Pool exercises for core stability

Water Workout for Your Core (Aquatic Therapy) - Ask Doctor Jo

Water Workout for Your Core (Aquatic Therapy) - Ask Doctor Jo18 Jul. 2013
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Water Workout for Your

Water Workout for Your Core (Aquatic Therapy) http://www.AskDoctorJo.com These water exercises for your core can be done in a pool using special equipment, or toys. This is great for aquatic therapy. For more aquatic therapy exercises, visit http://www.askdoctorjo.com/category/catagories/aquatic-therapy

Related Videos:

Kickboard Exercises in a Pool:


Water Exercises, Standing (Aquatic Therapy):



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Doctor Jo is a licensed Physical Therapist and Doctor of Physical Therapy.


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Always use CAUTION with Exercising in a Pool:

If you can't swim, don't do these exercises unless there is a certified lifeguard on duty.

More Details About This Video:

Aquatic therapy can be a great workout for your core. Many times with back pain, you just can't handle exercises on land. The water helps take gravity out of the picture so you can focus on your exercises.

It is really important to make sure you have good posture when you are in the pool. It is really easy to move your upper body a lot, but you want to try to keep your upper body straight and upright. Squeeze in your abdominals to help keep that upright position. Using ankle weights can be very beneficial. Not only do they give you some extra resistance, but they also keep your feet on the ground while doing the exercises.

Pool equipment, or pool toys as I like to call them, can range from very simple and cheap to very elaborate and expensive. Today I am going to show you some simple toys that you can find at most pools and not have to purchase on your own. The first set of toys is called paddles. These work well because you can open and close the slits to make more or less resistance. The next set is dumbbells. These are not like land dumbbells. They are very light and made of foam. So they not only give you good resistance in the water, but they also make it hard to keep them down in the water. The final one is a kickboard. This can really give you resistance in the water by pushing and pulling it halfway in the water. The faster you push with all these toys, the more resistance you will get.

The first exercise shown with the paddles is a gait exercise. You want to push out with the opposite arm of the leg that goes forward. This is how we walk normally on land, and is only difficult when you think too hard! Try not to let the resistance push you around. If you cannot stay upright, then you are not ready for equipment yet.

The next exercise, shown with the dumbbells, is in a staggered stance position. This is with one foot in front of the other. It is almost like you are in a lunge position. Bend down a little into the water to help keep your position. Start by alternating one arm in front and one arm in back. Keep your arms straight and push and pull through the water. Don't bring the dumbbells out of the water. Then switch feet, and push and pull both arms together. If you feel like the paddles or dumbbells are too much resistance, you can do these just using your hands. Try each of these 15 times, and then work your way up!

Finally, with the kickboard, put it about halfway in the water. Simply push and pull the board towards and away from you while you are walking forwards and backwards. Then turn to the side, and put your arm straight out in front of you. Put the kickboard out in front of you and step sideways.

Water Workout for Your Core (Aquatic Therapy):


DISCLAIMER: This video and any related comments are not medical advice. Doctor Jo is a licensed Physical Therapist and Doctor of Physical Therapy; however, she is not YOUR Physical Therapist and can't possibly diagnose you through the Internet. So don't use this information to avoid going to your own healthcare professional or to replace the advice they have given you. This information is only intended to show you the correct technique for physical therapy exercises and should not be used to self-diagnose or self-treat any medical condition. If you are not properly diagnosed, this information won't help, and it could make things worse. So seriously, check with your healthcare professional before doing these techniques. If you experience any pain or difficulty while doing these exercises, stop immediately and see your healthcare professional.

Comments (15)

Thank you for such a SPEEDY REPLY!  I've ordered the paddles and will plan toreplace the dumbells with my new "pool toys"(paddles)  and I will continue to watch your videos to keep myself on track!  Thank you for making these videos they are fun to watch and super helpful!


I don't know if this is true or not but I'll ask anyway.  I was told the paddles are NOT sold in a set...they are only sold individually.  Where did you get yours and are they very expensive ( I have to follow a 6 letter word...BUDGET)?  Hope you can help me out. 

Sistah Shay

I've subscribed
You are great
I started going to the gym aquafit classes they are fabulous.
Since they no longer allow large gatherings I needed exercises I can do alone.
You've shown me what to do
Thank you


Hi and thanks for the videos! I was wondering if you have any recommendations for the tools you use in the pool, the Swedish ball and other PT equipment? Favorite supplier? Again, thanks for the dedication to your profession!

