The Best Exercise in Water to Tone the Stomach Area

A toned stomach is the goal of many exercise enthusiasts. However, many ab and oblique exercises are difficult and may strain your neck or back. For those who want to tone their stomach area with low-impact exercises, consider water workouts. According to the Mayo Clinic, water exercise offers excellent resistance training while reducing pressure on limbs and joints.


Fitness magazine recommends this workout to develop core muscles, especially your abs and obliques. Go to a deeper area of your pool and begin to tread water. While treading, raise your leg toward the surface of the water, much like a kicking motion. Keep your leg straight as you kick up. Repeat with the other leg and continue for 30 seconds. Increase the difficulty by kicking up faster and encountering more resistance.

Pike Scull

Another recommended workout from Fitness Magazine, the Pike Scull should be performed in water shallow enough to stand in, about chest high. Slowly lean back and bring your legs to the surface together so that your body forms a V shape. Use your hands to tread water and maintain your balance. While holding your legs up, use your arms to move your body around the pool. Holding your legs in position is an excellent isometric exercise that will help tone your stomach area.

Trunk Rotation with Kickboard

The American Council on Exercise recommends the trunk rotation exercise for core building and ab toning. This is an aquatic version of the popular trunk rotation exercise normally completed with a medicine ball, adapted to use a kickboard or swimming board. Stand in water about chest high. Hold the kickboard in front of you, perpendicular to the water, between your hands. Keeping your legs still, rotate your body with the kickboard in the water. The kickboard will offer plenty of resistance. To make this exercise easier, hold the kickboard slightly out of the water or omit the kickboard and simply rotate using your hands as resistance.

Leg Raise with Ladder

Leg raises are often completed with the use of a pull-up bar or by lying on the ground. You can get the same exercise by using your pool ladder. Facing away from the ladder, grab the ladder at your sides or behind your head. Raise your legs at the same time until they are perpendicular to your body, then lower and repeat. Increase resistance by raising your legs faster or by forcing them down, rather than waiting from them to sink.

Windshield Wipers with Ladder

One of the website Ask Men's Top Ten Ab Exercises, the windshield wiper is another classic ab exercise traditionally done on the floor that is adaptable to use with a ladder. Once again, face away from the ladder and hold on to it either at your side or behind your head. Keeping your feet together, raise your legs so they are perpendicular to your body, then rotate them from side to side in a wide arc.