Aquatic Exercise & Therapy!

aquatic exercise

Aquatic Exercise & Therapy

Do you have back, hip, knee, or foot pain which get worse with working out? Well we’ve got some good news for you, especially with summer weather approaching! Working out in water is a great alternative to traditional work outs, especially when chronic pain is holding you back from getting in a good sweat session. But when you get to the pool- do you know what exercises to do? The therapists at Carolina PT wanted to give you some tips and tricks when hitting up the water!


  • Improved strength
  • Increased flexibility
  • Improved balance
  • Improved cardiovascular health

How it works:

The water uses your body’s buoyancy creates less weight bearing on your joints allowing you to work out with less pain. The water creates resistance against your body to allow you to strengthen your body and increase your heart rate. The faster you move your body, the higher the resistance and cardiovascular response! Which also means more calories burned and more strength gained.

Common diagnoses do we recommend exercising in water:

  • Arthritis
  • Joint degeneration (DDD, DJD)
  • Muscle weakness
  • Decreased Balance and instability
  • Difficulty walking

So the important part- what exercises CAN you do in the water?

  • Walking: Forward, backwards, side stepping are all great ways to build up muscle strength.
  • Hip and knee strengthening: While keeping one knee straight, kick to the side with the other leg in all directions- forward & backwards, sideways- all while keeping your body tall and upright. See pictures below for demonstrations.

Image by Master Spas

Image by Peterson Physical Therapy

Image by Peterson Physical Therapy

  • Squats and Lunges: who said these only can be done on land? In fact, doing these more strenuous exercises in the water will help with overall joint pressure, and allow you to continue building muscle strength without the added pain in your joints. Head over to the more shallow part of the pool to perform these exercises.
  • Jumping: Another great way to add some cardiovascular exercise to your swim! The water will help take pressure off of joints but still get your heart rate up.

Okay, but what if I want to turn it up a notch?

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  1. Try using fins! They will add more resistance to the exercises and ultimately make the workout more challenging. We recommend these ones ->
  2. As always, pick up the tempo and add more reps!

If you’re not sure on where to start, or are interested in a physical therapist guiding you through these exercises, call one of our offices for more information on an aquatic therapy session. We can get you in for an appointment within 24-48 hours, and without a doctor’s referral!

*Banner/featured image is owned by AquaticMobile Swim, and can be found

**Images included in post are not owned by Carolina Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine. They can be found following links provided.