Water heals, soothes, and relaxes. It's a natural environment for exercise and pain relief. In fact, hydrotherapy in a swim spa is a popular rehab method, especially for those with leg injuries. But how do you exercise in a swim spa? For maximum benefit, you need to know how to exercise in a swim spa the right way.
Because of water's physical properties – resistance, pressure, temperature – water is an effective exercise medium. And the easiest place to do it is a swim spa at your own home. Keep reading to learn how.
How to Exercise in a Swim Spa in 7 Steps
While larger and more expensive than hot tubs, swim spas are still cheaper and less invasive than pools. Plus, in a swim spa, the water is heated! Here's how to exercise in a swim spa.
1. Relax for a While
Warm water is a relaxing environment. You can start by just immersing yourself and resting after a long day. If your exercise routine never moves past this stage, at least your tension will be relieved. You'll be ready to fall asleep quickly and sleep peacefully.
2. Adjust the Current
You should adjust the jets to provide a current that's strong enough for you to swim against. It needs to be fast enough to match your swimming speed. The jets are adjustable by speed and direction. You can achieve a customized current to provide the right resistance during your workout.
3. Do Strength Exercises
Resistance bands are a quick and easy way to tone your muscles. Attach the bands to rowing bars, or push against the bands combined with the current. They're effective to strengthen your arms, shoulders, back, chest, legs, and core.
4. Add Weights
Free weights can provide a more challenging workout. You can strap on ankle weights to shape your legs and glutes. Opposite of weights, buoyancy cuffs can vary your workout, adding resistance without weight.
5. Walk and Run
Walk against the current. Then, walk with it. It's like walking uphill and then downhill. Pushing against the current, then resisting in the other direction, gives you a two-dimensional leg and core workout.
Foam buoyancy belts can be a good aid, promoting toned abdominal muscles and lower back. They'll also help correct your posture.
6. Use Exercise Equipment
You can bring a paddle wheel into the swim spa, using it for rowing exercises. Your upper body will naturally gain strength. Other equipment includes a kick board to focus on leg endurance, dumbbells (rubber-coated to avoid scratching the spa's fiberglass shell), or kettlebells. Vary your workout to strengthen your whole body.
7. Stretch First and Last
The warm water of your swim spa will naturally relax you. Once you're relaxed, stretch. Never skip this step! You're much less likely to injure well-stretched muscles. Whether you use aids like a stretching belt or not, stretch all your muscle groups before exercising. After your routine, do a warm-down stretch. Yoga or pilates movements are always good options to warm down.
Now that you know how to exercise in a swim spa, it's time to get healthy! If you have one already, enjoy. And, if you're looking for a swim spa of your own in Chattanooga, TN; Knoxville, TN; Asheville, NC; Charlotte, NC; Cleveland, TN; or Maryville, TN, come on in to The Great Backyard. We'd love to help you find just what you need for a healthier lifestyle.