Lady Gdd

I really appreciate your videos, they are awesome. I recently was diagnosed with DISH, my right hip is especially painful. Any suggestions for aquatic exercises to help with flexibility and pain?


We get most of our equipment from an online website called sprint aquatics. I think you can probably get them for less at any chain store like Walmart or Target during the summer. If you are looking for something with a strong amount of resistance, my favorite equipment is hydrotones. I don't have them in my videos because they are expensive (about $60), and I am always trying to make it affordable for people. Good luck!!


Your videos are great!  Do you have any additional videos on how to use the water fan paddles?  I would like to replace my dumbells with the paddles (b/c they are easier to tote).   Do you basically do the exact same exercises but  just swap it out for the paddle? Is it that simple?


⭐⭐ Leaving a Question or Comment? ⭐⭐ Hit the ? SUBSCRIBE ? button above first (if you haven’t already), and make sure you mention you’ve subscribed because I like to respond to my subscribers if I can!



valerie roman

Hello I thank you for your tips and exercises. I am taking my 85 year old Mom to the pool to work out. She is unable to bend one knee she may have 3 to 5 degree movement. When she had her total knee replacement surgery they sent her to a senior center for 5 weeks they put her in brace and never moved it now it is frozen. She is loosing muscles from her sedentary life style. Can you share ways to strength core without bending knee.

Vanita Talaulikar

Liked all your you tube and also subscribed .pl make some water exercises for high Hamstring tendiopathy recovery and for hamstrings and quadraceps
Regards from India


Try using the kickboard to paddle like you are in a canoe. One side then the other. Another is use the kickboard and push down on one side all the way to your thigh then the center then the other side.

Stoney ChicoChik

I just wanted to say THANK YOU!! Your exercises have saved me!! FYI I use speedo neoprene swim gloves and they work great!


Do you know where I can get the fitness paddles from in the UK?

Liquid Peace

stay active & have fun

Pool Exercises to Strengthen Back and Core Muscles | WebMD

Pool Exercises to Strengthen Back and Core Muscles | WebMD21 Nov. 2018
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Looking to strengthen your

Looking to strengthen your back and core? Grab a pool noodle and test out these water exercises!

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Comments (8)
Jesiel Almeida

Amazing transition audio track

Anita LaPointe

How long do you do each of these exercises please?


The seated core press and noodle bike ride didn't work for me at the pool. Also, did not feel the exercise was impactful

Belia Krouse

Just look for Unflexal Workouts page. There is all you need about workouts :)


Does the sunglasses help make you stronger?

Träningsprogram Till Musik

I love your exercises! I'm a great fan of pool workout :D New subscriber here!

Karen Boykin

Terrible viewing. You got other videos on the screen and can't see what's going on in the video you are trying to watch. In the medical field, you'd think they would understand the importance of visual learning.

Liquid Peace

have fun, stay active & reduce impact by exercising in the pool

Faster Swimming Core Training #1

Faster Swimming Core Training #117 Aug. 2009
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http://www.fasterswimming.com Championship Core Training #1 - The Basics. Basic ground-based core training is covered in this video, with planks and plank variations as well as a ton of more traditional, and not-so-traditional, "ab" exercises. Time-based training is briefly explained, as well.

Comments (100)
mahamud jubaer

It would be a shame for you not to lose weight when these other normal people do it easily with "Fat Blast Formula" (search for it on google).

Marcos Higuera

this exercises will improve my butterfly and freestyle times?

Aleš Chytil

you absolutely cant take control about your scapula's area, the main point of core training is to do it. good movements anyway, but it is not as functional as it seems. sorry

Tom Rose

What about low plank on your stomach, and head on a pillow? I can do these all day long. Doesn't help much with core strength or swimming though.

Fathhi Al-Shareef

There you go , Bruce Willis himself is giving us swimming core training


@USAswimcoach I do these work out everyday, how long should I do to able to get to next level?

Vima Sun

thank u sooo much for these great excercices. .. sooo fit m your body !!

Jaime Trujillo

im going to trye this


swimming for 30 years! great explanations and great excercises

Hamid Elorch

ايتبنتدرة(؟(+؛9تر تيممءم bhsmn

Максим Нимчин

это помогает плаванию?

Gustavo Rosas Sanchez

How many exercises are a set?

Mohamed Fahmy

thank you


how many reps/ minutes should i do the planks with alternate arm points and the other variations? how long should i stick with the basics before i advance to stage 2?

