It’s the hottest month of summer and swimming is becoming a more convenient way to stay cool. With a pool only open during the summer or open year-round, aquatic exercise can be beneficial to recovery. Here are some fun ways to keep up with physical therapy while in the pool.
- Walking or jogging: Simple movements like walking and jogging in water is a great way to incorporate resistance training. Start by standing with the water either chest or waist-high. Walk either forward or backward, increasing the speed if necessary. Jogging in place can also help to increase resistance and intensity.
- Forward and side lunges: In a shallow area where only the legs are covered, in-place lunges are great for leg strengthening. Without letting the front knee go in front of the toes, lunge forward with one leg while keeping the other in place. Then switch. This can also be done side to side for more hip mobility.
- One leg balance: The weightless feeling of water is great for supporting balance. While standing, lift one leg by bending the knee to hip level. Keep the other foot stabilized on the ground. Shift legs every 30 seconds. For better stability, use a pool noodle to help keep the lifted leg up.
- Pool planks: While holding a pool noodle in front of your body, lean forward into a plank position. The noodle will be submerged under the water, and your elbows should be straight downward toward the pool floor. Only the top half of the body should be in the plank position. The feet should still be on the pool floor to help stabilize. Depending on core strength, this position can be held for 15-60 seconds periodically.
- Deepwater bicycle: In deeper water, loop pool noodles (1-2) around the back, leaving each end to be as armrests. This will help to keep the body afloat. Moving the legs in a bicycle motion, continue this movement for 2-3 minutes.
- Arm raises: Keep arms at their sides and bend the elbows to 90 degrees. Raise and lower elbows and arms toward the water surface, while the elbows remain bent to 90 degrees. Repeat this motion in multiple sets.
- Push-ups: While standing in the pool toward the side, place arms shoulder-width apart on the pool edge. Press a weight through the hands and raise the body up and halfway out of the water. The elbows should be kept slightly bent. Hold this position for 3 seconds and slowly lower back into the pool. For an easier variation, this can be done against the inner wall of the pool. Place hands on the edge of the pool shoulder-width apart, bend elbows, and lean chest toward the pool wall. Continue this motion.
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