Best Aqua Cuffs

Updated November 2021
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Best of the Best
Sunlite Sports Pool Fitness Set
Sunlite Sports
Pool Fitness Set
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Customer Favorite
Bottom Line

A versatile set that offers several options for water-based exercise.


Includes fabric swimming belt, neoprene gloves, and foam dumbbells. Use combinations of various water fitness and therapy options. Users give the dumbbells especially high marks. Belt adjusts from 35 to 45 inches.


Dumbbell bar handles occasionally hold water. Users recommend sliding foam up the handle to allow drainage.

Best Bang for the Buck
Aqua Leisure Deluxe Flotation Belt
Aqua Leisure
Deluxe Flotation Belt
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Best Value
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A belt with a more streamlined design that won't restrict movement.


Fabric-covered belt that creates neutral buoyancy. Provides stabilization that makes it ideal for rehabilitation, cross-training, and water walking. Users report it's comfortable and dries quickly. Fits waists measuring 26 to 52 inches.


This belt may not provide enough buoyancy for stationary water exercises.

Power Systems Water Dumbbells
Power Systems
Water Dumbbells
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Resistance Options
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This budget-friendly set gives a choice of resistance levels, unlike most other options.


Dumbbells that are lightweight on land but give you a workout in the pool. Made from EVA foam that resists bacteria and sun damage. Choice of resistance for different fitness levels. Recommended for aerobics and fitness training.


End caps occasionally slip off and sink. Customers recommend securing them with glue.

TheraBand Aquafins Aquatic Exercise Kit
Aquafins Aquatic Exercise Kit
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Best for Rehab
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Flexible cuffs that let you change the strength and resistance by adjusting the fin angles.


One-size-fits-all cuffs and Predator fins made of soft Santoprene rubber. Fasten with hook-and-loop closure. Can be worn on ankles or wrists. Adjust drag and resistance by rotating fins. Includes mesh carrying case and instructions. Good for exercise and therapy. Easy to put on.


Customers with larger ankles may want to try a different cuff.

AquaJogger Active Value Pack
Active Value Pack
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Ankle Cuff Option
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The only offering on our shortlist that includes ankle cuffs.


Set includes belt, pair of ankle cuffs, and dumbbells. Ankle cuffs can also be used on the hands. Belt is extremely adjustable and secure. Dumbbells are ideal for customers who need low resistance. Workout instructions included.


Belt fits taller users best. Check your package carefully since some customers did not receive all the pieces.


We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for best aqua cuffs

If you want to make a big splash with a new exercise routine, doing it underwater is a good place to start. A resistance training program in your swimming pool that employs aqua cuffs is an excellent way to build muscle, enhance flexibility, improve balance, and increase endurance without putting undue strain on your joints.

“Aqua cuff” is the general term given to the cuffs, belts, dumbbells, or other devices that you wear or hold while exercising in the water. These sometimes weighted, semi-flotation devices can be worn on the wrists, ankles, and waist or pulled and pushed through the water. They are designed to add resistance to an aquatic exercise routine. The water itself provides resistance as well, so the combination of the two factors forces your muscles to work harder and more efficiently.

These water workout aids are available in myriad styles, shapes, and types, which makes choosing the right one difficult. But don’t sweat the shopping — save the perspiring for your underwater workout. Read our buying guide to narrow the options and find the best aqua cuffs for your individual exercise needs.

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There is no such thing as starting too late. A study of 87-year-olds who trained three times a week for 10 weeks found that they increased their strength by an average of 112%.

Key considerations


There are a wide variety of aqua exercises to choose from when designing your water routine. Aqua cuffs and other water resistance training devices normally come with instructions for a few basic exercises, but the internet is also positively swimming with good water workout suggestions. Consult a trainer or physical therapist if you need more specific guidance. If you have specific exercises in mind, you will need specific devices in order to get the most resistance bang for your buck.


  • Wrist cuffs: A proper fit and secure latching device is essential for wrist aqua cuffs. If your wrist cuffs are loose, they’ll slide up and down while you exercise, limiting the resistance provided. If the cuffs are way too loose, they’ll slip right off. Don’t use cuffs designed for the ankles on your wrists. Most people can’t handle as much resistance on their wrists as on their ankles, so a cuff or device that works on your feet or ankles may be too much for your wrists.
  • Ankle cuffs: Cuffs or wearable devices for your ankles may include shoe-like straps or portions that fit under your foot in addition to the part that wraps around your ankle. This assists in keeping the device securely anchored. Otherwise, it could float up toward your knees. As with wrist cuffs, securely fitting ankle cuffs or devices help ensure a seamless aqua workout.
  • Waist belts: Waist belts maintain your balance and keep you upright in the water during your exercise routine. An upright posture gives you better resistance on your arms and legs. If you’re not wearing a belt and the resistance on your arms or ankles knocks you over, you’ll wind up swimming — which is good exercise, but it’s not resistance training.
  • Free weights and other devices: Water workouts and resistance training can also employ barbells, push plates, kettlebells, and various flotation devices that you can push or pull through the water to work different muscle groups for a balanced workout. The possibilities are virtually limitless, so it’s easy to keep your aqua workout fresh.