Aaron Bell

When doing sit ups, lace your fingers behind your head. Otherwise, awesome video!


Pick 7 or 8 exercises and do 3 rounds of those with 30 s activity, 20 s rest. Add 10 seconds of rest beween the rounds. Then as you get better add weight and time to the activity part but keep the pauses at 20 seconds.

AJ Cee

nice variation of workouts.


I've been using this video for like a year now! This is a really fun workout. It's so basic, yet so complete! Great stuff!


you are correct. i know the bad fat is the reason that stopping 6 pack coming outside even we work out well. btw!but ye One of my friend working in fitness field suggested me this 7 secret food items to kill our jelly belly. check it out here --> bit.ly\W26u2T


How many weeks i need to do this set before moving to Core Training #2?

Johnyster yt

How can i choose from these exercises the ones i will put in my set ?


Exercise is a single drill like Brazilian touches. A set is a collect of exercises that I choose like plank push up(1) + regular push ups(2) + hip touches + Brazilian touches. Workout is collection of 1 to 5 sets Is that true? if so, how many exercises should I have per set? and can I do more than one workout per day? There are two variation for some exercise, high and low, should I do the two as in plank and regular push up or just on. Thank u very much 4 this interesting & beneficial demo.


There is a lizard which does something similar in order that it doesn't burn its feet in the hot sand lol. No but, seriously, nice exercises :)

Maria Wild

Awesome workout for triathlon.Ouch


My classmates laughed when I told them I would lose weight with Trim Fat Maximizer, but then I showed them the results. Go google Trim Fat Maximizer to see their reaction.

Raghul Subramani

Hi there, have you experienced Atomic Max Muscle? (Go Google it) You will learn about the serious crimes we commit against our bodies. With Atomic Max Muscle, you will discover how to build muscle fast.



Tayyab Yasin

It would be a shame if you did not get ripped when other normal people build muscle easily using "MAD Ripped Muscle" (go Google it).

Modder Otter

now  get in the pool and start swimming.

CDs Her

Wow great


Make sure you are doing the swim strokes mechanically correct so your core strength is utilized.


how long are you supposed to do each of these variations?


Could you expand on the timing at 0:12? What is the difference between a set and an exercise? Sorry, I am not a native speaker ... thx

el caco

If i do all this ill be faster at swiming? am i missing something?

Mohammad A-Mourad

Hi USASwimcoach;

Thanks for these great workouts, but I really cant get the time base idea, should i do each variation for 1 to 5 minutes?
and rest for 30 seconds? can you please explain little more

Thanks again

dana man

Have you heard about "Elite Muscle Formula?" (Google it) It is a quick and easy way for you to build muscle fast.

Euclides Neto

@ncwwpsp you are correct. It was my sad days when i used to work out hard for hours and not getting muscles at all. Listen really I encourage you set aside just 10 minutes and make up your mind for yourself. I found this video here => bit.ly/O7NDdL?=pbqffm

Jakub Ferenčík

I heard that push-ups are not good for swimming. Is that true? Because nearly at the end you were doing push ups.

Seamus Alger

Great variety of exercises! Both for power and posture training. Wish I could like twice!


I've been doing some planks, but could only do push ups with the knees....now I finally am able to do 10 reps with my feet....I'm I ready to do these? or I should maybe wait till I can get to like 30reps?

Tuf TA 392

and all of these work outs really make swimming times better



لي هدف في الحياة

هل من مار يفهمنا

Ali Saad

Please I some kind of move for and back while planking it feels good tricep obliques but tell me alse it work on because I only wont to work on my upper body please unser

sam osman

Very nice, still there is good people there


Thank you. Please check "Traditional" at :30. :)


Absolutely brillant, thank you so much. Masses of information / exercises in a short film (some films would talk about 2-3 of these exersises the whole time

Julia Corton

Soo basically this is yoga..

Sheldon Gomes

Thank you for your videos. I myself am a swimmer. I Have been swimming for two years now, and i have always been getting beaten because the other guys are more muscular than me


The simplicitiy of the video and the sharpness of the narration is what makes this lessons so interesting and envolving. GREAT WORK!



al say

im cook cokes

Natalie Adulyan

@hzxzrnb My abs are rock hard, and it didn't take that long. It's amazing how much people over look the basics, food and exercised used in balance is what you need. Express Muscle has everything you need to get started. Plus its run by Daniel Murray (enough said). Go here for his book and dont pay a dime==> bit.ly/JqZkKC?=etkqea



lionel Garmon

This guy must be the Einstein of fast swimming ! But I'm afraid folowing his example, the only thing many people will achieve is probably to hurt their back.

olympischbriesje Nada Average

tired because of watching this, need to rest now.

