Need a good excuse to head to your local pool? Do it for your back. Exercising or stretching in water is a great way to get the benefits of physical therapy while minimizing the weight put on your spine, thus reducing your risk of injury. Here are some exercises to try:
*Please note that we do recommend consulting your therapist or physician for a more tailored regimen specific to your needs, and to confirm that any exercises listed are safe given your condition and overall health.
Knee to Chest: With your back against the pool wall, gently raise your knee to your chest, hold, and repeat.
Sit and Swing: “Sit” With your back facing the corner of the pool and your arms on the edge or ledge supporting your weight. Bend your knees, and use your hips and lower back to rotate slowly from side to side. Check out the first fifteen seconds of this video for a good example.
Water Walking or Side Stepping: Walking in hip to waist deep water is a great way to strengthen muscles that take pressure off your spine. Need extra support? Try side stepping: facing the wall, walk sideways along it, as shown.
Prone Floating: The ultimate sun bather’s spine exercise. Simply lay prone on your stomach, with swim noodles supporting your arms, neck, face and feet.
Aqua Aerobics Routine: Aqua aerobics is a great, low impact way to get a quality workout. A typical routine may cover many of the moves described above. It also will help you build muscles in your core and legs to help provide better support for your back, which in turn may reduce your risk of injury. Look for classes in your area, or check out this video series for some beginners lessons.