Overcoming an injury can be arduous and painful. Reduce some of the misery and frustration, and the risk of re-injuring yourself, by using water exercises to recover.
- Step 1: Try resistance training for injured upper extremities, pushing against the side of the pool while you're in the water. Practice slow extensions and rotations as you enjoy a good swim.
- Step 2: Improve lower-extremity flexibility through vertical kicking or squats while standing on a flotation board. Maintain a regular regimen until you're good as new.
- FACT: In a 2009 12-week study, water aerobics was found to reduce pain for women with fibromyalgia when they exercised in warm water for 60 minutes, 3 times a week.
- TIP: Use a pool with warm water to increase circulation, hasten healing, and relax muscle tension, making exercises easier to perform.
- Step 3: Use deep-water running, kicking -- with or without fins -- and interval training for a solid cardiovascular workout.
- Step 4: Flex your legs and jump up and down in shallow water to lessen the impact on healing joints. Move and swing your arms, hips, and ankles to get loose.
- TIP: Shallow water exercise is fine if you can't swim or don't have access to a deeper pool.
- Step 5: Maintain and gradually increase your training loads on the affected areas to improve performance while recovering. Go slow.
- Step 6: Wear a flotation belt and aquatic shoes to jog in the water. Maintain proper posture as you do, refraining from hunching. The zero-gravity workout will take the pressure off of a runner's knee or a pulled hip.