Neoprene, rubber, and low-density plastic are the primary materials used with aqua cuffs. Much of the resistance comes from the fact that they float, which forces the user to exert downward force the whole time they’re in the swimming pool. Out of the water, aqua cuffs are very lightweight. The straps that hold them in place are typically webbed nylon.

Weighted cuffs for arms and legs are not recommended for use in the water unless you’re certain there is no way you can be pulled underwater or the depth isn’t over your head.


There are two kinds of resistance with aqua cuffs. The first kind, fin resistance, comes from fins attached to the cuffs. The fins are fixed in place and make it difficult to move your arms and legs through the water when you’re exercising. They may be attached at multiple angles, providing resistance no matter which way you’re moving. This ensures a solid workout throughout a full range of motion.

The second kind of resistance, flotation resistance, requires continual exertion to keep your arms and legs down. There is also a second form of resistance for flotation cuffs that comes into play from the bulk of the cuffs. The bulkier the cuffs are, the harder it is to push or pull them through the water. Most cuffs provide low to medium resistance, but some are larger and provide greater resistance.


  • Buckling straps: The best way to fasten cuffs is plastic or lightweight-metal buckles. They hold the cuffs securely in the water and are easy to put on.
  • Velcro straps: Some manufacturers employ Velcro to hold the cuffs in place, though Velcro fasteners aren’t as secure as buckles for underwater use.


Pool Noodles are those long, hollow, brightly colored floating tubes can be used in a wide variety of exercises. We like the Oodles of Noodles multicolor assortment six-pack, which gives you a handful of 52-inch floats to choose from. They do double duty as a fun toy when you’re finished working out.

When you’re in the water, a good set of swim goggles is a nice addition to your equipment. If your workout is lengthy, the chlorinated water can irritate your eyes. Goggles will keep the water out of your eyes so you can concentrate on burning calories instead of your eyeballs. We like the Aegend anti-fog goggles for their snug fit, UV protection, and useful carrying case.

Getting a nose full of water isn’t fun. If you’re working out regularly at the pool, rest assured that sooner or later it will happen to you — unless you have a good nose plug. There are many good choices out there, but we like the Splaqua soft latex nose clip.

Aqua cuffs prices

Aqua cuffs generally cost from $10 to $40. In the $10 to $20 range, you’ll find basic aqua cuffs, though many of these tend to be lower-quality products that may not be that durable.

From $20 to $40 is the middle price range. Aqua cuffs in this range tend to have good nylon straps with buckles. The quality and workmanship of these mid-range aqua cuffs will also be far better than lower-priced options.

Anything above $40 is usually a full kit rather than just cuffs. A resistance belt will normally be part of the kit. At the high end you will also find aqua cuffs with multiple fins on them for a full range-of-motion water workout.

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Did you know?
Resistance training breaks down muscle tissue in a process called “catabolism.” It then repairs and strengthens the tissue in a second process known as “anabolism.”


  • Less is more. A good water workout takes about 30 minutes a day, including warm up time.
  • Go the distance. “Water running,” where you run in waist-deep water for three to four minutes at a time, will feel like running 10 times as long with water cuffs on your ankles.
  • Crush your core workout. Stand in shoulder-deep water with your feet shoulder-width apart. With cuffs on your wrists and your arms extended to the side, twist as far as you can to the left and then to the right. This is a great exercise for your core.
  • Hey, batter batter batter—swing! In shoulder-deep water, assume a baseball batter’s position. With cuffs on your wrists, swing your arms together as if you were swinging a bat. This works your shoulder and core together.
  • Step into a hip workout. In shoulder-deep or waist-deep water, with cuffs on your ankles, goose step around the pool without bending your knees to give your hips a good workout.
  • Try underwater weightlifting. In shoulder-deep water, with cuffs on your wrists, raise and lower your arms from the elbow like you are lifting weights. Do it as quickly as possible for maximum resistance.
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Resistance training in water is the safest method of training because it is low-impact. This prevents you from jarring your body while still getting the benefits of the training.


Q. Do aqua cuffs have a warranty?
Most aqua cuffs will only have a 30-day return policy or warranty. Beyond that, no, you shouldn’t expect much of a warranty. Be sure you use your new aqua cuffs as soon as you receive them to make sure you’re happy with your purchase.

Q. Can you swim with aqua cuffs?
They are intended to be used for exercises, but yes, you can swim while wearing them to increase the intensity of your workout.

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