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Water is one of the best places to exercise. The buoyancy relieves pressure on the joints, while the resistance of the water still allows you to build muscle. Hot tubs provide a natural way to warm up muscles, which allows for less stressful and painful movement when first starting to exercise. For people with injuries or other ailments, a hot tub would be a perfect place for exercise and rehabilitation. Here are some basic exercises for any age looking to try fitness in hot tubs:
1. Start sitting on the edge of one of the hot tub seats. Extend one straight leg out in front of your so your torso makes a 90 degree angle as best as possible with your leg. Flex your foot so your toes are pulled back toward your body as hard as possible and hold for 10 seconds. Then, point your foot as hard as possible for 10 seconds so your toes are pointed down and away from your body. Repeat doing this back and forth for 10 repetitions then switch legs. 1 repetition is the combination of flexing and pointing once. This exercise will help work the abdominals, the quads, the foot muscles, and the calves.
2. Sit on the edge of one of the hot tub seats and lean back slightly, keeping your torso straight. Use your arms and hands to support you while you bring your knees into your chest. Squeeze your body into a ball, and then extend your legs out straight, while leaning back with your torso at the same time. Repeat this exercise 15 times at a leisurely pace and then rest. This exercise will work your abs and legs.
3. Sitting on the edge of a hot tub seat and leaning back slightly, keep your torso straight and raise your legs. Keeping your torso still, move your legs in a bicycle like motion alternating bringing one knee into your chest while extending the other one straight. This will work your abs and legs.
4. Stand in the middle of the hot tub and then submerge your body until your shoulders are under water. Staying in that position raise your arms straight out to the side. Make small circles with the arms at a pace where you can feel your muscles working, but aren’t straining anything. Gradually make larger and larger circles with the arms, keeping them under water and going at the same pace, then work backward to smaller circles. This exercise will work the areas around the shoulders and upper arms. An accessory that would be good for hot tub exercise, is the water dumbbells called Wet Bells.
Repeat these exercises three times and then stretch in the hot tub to finish up. For the stretches, stay tuned next week to see what kinds of stretches to do in the hot tub and how to perform them safely.