The Pool Workout Trainers Love

Combine a ViPR PRO with H2O to create a next-level conditioning routine.

Water-based strength workouts typically were the domain of competitive swimmers. “They’ve always done conditioning exercises in the pool, like dragging buckets or treading water while holding bricks,” says Dan Daly, a Tier X coach at Equinox Columbus Circle in New York City and an Equinox Academy coordinator. But now, says Daly, pool programs like Equinox’s Aqua Strength and Aqua Boot Camp classes, are going mainstream. 

“People are starting to use the pool as an extension of the gym,” says Daly—and with good reason. H20 makes exercise easier on your joints, but it has the opposite effect on your muscles. “Water is denser than air, so it can make it harder to move a load,” says Daly. Combine it with a tool like the ViPR PRO and you have a high-intensity routine that builds strength and agility while providing a cardio challenge. “The ViPR PRO can be submerged to add resistance in water, and there’s also added resistance when you lift it out of the water,” says Michol Dalcourt, the creator of ViPR and ViPR PRO and a member of the Equinox Health Advisory Board. “Plus, it’s made out of a material that won’t corrode when wet.” 

In the video above, Daly and Danielle Gray, a Tier 3 trainer at Equinox Marina Del Rey, demonstrate five ViPR PRO pool exercises. To try them, choose a moderate-weight ViPR PRO and stand in waist- or chest-deep water. Perform each movement pattern for 30 seconds, working as hard as you can. Repeat the entire series two to four times, taking breaks to catch your breath as necessary. (You’ll need a partner for one of the moves.)

Squat Overhead Press
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and hold a ViPR PRO at ends at chest height in front of you. Bend knees to squat as you extend arms, pushing ViPR PRO down into water, then stand as you raise ViPR PRO overhead. Repeat.

Rotating Thrust
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and hold a ViPR PRO with right hand in front of chest, elbows bent. Rotate torso to the right, then immediately twist to the left as you reach left hand back and extend right arm (hand holding ViPR PRO) to the left. Pull ViPR PRO back toward center, grab other end with left hand and immediately repeat to the right. Continue, rotating from side to side.

Split-Jump Chop

Stand with feet in a staggered stance, right in front of left, and hold a ViPR PRO at ends at chest height in front of you. Jump up as you switch legs and simultaneously bring ViPR PRO across your body and down to the right, landing with left foot in front of right and ViPR PRO outside right thigh. Immediately repeat on the opposite side, chopping ViPR PRO to the left as you jump up and switch legs. Continue, alternating sides.

Overhead Halo Press
Stand with feet wide apart and hold a ViPR PRO at ends in front of chest, elbows bent. Moving at a quick pace, bring ViPR PRO at an angle to the right, rotate it in a circular motion overhead, then lower it to the left and return to center. Reverse direction, moving from left, overhead, and to the right. Continue, switching directions each time.

Lateral Partner Twist and Toss
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and hold a ViPR PRO at ends in front of chest, elbows bent; your partner stands about six-feet away from you. Raise ViPR PRO in an arc to the right, overhead, down to the left, and then forcefully push it to your partner. Grab the ViPR PRO that your partner pushed to you and repeat.