In addition to providing stress relief and other health benefits, hot tubs are a great way to improve your workouts and speed up recovery time. The heat improves circulation and helps blood to reach injured areas more quickly for faster healing. Plus, performing exercises while in the hot tub removes jarring impact associated with many exercises, and doesn’t put pressure on your joints. Try these hot tub exercises to effectively and gently build muscle.
Always warm up and properly stretch your muscles to improve flexibility and prevent injury. Hot tub exercises are different only because you can do your warm up and stretches right in the water before moving on to the workout itself. You should also stretch at the end of a workout before cooling down. This is a great time to relax and enjoy a nice massage from the jets.
After you feel warm and limber, start with your upper body while it is still in the water and hasn’t had a chance to cool off.
Chest and Back
Stretch your arms out to your sides with the thumbs pointing upward and the palms facing each other. Bring your arms together, kind of like a seal clapping, but slowly and more smoothly. Use the resistance of the water and make sure to keep your arms straight and relax your shoulders.
Reach your arms out in front of you with the palms facing down. Bending at the elbow, bring one hand to the opposite shoulder and cross the second arm on top, placing it on the other shoulder. Slowly return your arms to the starting position and repeat.
In a seated position, put your arms at your sides, bent at the elbow so your forearms are parallel to your legs. Cup your hands, facing upward, and bring them slowly to your chest. When they reach the top, turn your hands to face downward and push them back to your legs.
Lift your arms and legs so only your bottom is touching the seat of the hot tub. Cross your arms on your chest and rock your torso forward and backward without letting your legs drop. Increase the difficulty by twisting your upper body to touch the seat on the left, then the right, while still holding your legs near the surface of the water.
When you’ve repeated the upper body hot tub exercises several times, stand up so only your lower body is in the water.
Thighs and Glutes
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and arms raised in front of you. Squat down to the point where your thighs are parallel with the bottom of the hot tub. Be careful not to lean forward or hyperextend your knees. Add difficulty by raising one leg and squatting on the other. Use the seats for support or balance if needed.
Stand straight up and look straight ahead. Raise yourself onto your toes, lifting your heels completely off the ground. You can hold onto the side for balance if you need to. Try balancing on one foot at a time for an even tougher lift.
Hot Tub Precautions
As with any new workout, you should consult a doctor before attempting any of these exercises if you have a medical condition or physical restriction. It is also a good idea to have a friend or family member nearby in case of emergency, like slipping or falling. Also, be aware that working out in a hot tub will increase your internal body temperature more quickly. Watch for warning signs that your body is overheating, like dizziness, headache, or tingling sensation, and remember to drink lots of water. How long you can stay in the hot tub will depend on how your body is feeling, so listen to what it is telling you and get out of the water if needed.
Get started today and enjoy these hot tub health benefits!