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Why You Should Incorporate Swimming Into Your Physical Therapy Routine

Incorporating Swimming Into Your Physical Therapy Routine

Physical therapy routines are a series of purposeful movements that will help you improve the functioning of particular body parts. It is an essential part of rehabilitation programs after injury or joint replacement. If you're looking for new exercises to try during your physical therapy routine, consider putting on your swimsuit and heading to your local pool. Water exercises and swimming are a great, low-impact way to improve your agility, range of motion, and cardiovascular fitness. You should consider making the pool part of your rehabilitation program for several reasons.

Photo of women doing exercises in the pool using floating barbells. Incorporate swimming into your physical therapy routine
Swimming As A Physical Therapy Routine

Swimming Provides You With a Full Body Workout

Swimming offers a full-body workout and is easy on the joints, making it perfect for physical rehabilitation. When submerged, your whole body is engaged in resistance training for the duration of your swim. Your muscles work hard to remain upright, but you may not realize it as quickly as you would during more conventional activities. In addition to easing mental fatigue, you can cycle through various exercises and try different modifications as necessary.

Swimming Improves Your Range of Motion

One of the goals of physical therapy is to increase your range of motion. Whether you have back pain, arthritis or a joint replacement, water therapy is a good way to improve your range of motion and increase your flexibility in the targeted area. Water exercise uses gentle resistance to build strength and consistently increase your ease of movement.

Experience Reduced Pain With Minimal Impact

In addition to being good for bone and joint recovery, swimming can improve pain in various parts of your body. For example, back pain is a common reason people need physical therapy. Swimming engages your back muscles in a gentle, rhythmic manner that won't add wear or tear to the spine or vertebrae. It is also ideal for recovering from sprains, torn ligaments, and muscle strains.

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How To Incorporate Swimming Into Your Physical Therapy Routine

Once you find an open pool, incorporating aquatic exercises into your physical therapy routine is easy. Your physical rehabilitation center may offer some advice on how to get started or where to find a pool that meets your needs. Once you find the perfect spot, consider trying the following movements during your workout:

Water walking and jogging


Side steps and balance work

Pool planks

Arm raises

Standing knee lifts

Pool pushups

These movements are suitable even if you don't like swimming laps around the pool. Water aerobics is another way to increase mobility while requiring very little swimming. If you are not a strong swimmer, you can use a buoyancy belt to help keep you suspended and upright in the water.

Remember to speak with your doctor and physical therapist before starting your new routine or including swimming as a new part of your physical therapy routine, and never push your body through physical pain. Aquatic exercises can be a fun and useful way to increase your range of motion and improve overall health, regardless of age or mobility limitations.

Written by Taylor McKnight, Author for Alpha Spine and Wellness


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