jump again as you return to the original position.

If you’re looking for a complete water aerobics workout that you can easily do in a hot tub, check out the following video:

All content written by HydroPursuit is for informational purposes only. The material found on this site is not intended to replace professional medical advice, treatment, or diagnosis. Consult with an accredited health care provider prior to initiating a new health care regimen.

Sources: 1 2 3 4

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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