Back Exercises in the Water

Water therapy exercise programs may be very beneficial to patient populations such as the elderly or those who may not be up to the rigors of other types of back exercises that are designed to be done on flat surfaces and with exercise balls. There are several different types of rehabilitative programs and back exercises designed to be done in the water to treat low back pain or other orthopedic issues. These exercises, designed to be done in chest high water or in a hot tub, serve to strengthen and condition muscles to build back muscle strength following injury or following back surgery, where the patient may be more likely to respond to the low impact/high resistance environment. The strength building exercises done in this water environment may help patients experience back pain relief and prevent a future occurrence of symptoms.

Water therapy may be good for people with obesity, elderly populations, and people with other types of medical situations where they would be less likely to experience benefits from other types of exercises, such as walking, gym equipment, or running. Though some people may have a complicated medical profile that makes things like walking or running difficult, they do want to get some exercise nonetheless, and are willing to do things that will build muscles and fitness in a safe environment. Water therapy and exercises in the water is also known as aquatic therapy. Some patients, such as those with diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain neurologic conditions, may be encouraged by their doctors to participate in low impact exercise programs, but have difficulty with ever certain low impact exercises such as walking and the ability to stand or sit in one position for an extended period of time. Water exercises may also help patients who are unable to stand on their own, have balance issues, or spine injuries where patients have loss or strength or motor control in their arms and legs. Nonetheless, patients with certain neurologic issues and spine issues are encouraged to try water exercises as a way to slow down or possibly reverse the negative effects of their condition.

Water therapy often offers the same benefits of a land-based exercise program done on roads, mats, or gym equipment, and carries a lower risk of injury. Though patients are in a zero-gravity, non-impact environment, they can be quite challenged in the water because of its resistance against movement. Patients can get into great shape doing water exercises alone and to build strength in all of their muscles. Let's take a look of some of the things you may do in the water to promote strength, fitness, and endurance.

Leg raise exercise: To do this, go to the side of the pool and hold onto it with one hand. Hold yourself up straight with one leg slightly bent, and the other one straight, raise and lower the outstretched leg back and forth. This exercise will help you develop flexibility and strength in the muscles in your lower back, hip, and leg.

Pool walking exercise: By doing this exercise, in a lap section of the pool that remains chest high the whole way, you can exercise many muscle groups at the same time by walking against a resistance. In this exercise, you may alternate between walking backwards and forwards while doing laps going the length of the pool.