Non-Swimming Exercises for Lifeguards

August 28, 2017

Non-Swimming Exercises for Lifeguards
Table of Contents

To prepare for the lifeguard certification test, or to just keep in shape for your lifeguarding duties, there is no better exercise than swimming! However, sometimes you need a break from swimming and switch up your exercise routine! Here are some great exercises that are not swimming that you can do to keep yourself in tip-top shape!

Running on the Beach

Running in general is a great way to keep your cardio up and ensure that you can get to the water quick enough to make a rescue if the situation demands it. You can take that one step further, however, and run on a sandy beach. This not only burns more calories than running on flat pavement, but it comes with the added benefits of beautiful beach views.

Plus, it is a lower impact form of running because the sand is soft under your feet, and because of that, muscles in your ankles and foot that do not get a workout when running on pavement strengthen up. This is also great practice if you work on a beachfront, as you’ll often need to run on the sand before reaching the water when making a rescue.


If you work on a beachfront, you may be required to row a boat quickly to make a rescue. Even if you aren’t, rowing is a great way to build both cardiovascular endurance and upper body strength. You can use both a physical boat if you want true authenticity, or a rowing machine at a gym will work as well.

Core Strength Exercises

Upper body strength is important so the lifeguard can perform his or her rescues, but to support that upper body, the lifeguard needs a solid core as well. Good exercises to strengthen your core include:

  • Crunches and Sit-Ups
  • Planks
  • Push-ups

Additional Exercises that Can be Beneficial

In addition to the above, here are some other exercises that are especially beneficial to lifeguards, in no particular order:

  • Stair climbing
  • Pull-Ups
  • Dips
  • Dead-lifts
  • Running/Jogging

With all that said, you cannot be a lifeguard without being a good swimmer, so do not slack on your regular swimming! However, if you need to switch things up or swimming is not an option, these exercises will make sure you are still ready to work!

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