Water Exercise To Relieve Back Pain

Did you know that exercising in water may reduce your back pain? A recent study examined the effects of water and land exercises in participants with chronic low back pain. They found that most of the participants reported pain more than twice as frequently when they exercised on land. This means that exercising in water is an excellent option for you especially if your low back pain limits you from exercising on land. There are many different things you can do to prevent and improve your low back pain. You can strengthen the muscles in your core (abdominal muscles), increase the flexibility in your hips and hamstrings and simply increase your activity level, as a sedentary lifestyle can increase your chances of acquiring low back pain. The following are some exercises to increase the flexibility in your hips. These exercises would be best to do as either a warm-up or cool down.   



And the 3 movements to try:

  1. Stand on one leg. If needed hold the pool wall for better balance.
  2. Swing the suspended leg font to back in a range that feels good. Repeat 5-10x.
  3. Swing the suspended leg right to left in a range that feels good. Repeat 5-10x
  4. Swing the suspended leg clockwise and counterclockwise in a range that feels good. Repeat 5-10x
  5. Switch legs and repeat the series.

Exercise Tips:

  • Repeat each exercise 5-10 times before switching to the other leg.
  • Always move in a range that feels good.
  • Increase strength by increasing the speed of each motion.
  • When adding rotation to a movement, swing the leg clockwise and counterclockwise. Protect your back by leading the movement with your belly button.
  • Try these movements on land—especially when adding rotation. You should notice how the movement comes from your hip, rather than twisting at your knee or back.

After completing the brief warm-up, take a walk around the pool, switching directions or taking a slight jog in place.  For an increased challenge try alternating between walking and jogging. These activities will start to increase your heart rate. Try to do this for up to 5 minutes. Once you have done your warm-up and started to increase your heart rate it’s time for water exercises! Here are some exercises to strengthen your core muscles, which help to stabilize your back. A fun idea is to set a timer and complete each exercise for 30 seconds taking a 15-20 second rest break between and repeating this for 4-5 rounds. This will definitely increase your heart rate!


1.    Wall Flutters: This exercise works both your abdominal muscles and your glute muscles. These muscles help you to stand up tall and have good posture.

a.    Stand at the edge of the pool or holding onto a kick board.

b.    Let your legs float up behind you and start kicking alternating back and forth. Make sure you keep your abdominal engaged by thinking about pulling your belly button towards your spine.

c.    Continue to complete until you have reached 30 seconds.

2.    Wall Bicycles: This muscle focuses on strengthening your core muscles in a flexion position which may be more comfortable position in someone with low back pain.

a.    Stand with your back against the wall of the pool and lean onto the wall and hold on with your hands.

b.    Start to kick your legs back and forth like you would while riding a bicycle.

c.    Remember to engage your core.

d.    Continue to complete until you have reached 30 seconds.

3.    Lateral Lunges: This exercise works on both your core, leg muscles and muscles on the side of your hips. This exercise will also challenge your ability to keep your abdominal muscles engaged.

a.    Stand with your feet shoulder distance apart. Take a step out to the right, shift your body weight over your right leg and bend your knee to a 90 degree angle. When bending your knee think about trying to sit down in a chair. Make sure your knee does not go over your toes and your back is as upright as possible.

b.    Repeat on the other side. Continue switching until you have completed for 30 seconds.

4.    Jumping Jacks: This exercise works on both your core and leg muscles. The challenge with this exercise will be to keep your abdominal muscles engaged while moving your legs.

a.    Stand by standing with your feet close together and your arms raised so you form the letter “I”.

b.    Jump your legs out so they are shoulder width apart also while moving your arms so they form the letter “Y”. Then jump your legs back together and your arms back to the starting position.

 c.    Continue to complete until you have reached 30 seconds. 



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