K-Tread Water Exercise

K-Tread Water Exercise

What is K-Tread? Think of it as treading water with a literal kick. 

Essentially, K-tread is a specific method for treading water that is meant to be done as a form of cardio and resistance exercise, rather than to simply keep your body afloat.

Traditionally, the act of treading water is movement of the arms and legs to keep your head above the surface. The goal is to expend minimal energy, moving in a steady slow-to-medium pace that can be maintained over an extended period of time. Though this activity provides a great cardio workout, K-Tread tweaks it for maximum workout benefits over a shorter period of time. 

An alternative water calisthenic exercise, K-Tread primarily targets the abdominals while also engaging the calves, glutes, hams, groin, hip flexors, outer thighs, quads, and triceps. 

History of Water-Based Exercise

Ancient forms of water therapy have been documented as early as 2400 BC, when body immersion was considered a religious healing experience throughout both ancient Asia and Greece. 

In 1500 BC there was evidence of water being used to lower fevers. The ancient Greeks and Romans believed water to have curative or healing properties and used it to treat various conditions such as arthritis. 

As civilization progressed and more advanced methods of treating the sick were discovered, water was used less and less as a curative potion. 

In the 1700s, German doctor Sigmund Hahn developed hydrotherapy, or the use of water in the treatment of disease. 

It wasn’t until the 1950s that we saw water being utilized for organized fitness purposes. Television fitness guru Jack LaLane featured a daily show promoting healthy eating and aerobic exercise, and is responsible for bringing water aerobics to the masses. 

Aquatic aerobics gained in popularity through the 70s and 80s as people began to notice the benefits of low impact aerobic exercise. It was during this time that practical applications started to be utilized within physical and sports therapy. Senior communities became heavily immersed in water fitness to prevent injury and retain health.

How to Perform a Basic K-Tread Water Routine

There are various K-tread moves and workouts to choose from, but this is a standard basic beginner move: 

  • Step 1: Enter the deep end of a pool, where you cannot stand with your head above the water
  • Step 2: Maintaining a straight vertical position throughout your body, make small circles with your arms. 
  • Step 3: Keep your toes pointing down and your legs straight.
  • Step 4: Kick your right leg straight out up to your waist, holding the K-position for 5 seconds. 
  • Step 5: Simultaneously lower your right leg as you raise your left in a rapid scissor motion, holding the position for 5 seconds
  • Step 6: Repeat the process until the desired number of reps has been achieved


  • Provides a low-impact workout
  • Efficiently burns calories
  • Utilizes water resistance
  •  Keeps the body from overheating
  • Allows for greater intensity workout without risk of injury
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces stress
  • Boosts mood
  • Builds lean muscle
  • Burns fat
  • Encourages weight loss


While K-Tread is a popular and effective aquatic method, there are many other underwater water fitness exercises, including:

  • Aqua Jogging
  • Flutter-kicking 
  • Leg lifts
  • Upright water pushups
  • Aquatic Arm curls

K-Tread is an Exercise Almost Anyone Can Do

We tend to love any workout that is accessible to most people, and all you need for K-tread is access to a deep pool or water source, which can be found at most gyms, spas, and health clubs or nearby bodies of water. The low-impact of water exercise means it is a viable option for the elderly and those recovering from injuries or dealing with mobility issues. 

K-Tread has many exercises to try and offers step-by-step instructions. What’s not to love?

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