Can Hydrotherapy Help with Exercise?
People often associate swimming pools with exercise, while thinking of spas and hot tubs as places for relaxation. However, the warm, bubbling environment of a whirlpool offers unique advantages to enhance your health and fitness.
Here’s why: Unlike a swimming pool, the heated water in a spa or hot tub automatically increases blood flow and helps release toxins inorbed. This creates a healthy foundation for simple movements that can make a big difference in your fitness routine.
You can perform a wide variety of exercises in a spa or hot tub—low- impact moves That promote heart health, weight loss, muscle tone, flexibility, and aid in injury prevention or rehabilitation. Turn your heated spa or hot tub into an aquatic gym with these easy spa & hot tub exercises.
Generally, exercise in a hot tub is completely safe, but don’t over extend yourself. If you are in doubt about the number of repetitions or effort involved, it is wise to check with your GP or a physiotherapist.
Performing water resistance exercises in your hot tub can provide extra benefits to your joints and muscles. Dr. Daniel Hass, a Doctor of Physical Therapy, explains that water applies a mild upward pressure on your body which makes you up to 90% lighter. This lowers the impact of exercise on your joints. Dr. Hass also notes that water has 12 times the resistance of air, which helps you build muscle quicker than you could on land.
There are several simple exercises that you can do to help your overall health and fitness. These utilise the buoyancy and resistance of the water. Generally, they are simple exercises as shown:
1. Walking on the spot
2. Jogging on the spot
3. Running in place
4. Jumping Jacks
5. Treading Water Ankle touches
6. High Knee lifts
9. Toe pushes
10. Wall push-ups
11. Arm circles
12. Biceps curls with water weights.
Then there are specific exercises that aim at improving flexibility and muscle strength:
1. Arm Circles. Forearm circles you will need the hot tub all to yourself as it requires space. it requires space. Extend your arms out to your side
until your upper body forms a T- shape. Rotate your shoulders forward so that your arms make gentle circles within the water. Continue this movement for30 seconds. Then reverse taking deep breaths as you the direction for another 30 seconds.
2. Bend your knees. Standing on one leg in your spa or hot tub, bring one knee to your chest. For a cardio burst, rapidly alternate bending and raising each leg in a high- knees running motion working against the resistance of the water to work your abs and legs. For extra stability, keep both hands on the wall or a flotation device. Do three sets of 30 – 60 repetitions.
3. Bicep curls with water weights. With water weights, shoulder, and chest exercises. If you don’t have access to water weights or waterproof dumbbells, some pool toys or floats that you have laying around can make a good substitute.
4. Pool noodles and boogie boards can make a surprising, yet effective, alternative to a swimming pool workout. Try holding the floatation device under the water for as long as you can, pushing it down a little further as you keep it still and stable.
5. Sit and stand. Get your squat on without hurting your knees by supporting this traditional exercise in the low-impact spa or hot tub or spa environment. Tilt your hips back (as if you’re sitting in a chair) and extend your arms for balance. Sit back slowly and pause halfway down, contracting your abdominal muscles and pressing your hips forward as you return to a standing position. To prevent stress on your joints, avoid locking your knees. You can also use a step or sturdy chair for support as you sit back. Do three sets of 15 repetitions.
6. Clap your hands. In a standing position, submerge your arms under water and extend them out from your sides. With thumbs toward the sky and hands flat, bring your arms in to touch your palms together, and then extend them back out. This simple move works your chest, biceps, triceps, and shoulders together. To isolate your chest and effectively exercise your arms, make sure to keep your shoulders relaxed. Do three sets of 20 – 30 repetitions.
6. Flutter Kicks. Flutter kicks are an exercise that anyone can do to increase strength as it exercises your legs and while seated in the hot tub keep your legs under water and extend them out. Do your best to keep them straight and kick them one at a time as if you were swimming. Continue these flutter kicks for30seconds or until you become tired. If it’s safe to do so, you can also do these while floating on your back.
7. Head Circles. Sit down in your hot tub. Rotate your head from shoulder to shoulder very gently, tilting your head forward, right, back, and left before returning to your starting position. Repeat 3 times.
8. Kick your feet. In a seated position with legs
extended toward the center of your spa or hot tub, rotate your legs and feet in and out, bending your knees as if you are pedalling a bicycle. To work your quadriceps and loosen tight hip flexors, you can also straighten, lower, and lift your legs against the resistance of the water. Do either move for three sets of 20 – 30 repetitions.
9. Knees to Chest. As you are seated in the hot, place both hands underneath one of your thighs, behind the knee. Keeping your back straight, gently bring your knee as close to your chest as you can. Hold this position for as long as you are comfortable. Slowly release and repeat with the other leg.
10. Raise your heels. Standing flat-footed in your spa, raise from your heels onto your toes repeatedly for three sets of 15 – 30 repetitions. This move slims and tones your calves. If you need help staying balanced, contract your core, and place one hand on the wall for support.
11. Roll your shoulders. Standing straight in the center of your spa or hot tub, begin your workout with light shoulder rolls, forward and back. With the heat and water resistance, this simple movement can help improve joint mobility and boost circulation to your, neck, torso, and shoulders. Try for three sets of 30 repetitions.
12. Head Circles. Sit down in your hot tub. Rotate your head from shoulder to shoulder very gently, tilting your head forward, right, back, and left before returning to your starting position. Repeat three times.
13. Stretch it out. The best way to end any workout is with a good stretch. Begin in a standing position and bend one knee to grab your foot behind you. Pull against the resistance of the water, keeping the bent knee close to your standing leg for a deep quadriceps stretch. For support, feel free to hold onto the wall with one hand. Hold for 30 – 45 seconds, and then switch to the other leg and perform the same movement for 30 – 45 seconds. Stretch out your back, torso, and shoulders by gripping the wall with both feet flat and bringing your hips back away from your hands toward the center of your spa or hot tub. Flatten your back and contract your core, reaching through your scapula and arms with your face toward the water. These easy exercises are great ways to improve joint mobility, cardiovascular health, and overall fitness in the controlled, low-impact environment of your spa or hot tub. For a more challenging workout, you can make any movement harder by adding light hand weights or by increasing the number of repetitions for an extended burn.
14. Twist your torso. In a sitting or standing position with shoulders submerged, cross your arms across your chest. Now contract your abdominal muscles and twist slowly from left to right, and right to left. Exhale as you twist, and inhale as you return to center. Keep your shoulders relaxed and focus on increasing your range of motion as you work deep into your oblique muscles. Do three sets of 20 – 30 twists.
15. Twist your torso. In a sitting or standing position with shoulders submerged, cross your arms across your chest. Now contract your abdominal muscles and twist slowly from left to right, and right to left. Exhale as you twist, and inhale as you return to center. Keep your shoulders relaxed and focus on increasing your range of motion as you work deep into your oblique muscles. Do three sets of 20 – 30 twists.
These easy exercises are great ways to improve joint mobility, cardiovascular health, and overall fitness in the controlled, low-impact environment of your spa or hot tub. For a more challenging workout, you can make any movement harder by adding light hand weights or by increasing the number of repetitions for an extended burn.