Do you struggle with back pain? It could be a symptom of our sedentary lifestyles or could be a medically induced back health issues. When you have back pain, anything and everything usually hurts – sitting, standing, lying down. It’s hard to get up and get moving when it hurts to take a step, right?
If you’re looking for relief from back pain and have cleared it with your doctor, a water exercise routine might just be what the, ahem, doctor ordered! Exercising in a swimming pool is fun, social and for most people it doesn’t hurt. When you’re in the water, its buoyancy takes stress, strain and relieves weight from your limbs and joints and helps you get in shape without experiencing pain.
Exercise, as we all know, is crucial for our overall well being and health. If you can jump into the pool and get in shape, spend time with your friends and family, perhaps sleep better and night and relieve your back pain, you’d want to try it out, wouldn’t you?
Here are a few back exercises you can try in your swimming pool.
First of all, you will need “pool equipment.” That includes your bathing suit, waterproof sun screen, a towel, flotation devices or other exercise tools that are made for use in the water. Those tools could include:
- Pool noodles
- A kickboard
- Exercise bands
- Light weights
When you’re in the pool you are looking to build muscle strength and use the resistance of the water to help you do just that – all while protecting your joints and muscles.
You may also want to get an flotation belt. This will keep you from sinking underwater when you’re in the deep end of the pool and also decreases pressure on your joints when you’re exercising in the shallow end of the pool.
Warm up exercises
Just as you’d warm up before an on-land exercise routine, so too do you want to warm up in the swimming pool.
Walking and lunges are great warm up exercises. Simply walk back and forth in the shallow end for a few laps, then add in some deep lunges to stretch the muscles in the back of your legs. Walk in either waist deep or chest deep water and use the water’s natural resistance to help warm you up. Start out walking slowly then build up to faster walking or even jogging.
Do this for five minutes.
Add in lunges and do three sets of ten, then you’re ready to move on.
Hold onto the side of the pool or a kickboard and kick. If you’re using a kickboard, do a few laps. If you’re holding on to the side of the pool, kick for about five minutes, rest, then kick some more.
Get your hips into the action of the water kicks by standing near the wall so you can hold on if you need to. Keep your knee straight and bring one leg forward then back behind you. Kick for three sets of ten then switch legs.
This is just what it sounds like. Walking sideways works different muscles than does forward walking. Face the pool wall, toes facing forward then take wide steps sideways until you reach the other side of the pool. Sideways walk your way back.
If you strengthen your abs and your core, you might relieve some of the pain on your lower back. Wearing your flotation belt, bring both knees up to your chest then down – do ten reps.
Add in spine twisting by rotating your knees to the right and then the left as you bring them up.
Exercise cool down
Water walking is an ideal way to cool down from your exercise routine. Plan to cool down for about five to ten minutes. Add in some sideways walking if you wish to switch it up a bit.
You may find you sleep better and that your back pain is lessening simply because you’re getting a work out in the swimming pool. If you have a pool, now is the time to get in the water and see whether you can diminish your back pain through an in-pool water exercise program. Ask your pool contractor whether he has pool exercise equipment he can recommend you use!
Here’s to your (back) health!