20-minute workout: power H20

This high-intensity session from Dan Daly works you in and out of the pool.

timer graphic
While you can carve a tantalizingly toned body in less than a half hour, we’re here to tell you what you already know: To reap the rewards—increased calorie burn, strength, power, blissful endorphin high—truncated workouts must be insanely intense. So we asked a team of Equinox trainers and group fitness instructors what they would do if they were given just 20 minutes to have at it. Here is the latest in the series:
Dan Daly Dan Daly


Dan Daly, Tier X coach at New York City's Columbus Circle location and co-creator of the EQX H20 programming


It’s long been the domain of early bird Masters swimmers, injured runners and pool noodle-wielding aerobics fans. But that’s changing: The pool is an incredibly versatile group fitness studio, hence Tier X coach Dan Daly was inspired to design a specific programming for established aqua-athletes and beginners alike. “The EQX H20 programming is a three-pronged approach to improving aerobic performance and fitness through efficiency, endurance and power, designed for competitive swimmers, triathletes and regular fitness enthusiasts looking to diversify their training.”

For this 20-minute session, Daly paraphrased the Power format: “Power by definition is strength with speed. The Power format in EQX H20 is a strength and conditioning workout that combines dry-land, swim-specific resistance training exercises on the pool deck and water-based conditioning.”

The water-based boot camp is both high-intensity and low-impact, Daly says, offering aerobic conditioning as well as muscle development. Plus, it provides a great break from the pounding of your normal routine. “Swimming is an unloaded, full-body, three-dimensional exercise that is a great complement to the linear nature of land-based training,” he says. Follow Daly’s prescription below.

Dry-land (2 minutes)

10 x Prone Cobras: Lie facedown with leg straight, arms at sides, palms down. Engage your core, glute and lower back muscles to lift your chest, arms and legs off the ground; simultaneously rotate arms so that your thumbs point up; hold.

:30 seconds Flutter Kicks on back

10 x Streamline Squats: Get into streamline position (arms extended overhead, the palm of one head placed over the other); lower yourself into a deep squat.

10 x Band-Resisted Pulls

Pool Warm-Up (2-minutes)

50 yards swim (your choice of stroke)

50 yards kick with board

50 yards freestyle pull with paddles and buoy

Main sets (13 minutes)

4 x 50 yards: Freestyle build-up with paddles and pull buoy

Start slow and progressively build each interval to a sprint, taking 30 seconds rest between each interval (5 minutes)

4 x 25 yards: Begin with 5 streamline squat jumps in the pool (squat deeply, then explode into the air and into a streamline position, as if you were pushing off the wall) then segue into a freestyle sprint to the end of the lane and finish with 5 push-ups on the deck. Take 30 seconds rest between each interval. (5 minutes)

4 x 25 yards: Dolphin kick with fins, resting 20 seconds between intervals (3 minutes) [Note: In a dolphin kick, legs are together and kick simultaneously in a whipping motion]

Cool Down (3 minutes)