Back problems, knee issues, sciatic nerve, you name it. If you have an injury that is keeping you from your daily activities, you may want to consider swimming as a method of rehabilitation.
Physical therapists agree that it’s important to stay active while you’re recovering from an injury—as long as you’re careful not to cause any more injury. For this reason, swimming can be the perfect answer, since it is low-impact and non-weight-bearing.
Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
- Water shoes for traction on the pool floor
- Flotation devices recommended by your physical therapist, like a kickboard, floats, webbed water gloves, or a pool noodle
- A comfortable swimsuit
We recommend one pieces or tankinis for water workouts. They offer flexibility and support so that you can move easily in the water. Our line of chlorine resistant swimwear has lively patterns and athletic cuts, and the swimsuits are designed to last 5-10 times longer than your average swimwear. You can’t go wrong with a chlorine resistant swimsuit!
Once you’re geared up, you should work with your physical therapist or doctor to tailor your water workout to your recovery. For instance, if you have back problems, your physical therapist may recommend back stroke, since the buoyancy of the water will give your back some support. Or, if you have a knee injury or arthritis in your knees, your doctor might recommend walking through the water to create resistance without impact. Here are five common exercises that your physical therapist might recommend:
Walking or jogging in the pool
Jogging in the water is harder than it sounds! The resistance of the water will give you a cardio workout and a gentle workout of your leg muscles and knee joints, without the impact of running on dry land.
Sidestepping strengthens the stabilizing muscles in your knees, with gentle resistance from the water. This may be recommended if you are recovering from a knee injury. Underwater lunges may be therapeutic as well.
Arm exercises with paddles
Webbed gloves or hand paddles can increase the resistance in the water, as you work your arms through a variety of motions under water. Whether you’re strengthening an injured area or just getting an arm workout, you will feel the pull!
Lifting your knee and straightening out your leg may be painful on land, but you’ll find you have a better range of motion in the water. Exercises like this may be recommended for you if you are recovering from a knee injury.
If you are recovering from injuries to your shoulder or triceps, water pushups may help. These are simply vertical pushups done against the pool wall. Your buoyancy in the pool will make the pushups much easier than horizontal pushups on land.
These are just a few of the many effective water exercises to help you recover from injury or even to lessen your arthritis symptoms. Be sure to talk with a healthcare professional or physical therapist about the best recovery plan for you.