In the pool you are pushing against the weight of the water, so the benefits are numerous – stronger muscles, better blood flow and less joint pain.
The water supports you and prevents any jarring on your joints. All water exercises will improve your balance by activating small and large muscle groups.
If you have had an injury or surgery, being in the water is an ideal way to regain strength and flexibility.
The water allows you to move in ways you may find difficult otherwise. I suggest you have a personal rehabilitation plan drawn up.
Let’s get started:
Sideways Leg Swings – Start in the corner of the pool. Hold on to a rail or place a noodle behind you. Lift your knees up and put them together. Swing both knees to the left and then to the right. Repeat 20 times. This exercise improves hip mobility and core strength. Repeat.
Bicycling – Use a bar or a noodle to support you. Simply bicycle in the water for a few minutes. Add some challenge by cycling across the pool or up and down the pool.
Knees Up – Lift one leg forward with your knee raised then swing your leg through to behind you. Do this twice. Then raise the same leg in front of you with a bended knee. Turn your knee out to the side so your hip joint is open. Do this twice. Switch legs and repeat. Make it slow and controlled. If you need support, stand near the side of the pool.
Walking – Walking across a pool engages and strengthens your core muscles. This in turn can reduce back pain. Thighs also benefit from pushing through the water. Start by engaging core and gluteus maximus muscles. Arms can move freely. When you reach one side of the pool, walk backwards to the other side. Repeat 4 times. You can also walk sideways. This is quite challenging as it uses muscles in novel ways.
Deep Water Jogging – To do this you will need to wear a snorkel and goggles. Get accustomed to these by swimming up and down a few times. Deep water jogging is just that – jogging in water you cannot stand up in. This exercise is very good for all your back muscles. Try it for a minute and take a break and repeat.
Tristan Hall is an exercise physiologist with Full Circle Wellness. Call 0431 192 284 or visit fullcirclewellness.com.au