There are three bones, nearly a dozen muscles, and many ligaments and tendons in your shoulder. And you probably use your shoulder joining those muscles more than you realize. Every time you reach for an item on a shelf, brush your hair, or toss a ball, you are using your shoulder.
The shoulder is the most complex joint and also the most flexible, moving in almost any direction. But there is a downside to this mobility and functionality. The shoulder is prone to injury and injuries cause pain. Research shows that shoulder pain affects 18 percent to 26 percent of adults at any point in time, and the shoulder is one of the most common areas to have pain.
The most common cause of shoulder pain is when the rotator cuff tendons become inflamed. But it can also be caused by overuse, poor posture, and frozen shoulder.
Strength training and exercise, though, can help keep your shoulder stable, relieve pain, and prevent further injury. Warm water exercise can be particularly beneficial, especially if traditional exercise is painful.
Benefits of swim spa exercise
A Michael Phelps swim spa is not just for swimming and relaxation. It also is an ideal environment for aquatic therapy and water exercise.
Water’s natural resistance can help you build strength with little to no equipment. Resistance in the water can be up to 42 times that of air. The faster you move, the more resistance you will encounter. You can use water exercise equipment such as bands, dumbbells, and kickboards to maximize the benefits.
Another advantage of exercising in the swim spa? It’s easy on your joints. The water’s buoyancy supports your body so there’s less pressure on your joints — including your shoulders.
The water depth of Michael Phelps swim spas is about 4 and a half feet, allowing you to submerge your shoulders for a therapeutic exercise session. You can strengthen muscles or incorporate stretching to improve your flexibility and range of motion. Plus, stretching in the water can help you reduce muscle soreness and prevent injury.
Overall, exercising in the water can relieve pain, reduce muscle spasms, improve joint range of muscle, increase strength, and improve circulation. You can also incorporate water exercise to improve your balance and coordination.
Best water exercises for shoulder pain
Aquatic therapy and water exercise can benefit your overall strength and shoulder health. The water is an excellent place to improve your shoulder strength and mobility. When you’re submerged in the water, resistance surrounds you. You can stretch and strengthen the joint at all angles.
Be sure to consult a doctor before starting any exercise program.
Incorporate these exercises into your water routine or use them as part of a plan to recover safely from shoulder surgery or replacement.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hold your arms at your sides. Raise your arms out to shoulder height. Lower back down. Try to keep your arms below the surface of the water. For added resistance, you can use aquatic dumbbells.
Start with your arms out to your side with palms facing forward. Bring your arms together, as if you were going to clap your hands. Return to the starting position. For added resistance, you can use aquatic dumbbells.
With a 90-degree bend at your elbows, place your arms at your side. Keep your upper arms in contact with your torso as you rotate your forearms out to the side. As you open your arms out, focus on the squeeze in your shoulder blades.
Noodle push downs
Stand in the swim spa and place both hands on the center of a pool noodle. Push the noodle under the surface of the water in front of your thighs. Bend your elbows and allow the noodle to rise up toward the surface of the water. When your elbows are parallel to your shoulders, press back down to extend your arms and work your shoulders against resistance.
Hold an aquatic dumbbell in each hand. To start, stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your hands in front of your thighs. With your arms straight, raise your arms in front of you. Stop at shoulder height. Press down to return to the starting position. You can also use a pool noodle to do this exercise.
The swim spa is the perfect space to perform gentle shoulder stretches.
Why should you stretch? When a muscle stretches, its fibers and the surrounding fascia, or bands of connective tissue, extend to full length. Stretching can reduce tension, ease pain, reduce the risk of injury, and improve your posture.
You can do these at the end of your workout or on their own to improve your mobility and range of motion.
Roll your shoulders forward and back for a dynamic stretch at the beginning of your routine. Remember to breathe and keep your arms relaxed.
Low back hand clasp
Clasp your hands behind your tailbone. Slightly arch your upper back, opening your chest and allowing your shoulder blades to gently come together.
Bear hug stretch
Start with your arms at your sides, about shoulder height. Cross both arms across the opposite side of your body as if you were trying to give yourself a big hug. Try to grab on to the back of your shoulders and squeeze. Round your shoulders and hold for 5 seconds. Shake it out and repeat several times.
How to buy a swim spa
Are you ready to enjoy the benefits of water exercise, recreation, and relaxation year-round — even in the winter? Having a Master Spas swim spa at home allows you to enjoy the benefits of a pool without the maintenance. You can click here to get more backyard ideas and picture what a stationary swimming pool would look like in your space. Or, contact your local Master Spas retailer to learn more about swim spa ownership. Wondering how much a swim spa costs? You can request a quote here.