The Best Workouts for Water Polo

If you’re just starting water polo or you’re a seasoned veteran, then it’s important to know which workouts will benefit you the most as you progress in your water polo career.

Water polo is a strenuous sport that isn’t easy, so it’s very important you have optimal strength if you want to play water polo to the best of your abilities.

There are a few key areas that you need to work on if you want to be truly great at water polo. They are;


Using your legs is one of the most difficult and exhausing things about playing water polo. Any exercise that you can do for your legs is great.

But, squats are the best full body exercise for pretty much anyone. This is why I think that squats are the number one exercise for anyone that plays water polo. They will help your back a lot and you won’t need to worry about hurting yourself as long as you do the squats properly!

If you want to learn how to do squats really well, check out this vid;


Of course, it’s best if you’re a competent swimmer if you’re looking at playing water polo frequently. You should consider this if you’re just starting to play water polo as you need to make sure you’re comfortable in the water when you’re playing.

This doesn’t mean to say that you need to be a backstroke expert. Just try and get past the doggy paddle and learn how to do a proper breaststroke if you want to be a great water polo player.

Dumbell Press

Aside from your core and legs, the most important muscle that I think that you need to learn how to use is your shoulders. My favorite exercies for doing this is definitely the dumbell press.

By using dumbells as opposed to barbells, you can ensure that you are going to isolate your shoulder and work it out as opposed to just working out your chest. The dumbell press is the best option for an isolation shulder exercise, and you should consider this if you’re looking for a good shoulder workout.


These are my favorite exercises if you’re starting your water polo career, and they can even be used for experienced folks too. You should do these exercises if you really want to excel in water polo.




Why you should choose Water Polo for your kids

I’m often asked why I love water polo so much. I’ve been teaching it for decades now, and I still enjoy it as much as I did when I first started many years ago.


Water Polo is great for staying fit and healthy

Parents of their kids often ask me; how do you stay so lean?! And I say.. Water Polo!

Water polo is one of the best sports for staying fit and healthy. This is because kids spend a lot of time in the water doing the ‘eggbeater’. If you’re curious about the eggbeater, it’s essentially a technique where you learn to tread water super effectively. Here’s an awesome video that helps explain how the eggbeater works well.

The eggbeater is great for your cardiovascular system, as it burns many more calories than you would burn walking or even other exercises, like cycling.

If you’re looking for an exercise that helps to strengthen the thighs and help burn some calories, then water polo would be an awesome option.

Children with a fear of water

In my decades of experiences, I’ve come across many children that have a fear of water. This is a pretty common fear for young children to have, and something that you should undoubtedly be concerned about. What about if your child falls into water unexpectedly? Kids seem to love to push each other into the water, for some reason.

Fortunately, if you get the right water polo instructor, then you can slowly integrate your child into swimming and feeling comfortable in the water. This can take as long as a few months, but often children’s fears are easier to conquer if you nip them in the bud quickly and efficiently.

Playing team sports

It’s no secret that playing a team sport is awesome for your kids and have tons of benefits for them to enjoy. You should try and encourage your child to play team sports at a young age – encourage, not force – to help them learn the difference between winning, losing and taking part. Your childs work ethic starts as a child, and develops throughout their adolescence. So, this is something that you might want to consider.

There’s real opportunity

Unlike other sports like NBA where the qualitifcation processes are one in a million, there are actual opportunities for your child to progress at water polo. Whilst it is a competitive sport, there just isn’t the same amount of players as there are in more popular sports. This gives your child a good opportunity to get a scholarship through playing water polo.


How deep is a water polo pool?

If you’re interested in water polo – or even if you’re not – then this is one of the most common questions that arises. How deep is a water polo pool?

The answer is that it varies, but commonly a water polo foot is a minimum of 6 feet (1.83cm) in depth, though preferably 7 feet (2.13m) in depth.

This is because it’s illegal for water polo players to use the floor to create an opportunity for themselves, so players generally prefer to not even have this opportunity. It is unikely that a foul will be called for touching the floor, as the majority of water polo players are trained to do the ‘eggbeater’.

The eggbeater, a unique way to tread water, helps the water polo players avoid touching the floor. This is a necessity for the players if they truly wish to push their water polo abilities to the next level – we teach very young children this technique as one of our starting points.

Generally, water polo players prefer deeper water in competitive matches. At the last Olympics, the depth of the pool was 2m. This is deep enough for the majority of players to avoid touching the floor.

Shallow Pools

You will find in water polo that sometimes you will end up playing with a shallow/deep pool. This gives one side a significant advantage whilst they are in the shallow end of the pool. This is combatted by switching sides at half time, which helps to prevent any unfairness between the two sides.

Is the shallow end really an advantage?

For playing the game, it isn’t much of an advantage to use the shallow end of the pool. This is because it’s more likely that you will make a foul play, resulting in a turnover. The benefits of having the shallow end of the pool is the longer resting times that you can have by using the shallow end.

Is there a regulation size?

There is no specific one fits all regulation size for water polo, though it is generally accepted that the pool must be an adequate depth for the players to tread water. If you speak to different organisations or clubs, they often will each have their own regulation size. This is often 7 feet for adults, and 6 feet for juniors.

What about the goalies?

Interestingly enough, it’s not actualy against any regulations for goalkeepers to touch the floor whilst they are playing water polo. It is illegal for outfield players, but not for the goalie, though it is unlikely that they will get any significant advantage from this anyway.

So players have to tread water the entire time they’re in the water polo pool?

Yes, it’s generally accepted that players will have to tread water the entire time that they’re in the water polo pool. This is what makes water polo such great exercise and a sport that is increasing in popularity around the world.



I have been thinking lately about aspects of the game that when executed with much skill looks beautiful—exudes virtue.

Certain things can be done by a single player such as a perfect hitch to get the goalie to jump followed by the perfect lob that the goalie looks at as if watching a horror movie, with the foreknowledge that nothing he can do will prevent the inevitable. Tony Azavedo seems to be a perfectionist at this move.

I remember the story of Tony Azavedo perfecting a shot wherein he catches a strong side pass on the perimeter, fakes a sweep shot (which draws the defender and the goalie to the near side), spins to a back hand (causing the goalie to lunge cross cage) bringing the ball back around to skip near-side.

Goalies blocking one-on-nones or worse odds with feats of water acrobatics that seemingly requires a temporary hold on the laws of gravity. Or the reverse: shooters who, once having reached full height and extended torso to shoot the ball somehow manage to pause for one, two, three moments: an impossible feat; before taking the shot long after the goalie has dropped and been summarily beaten.

Aspects of play that are less grandiose can, in my opinion, look just as beautiful. Helping back on 2-meter so quickly that each stroke is a work of timed perfection, only to hip-over and storm back out to the outside defender when necessary.

Two players passing on 6-on-5 wherein they turn every catch into a fake and turn every fake into a pass. To execute this so well that no one can predict when the shot will come.

Passing by teams in, out, and back into well guarded territory, such as a “Greeny” play into two meters, out to a driver for what appears to be a shot, only to have the two meter player drift away from his defender, pop-catch-and-shoot a pass back from the driver.

Perfect 6-on-5 coverage where every defender communicates, adapts to each pass, and shot blocks all possible lines that can lead to the cage.

Counter attack drills to offense where every one of the offensive players has their head on a swivel, envisions the best ways to gain advantage, and sets up the last player to receive the perfect scoring opportunity.

Counter drills to defense where defenders have their head on a swivel, sees the impending advantage the offensive team intends to exploit, and communicates as a team to disrupt and regain balance.