Five Basic Hydrotherapy Exercises

hydrotherapy exercises

Five Basic Hydrotherapy Exercises

Simple Hydrotherapy Exercises to Treat Ailments

Hydrotherapy, sometimes called “aquatic therapy,” is the medical treatment of certain diseases, conditions, and ailments through the utilization of water. It employs the thermal or mechanical fundamentals of water to maximize exercise and therapeutic benefits. As one of the oldest methods of healing, hydrotherapy exercises and techniques have been applied and proven effective for centuries. Treatments may range from motion-based therapy to application of temperature adjustments.

Hydrotherapy exercises and treatments have multiple benefits. Aside from relieving sudden body pains, as well as assist in relaxing tight and tense muscles, hydrotherapy helps in boosting the immune system and stimulating cardiovascular capacity. In addition, it also improves metabolism and detoxifies the digestive system. On top of enhancing skeletal and muscular performance hydrotherapy workout also aids in treating a wide variety of ailments and diseases. Below are some simple hydrotherapy exercises that Service First of Northern California utilizes in their Aquatic Therapy program and that you could use at home with proper supervision:


  1. Leg Raise Exercise


This workout is executed with one leg outstretched in front of you and the supporting leg straight or slightly bent. With one hand, balance by holding on the side of the pool. Hold the position and then return to starting stance. Perform 10-12 repetitions for each leg. You can also try performing variations of the workout such as raising your leg to the side, or executing it with the aid of a water noodle for an intensified exercise.

The Leg Raise Exercise and Leg Side Raise Exercise strengthen and stretch the muscles in the leg, hip, and lower back. It aids in the treatment of back pains, osteoarthritis, as well as various rheumatic difficulties.


  1. Pool Walking or Jogging Exercise


This exercise begins with walking 10-20 steps forward, and then walks backward in chest-high or waist-high water level. To escalate difficulty, increase speed up to jogging-level or add hand floats and lightweights. Apply variations such as alternate jogging for 30 seconds, then walk in place for 30 seconds.

This pool-version of water walking is beneficial for those who suffer from arthritis, joint pains, muscular-skeletal difficulties, asthma, and even Parkinson’s disease, among others.


  1. Standing Knee Lift


Start this exercise by standing against the pool wall with both feet on the floor. As if marching in place, lift one knee up to hip-level before straightening it down. Repeat this step 10 times on one knee before moving on to another. Perform 3 sets of 10 lifts on each knee. Challenge yourself by trying this exercise without the support of the pool wall, or by placing a floatation noodle under your foot.

Accomplishing this workout stretches and stimulates the lower body, which is favorable for those who are experiencing back pains, joint pains, rheumatic complaints, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, among others.


  1. Water-Supported Leg Stretch


This stretching exercise requires the individual hold on with both hands on the side of the pool, with the body and legs outstretched and floating on the water. Maintain deep, even breaths throughout the duration of this exercise.

This workout extends the back and joint regions, as well as the upper body muscles, making it effective in treating back pains, joint pains, arthritis, spinal ailments, and shoulder pains. Breathing exercises performed with this also helps those who suffer from cardio and respiratory problems.


  1. Quadruped Activity and Exercise


This workout entails the individual to be held in place with the assistance of flotation devices or a workout partner supporting the individual’s trunk (often a physical therapist). While on their back, the individual makes paddling motions with their arms and legs. For a higher power workout, utilize paddles, weights, or intensified current.

Aside from working the limbs and core muscles group, this type of hydrotherapy exercise also relaxes the muscles, build muscle mass, and improve blood circulation.


Other methods of aqua therapy, such as spa treatment, complement these hydrotherapy exercises to further stimulate therapeutic effects. Hydrotherapy exercises are also best performed with the guidance of license physical therapists to maximize benefits and prevent injuries. Service First provides a variety of aquatic therapy and wellness programs to aid patients with disabilities, injuries, and illnesses in decreasing pain and improve physical capabilities. Call today for more information about our wellness programs.


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