5 Best Pool-Based Exercises That Are Highly Effective for Chronic Back Pain

Pool-based exercises are an excellent way to build strength and relax at the same time (Image via Pexels @Kindel Media)
Pool-based exercises are an excellent way to build strength and relax at the same time (Image via Pexels @Kindel Media)

Pool-based exercises are simple workouts that can be adapted and done inside a pool. Regardless of whether you suffer from back pain, working out in a pool offers many benefits.

Working out in water ensures that you have a lower risk of injuring yourself, less pressure on the joints and spine and a wider range of motion. Aquatic exercises can also help alleviate pain, and improve your quality of life and daily functions.

These exercises are super fun to do and extremely relaxing. Your motivation to work out will be right on spot with pool-based exercises.


Why are Pool-Based Exercises Good For Back Pain?

Back pain is commonly caused by weak back muscles. Water workouts are beneficial for those suffering from back pain in many ways, but the one reason that should convince you is that water-based workouts are extremely relaxing.

When you workout in the pool, the water acts as a cushion against your body, siphoning away the stress from your back and lowering your risk of injury.

You will find that your range of motion is much more in pool-based exercises, as the water supports upto 90% of your weight thus taking the pressure off your joints and spine.


The resistance you will feel while moving in water is 12 times greater than what you feel in the air. So, you'll not feel the need to test your strength and injure yourself during exercise.

The hydrostatic pressure from water promotes blood flow to your muscles and better your heart and lung function, by encouraging them to work against it. Thus, pool-based exercises can help in greater circulation of blood.

As water relaxes your body and mind by lowering the feeling of pain, you'll be able to work out for longer periods. Overall, a water-based workout can leave you feeling rejuvenated, fresh and energetic.


Best Pool-Based Exercises for Chronic Back Pain

If your goal is to alleviate back pain, you should aim to build strength in your back, abdominal and hip muscles. These muscles can keep your spine strong and help improve your posture and balance.

Warm Up

Make sure to warm up before starting your workout.

You can warm up by walking forward and backward in waist or chest-high water. Start off slowly, and increase your speed as you progress.

After walking, move on to lunges. Maintain a neutral spine, and try to perform the lunges without support. If you cannot, use the wall of the pool as a support. Three sets of ten lunges is recommended to warm you up properly.

The following five pool-based exercises will target all the right muscles and help ease your back pain:

1) Knee-to-Chest

Here's how you can perform this simple exercise in the pool:

  • Start off by standing on the pool floor, keeping your knees slightly bent. Use your hands to hold on to the side of the pool for support.
  • Bend your left knee, and raise your left leg up till your knee reaches your chest.
  • Lower your leg back to the pool floor to complete one rep. Perform five reps.
  • Switch legs, and perform the same number of reps on the other side.

2) Superman Stretch

Here's how you can perform this pool-based exercise:

  • Start off by holding onto the side of the pool with both hands. Keep them straight and at shoulder-width apart.
  • Extend your legs out behind you, and spread them apart so that you are floating belly-down in the water.
  • The water will support your weight and allow your vertebrae and back muscles to be fully extended and stretched. Hold this position for 15-20 seconds, and relax completely.
  • You may submerge your face in the water for a few moments to rest your neck.

3) Pool Planks

Perform this excellent pool-based exercise to relieve your lower back pain:

  • To do the pool plank, you’ll need a styrofoam noodle.
  • While standing on the pool floor, hold the noodle in front of you, and lean forward into a plank position.
  • At this point, the noodle will be submerged under water, and your elbows will be straight down facing the pool floor.
  • With your feet still on the pool floor, hold the position for as long as it's comfortable. Aim to hold it for 60 seconds, although you can start off with 15.
  • Repeat the pool plank 3-5 times.

4) Flutter Kicks

Flutter kicks are an excellent exercise to strengthen your core and lower back. Doing a pool-based version of this exercise will be more relaxing, as the water will help you support your weight. It's done as follows:

  • Hold on to the side of the pool with both your hands, and let your body float parallel to the floor of the pool with your face towards the floor.
  • Gently scissor kick with your legs.
  • Afterwards, you may flip over, and pull your legs up towards the surface of the water for a brief stretch.

5) Pool Push-Ups

Push-ups are a great way to strengthen your back and core. Here's how you can perform this pool-based pushup:

  • Start off in the shallow end of the pool facing the wall, with your feet on the floor and your hands on the edge of the pool.
  • Press your body weight through your hands, and lower yourself towards the wall of the pool, bending your arms at the elbow.
  • Hold for a few brief moments, and push off the wall to return to your starting position.

So, what are you waiting for? Try out these amazing pool-based exercises that will relieve your lower back pain and relax your mind, body and soul.

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Edited by Bhargav
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