Daniel Cercas Garcia

I am done a similar exercises, not harder than this thanks




These exercises are for all sports. Core strength is needed for everything!


Thank you for the nice video!
One question: why is the head so high / not in line with the body in plank position?

Lauren McNevin

the core is super important in swimming right? im a breastroker so does that make the core andy more or less important?


GOD BLESS you Coach.


Hi, I am new to swimming and want to be able to roll my body more effectively with core. You recommend doing 10min/day X 6 times a week. How should I progress following through Core training video #1, #2, and #3?

Steve Steinlein

sit up stand ups... are you kidding me.  let you know when i can do this. 


I like the videos. It would be nice to say what muscle was being worked with each movement

Vitrales Flores

muy completos los ejercicios me encanta la fuerza que se utiliza 

Aizen Sousuke

thats right

The Deep Hub

How to know when is the time to go on the secon level?


i still dont understand if 1 set includes all these excercises shown in the video or if we have to choose some (???). some help would be much appreciated.

Adn AG

cool man


"Sit up, get up" you mean Get Up, Stand Up?! LOLOL Bob Marley ftw!

Diis K

Thank you so much for your videos, they are very very helpful and useful. Is there anything you could recommend for bad shoulder rotator cuff? I like doing push ups and I know how effective they are, unfortunately it's one of the exercises that's very painful and I do need to strenghten my shoulders. I do long distance swimming, mastering the breaststroke. Thank you so much

Bushan Kumar

Can i make my swimmers under 10 do these exercises?

Donny Mo

Who here because of coronavirus?


This is awesome! Thanks for putting it up!


How do I know these exercises are effective? I JUST TRIED THEM AND I"M OUT OF FREAKING BREATH! Thank you! :D

Rhiannon Angell

Just look for Unflexal workouts. There is all you need about workouts :)




Very Nice! I will make them! Very very good!


Breaststroke core excercises, is there one that will specifically benefit my breaststroke


Dang our swimming coach make us do these excercises, and it's sooo tiring! D= haha but they sure do work!

Omar ElGabaly

actually i dont understand something..is this one mixed excersice or i should do every single excercise like 10 times and rest then do the next excersice?

Andriy Ruditski

Hey! I'm Elizabeth.I did -40 lbs last 2 weeks.Go to hawght.so\#9zsO


Son of a bitch! He does it so effortlessly! I was really struggling through some of those exercises... Thank you for the awesome video, even only after one time I can see it's gonna make me a torpedo in the water if I keep it up!

Madison Lakes

So are we just suppose to do what he does???


he has the head so high, not in a straight line with the body

Cody G

Yes I agree cant even believe it. You are smart if you understand you need to eat right at your age to kill your belly. And do you know about the 7 odd foods that kill belly fat if you don't know about them you must see this. have a look here bit.ly/17TCd6Q?=jjcrs

Emily Perrin

Why don't you try to alternate them? It's not necessary to follow strictly

Real Reasons Tv

Great exercises. Thanks!

Bushan Kumar

The demonstrator on this video does all the exercises superfabulous. Great!!!!!!!

Jason Jackson

I am very familiar with core exercises & several of this are pretty taxing on the lower back in my opinion. I would think the idea is to isolate the abs as much as possible. However, I can see how some of these exercises apply to swimming.

BTW, I wasn’t criticizing, it was more observational on my part.


I have troubles with these excercises... My hands get tired faster than abdominal muscles. Am I doing something wrong or it is normal and it may just be the case, that my hands are weak?



Axel Salas

Disculpa amigo, todos esos ejercicios los tenemos que repetir 5 veces, es decir todo lo que muestras en el video es un set ? y hay q repetirlo 5 veces ?


for the planks my arms shake like crazy while my core is fine, is that suppose to happen? I made sure my hips are low already

supaluck apiluxdarcharchai


Кайрат Кусаинов

However i didnt listening, i ever not heard something about reps, or time limitation.

Plivački klub Leskovac

Well done...Simple and interesting exercise...

Maria Eduarda fernandes

Vou fica sarada

Santiago Aguilera