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Increase flexibility with deep water exercises

This is an excerpt from Water Exercise eBook by Melissa R. Layne.

7.1 Deep-Water Flotation Jack


Equipment

Flotation belt or pool noodle


Exercise Focus

Activates the muscles in the legs and core.


Starting Position

Hang straight down into deep water with either the noodle supporting you or a flotation belt around your waist (a).


Action




  1. Scull with your arms and use your outer thighs to pull your legs comfortably apart (b).
  2. Continue to scull with your arms and use your inner thighs to return your legs to the starting position (a).


Variation

To increase the activation of your inner and outer thighs, cross your legs when you pull them back into the starting position.


Keep It Safe

Start with small movements if you have minimal range of motion in a hip joint due to injury or surgery.


7.2 Deep-Water Flotation Cross-Country


Equipment

Flotation belt or pool noodle


Exercise Focus

Activates the muscles in the legs and core.


Starting Position

Hang straight down into deep water with either a pool noodle supporting you or a flotation belt around your waist (a).


Action




  1. Scull with your arms and open your legs - one to the front and one to the back - as far as is comfortable (b).
  2. Once you have opened your legs, reverse their position, keeping them straight as they pass underneath your body (a).


Variation

To use your arm muscles, extend your arms to the front and back in opposition to your legs. If the right leg is extended to the front and the left leg is extended to the back, the left arm should be in front and the right in back.


Keep It Safe

If the straight-leg position stresses your lower back, bend your knees slightly throughout the entire exercise. If you are in rehabilitation after an injury or surgery, start with a small range of motion and increase it gradually.

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Learn more about Water Exercise.