Short And Sweet Aquatic Exercise Routine

The key thing about exercising in the water is buoyancy or basically less stress on your joints and muscles. Even just running in water is a lot less wear and tear on the joints and muscles.

The cool thing is that water supplies resistance from all angles and vectors, so working out can be more difficult than exercising on dry land. It’s far more hard to slog your way through the length of a swimming pool than it is to run through the air.

The great thing is that a workout in a pool lets you use water resistance for greater stamina and power– or you can use the buoyancy to recuperate from injury.

When I took a aquatic therapy class the high knee lateral march aka jogging in place was pretty standard as a warm up. You stand in the swimming pool with the water about chest height.

Stand in the swimming pool where the water is chest high. Alternate and march your left and right knee up while swinging your arms.

Period: 30 breaths per set, 4 sets.

Horizontal clapping as I call it is pretty great as well. You basically stand straight and bring your palms together and then out again. The faster you move the more resistance the water gives you. The trickiest thing is keeping your balance in the water.

Period: 30 breaths per set, 4 sets.

For the glutes and hips I’ve found that holding onto the edge with both hands and gradually bringing one leg out to each side works great. I’ve heard this helps tone the abs as well.

Period: 30 breaths per set, 4 sets.

For the tricep muscles I found this good version that reminds me of diamond push ups. You stand straight with your open palms down, keeping your elbows locked at your sides like they’re glued to your ribcage you press and breathe out until your hands are close to your hips then you just turn your hands and bring them back to the beginning position. To do the biceps you do pretty much the same thing except your arms are more parallel.

Period: Max, 2 sets

For abs, I like to have my arms on the frame of the pool and lift my knees up. It’s important to keep your belly button tucked in to support your back in this and all the other exercises.

Period: Max, 1 set

Aquatic Therapy Is The Solution

Of all the exercising methods out there, I haven’t come across anything that beats aquatic therapy. Aquatic therapy utilizes water to attain physical therapy goals and it is the most stress free and safest form that I’ve come across. I haven’t found anything that can beat the pool therapy that creates a near zero-gravity setting. Buoyancy allows me to perform a lot of exercises without worrying about hurting myself. There is no fear of falling when working out in the pool.

When I’m submerged in the water my weight drops by about 90% so any ankle, knee or joint issues feel much more relieved. The other nice thing about buoyancy is the fact that water it makes it easy for me to practice my motions and regain my flexibility. This is perfect for people with arthritis and chronic diseases. You don’t even need to know how to swim, just exercise in the water.

Hydrostatic pressure is another big water therapy quirk. When I’m almost completely submerged in water, blood circulation immediately improves. I get decreased swelling of any parts of the lower body extremities. It’s pretty amazing that being in the water can just improve your circulation just like that.

Buoyancy is what makes all those awkward physical joint exercises become a lot more easier and smoother.  Ideally, therapy pools should be heated between 92 and 96 degrees. The warmth of the water in therapeutic pools and the soothing effects help in loosening stiff muscles, especially for arthritis patients. High temperatures combined with the ease of movement highly contribute to improved blood flow to painful and injured areas. In particular, this can be very beneficial for those suffering from back pain and muscle spasms. By exercising in the pool, vasodilation of the blood vessels takes place. This is what increases blood flow to the injured areas resulting in increased oxygen and delivery of nutrients alongside the removal of waste products. All of this facilitates the promotion of your healing process.