Water Exercise in a Pool, Standing (Aquatic Therapy) : http://www.AskDoctorJo.com These simple water exercises can be done while standing in a pool for Aquatic Therapy. For more physical therapy videos or for my blog post about this water workout, visit hhttp://www.askdoctorjo.com/content/standing-exercises-pool
Doctor Jo is a licensed Physical Therapist and Doctor of Physical Therapy.
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Always use CAUTION with Exercising in a Pool:
If you can’t swim, don’t do these exercises unless there is a certified lifeguard on duty.
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Sometimes you just can’t do exercises on land because they are either too painful, or you just might not be strong enough to do them on land. Aquatic therapy helps you get the exercise you need in a low impact environment. You can really concentrate on your technique because you don’t have to worry about falling. After you do a warm-up in the pool of gait exercises, then you can work on some standing exercises.
It is really important to make sure you have good posture when you are in the pool. It is really easy to move your upper body a lot, but you want to try to keep your upper body straight and upright. Squeeze in your abdominals to help keep that upright position. Using ankle weights can be very beneficial. Not only do they give you some extra resistance, but they also keep your feet on the ground while doing the exercises.
Hold onto the side or a bar to help keep your upright posture. Start off with a hip flexion/extension (front to back) exercise. Lock out your knee and try to keep it straight the whole time. Pulling your toes up or into dorsiflexion will help keep your knee straight. Bring your foot up as high as you can without leaning back, and then bring it back as far as you can without leaning forward. Then still keeping the knee locked out, perform hip abduction/adduction (side to side). Try not to turn your foot out when kicking out to the side. This will change the muscle you are trying to work. Start off with 10 on each side, and then work your way up.
Next is a hamstring curl. You are only bending your knee here. Try to keep your hip in a neutral position. If you bend your hip up, you are working different muscles. If you have to hold your hip down, that is fine, but it should stay in alignment with the other hip. Then you are going to do a Rockette kick. Bend your knee up into a march position, then kick your leg straight out. If that is too much of a stretch, don’t bring your knee quite as high. Make sure to do all these exercises on both sides. When you are standing on the leg, and moving the other, you are using your muscles as stabilizers so they are being worked in different ways.
The final two will be done with your feet about shoulder width apart, and again, make sure your feet are pointed forward. For the heel/toe raises, make sure to go as high up on your toes as you can to work the calf muscles. Then roll back onto the heels and pull your toes up to work the anterior tibialis muscle. Try not to stick your bottom back, just pull your toes up. Lastly, is a squat. Keep your feet flat on the ground the whole time. Stick your bottom back like you are going to sit in a chair to make sure your knees do not go in front of your toes. Bring your chest slightly forward, and keep your back straight.
If these become easy and you can do 20-25 without difficulty, try doing them without holding on to the side. If that is still easy, try holding on, but increase your speed. Make smaller, but quicker movements, and this will add resistance in the water. If you can’t hold your posture while doing these, then you are not quite ready yet!
Water Exercise in a Pool, Standing (Aquatic Therapy): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVvzsFk6rPo
DISCLAIMER: This video and any related comments are not medical advice. Doctor Jo is a licensed Physical Therapist and Doctor of Physical Therapy; however, she is not YOUR Physical Therapist and can’t possibly diagnose you through the Internet. So don’t use this information to avoid going to your own healthcare professional or to replace the advice they have given you. This information is only intended to show you the correct technique for physical therapy exercises and should not be used to self-diagnose or self-treat any medical condition. If you are not properly diagnosed, this information won’t help, and it could make things worse. So seriously, check with your healthcare professional before doing these techniques. If you experience any pain or difficulty while doing these exercises, stop immediately and see your healthcare professional.