If you are somebody who experiences back pain, but you enjoy swimming, it is your lucky day because there is evidence that swimming and water exercise can help you if you have acute or chronic back pain. Swimming is extremely low impact, there are no weights involved in the water giving you active resistance; not every exercise is equal, and it even applies to the exercising you’re doing in the pool.
You should talk to your chiropractor such as the ones available Mid Atlantic Spinal Rehab & Chiropractor, if you have any questions about whether your pool exercise routine is actually helping you. Your chiropractor will be able to fill in if you have less tension in a trouble area after swimming, and if not, they will be able to recommend better exercises for you to do in or out of the pool. Keep reading for a few exercises you can try on your own:
- Flutter kicking is holding onto the side of the pool and gently scissoring your leg so that your feet are kicking, and you do this with your face down or you can face upwards and see the ceiling. This is an extremely low impact and gentle exercise but do not discount the reward.
- Pelvic stretches are when you stand on the bottom of the pool with your back facing the wall, your arms are hanging in the water, you gently arch your tailbone and pelvis until your back rounds out. The entire focus of this particular stretch is to feel like your back is parallel to the wall of the pool, working your abdominal muscles and pushing your hips forward. You hold this for a few seconds and then you release it.
- What’s called a ‘new start’ is when you use the shallow end of the pool and stand with your feet planted on the floor with your arms relaxed. You essentially begin to march in place and as you lift your leg, you pull your knee closer to your chest and maintain your balance as you stand there. When your back is getting stronger you will eventually be able to pull your leg to waist level without bending your knees.
- For pool planking, you will need to use another flotation device. You are going to hold your flotation device out in front of you and lean into the water to keep your back straight. You want to push the noodle or other flotation device to submerge as you lean forward, you then lock your elbows, keep your feet anchored to the floor and then stay for 60 seconds. You should not perform plank more often than you are instructed to by your caretaker.
- Push-ups in the pool are another one of the best ways to strengthen your back and core. This exercise can be modified and fitted to everyone. You begin in the shallow end of the pool, sit on the floor, place your hands on the floor, and then press your body weight through your hands to push yourself off the floor. Hold it for a few seconds and push off the floor and return to a standing position.
It is important to remember that while you are working under the care of a chiropractor or any other type of physical therapist, that you need to do the exercises exactly as prescribed, so that you do not burn yourself out, or hurt yourself worse.
BY: Mid Atlantic Spinal Rehab
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