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Aquatic Therapy

Now that we are getting into the swing of summer time and with warmer weather, using a swimming pool can be a nice way to change up your workout routine and cool off. Aside from just swimming laps, water exercises can serve as a great alternative for strength and cardio workouts as well as rehabilitation. 

One of the many benefits of water based exercises is the principle of buoyancy and its ability to take some weight off of our limbs, decreasing stress around our joints. Another benefit is water pressure surrounding our body which helps with improving circulation around the joints and can even reduce swelling. The natural resistance created by the water can help build strength and endurance while encouraging balance and coordination. The pool can also be a great place to get your heart rate up for more cardiovascular training and burn some calories, helping with weight loss. 

But where to start? Before jumping right in and getting to those exercises, it is still just as important in water as it is on land to perform gentle stretching or mobility exercises to warm your muscles up. So try and start with a few simple stretches for the upper and lower body. 

Most water exercises can be performed in waist-deep water. Here are some simple exercises to help get you started:

  • Walking laps (forward, backwards)

  • Side shuffle

  • Jumping jacks

  • Squats

  • Heel raises

  • Opening the arms out the side and returning 

Varying the depth of the water is one way to make these movements easier or harder. As you gain more control, you can also add increased speed to certain movements like walking or marching in waist high water. Tip: Make sure to engage your abdominals and keep your body upright.

If you’re concerned about any certain chronic conditions or recent injuries, seek advice from your PT or make an appointment today for a full evaluation. We are happy to help with adapting your land program to water so you may continue to work towards your goals of strength, endurance and mobility and get to feeling your best. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or would like to book an appointment (call 757-578-2958 or email Together, we can achieve your health and wellness goals!

Contributed by Ashley Scifres, DPT

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