1. If this exercise is too easy, try to use a float with a wider surface area, like a kick-board for example. If this is too difficult, use your arms instead of the noodle. 
  2. Add an alternate knee tuck motion with each crunch, to activate your lower abs too. Knee tucks are done by curling your knees toward your chest. 
  3. Perform the same exercise at a higher tempo and in a smaller range of motion, with your body in a forward position
  4. After each crunch, bring the noodle out of the water as you lean back to the starting position. This will place more load on your lower back muscles than letting the noodle assist in the lifting. 
  5. Perform in waist-deep water, with an increased range of motion to make the exercise more challenging. This will give your trunk more space to move without sinking your head in. 



  • Improve posture; The abdominal muscles play a major role in stabilizing the spine. By performing this exercise regularly, you can improve your body posture and reduce the chances of lower back and hip injuries.
  • Toning your abdominal muscles; What makes this exercise exceptionally good, is that it isolates your abs from other muscle groups. This is very important when it comes to toning that area.
  • Easier to do than lying crunches; Unlike the supine position, standing with feet firmly attached to the floor makes the entire torso move together, thus making the movement more natural and easier to perform. 
  • Improves balance and coordination, as your core muscles are working together to keep your body stable. 
  • Ideal for people with injuries, as this exercise, does not involve any movements that require too much mobility in the hips or knees. Nor does it involve jumping or explosive movements. 


How to Perform


Starting Position:


Stand in the water up to your chest, with your feet in line with your shoulders and your back straight. Hold the noodle (or any float) with both hands in front of you. Slightly bend your arms.




Imagine your trunk, head, and arms as one giant hinge joint. Move this imaginary joint forward from your hips - as one unit - by contracting your abdomen, until your head is about to get dunked underwater. Then go back slowly, by relaxing your abdominal muscles, and let the noodle push you back up, to the starting position.​Control the movement of your body by concentrating on the contraction and relaxation of your abdominal muscles. It is important to keep your lower body firmly attached to the floor. This helps to keep your body in a stable position while isolating the abdominal muscles.




Exhale as you push your torso down and inhale as you relax back up. 

Play button to reveal a gif
Animation showing a character pushing the noodle underwater
character standing in shallow water and holding a noodle with a wide grip. Underwater view

Muscles Worked

This exercise works your abs, specifically the upper part. Arm muscles help too keep the noodle underwater.

underwater view of a character holding the noodle deep with both arms
25 December 2022

Noodle Crunches in the Pool

This abs exercise is a great alternative for people who can't swim, or who don't like deep-water workouts. All you need for this exercise is a noodle or any float with a good grip. Unlike deep water crunches or lying crunches, this version is more comfortable, being done in a standing position with feet firm on the floor. 

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