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Exercises for Functional Mobility Series: Featuring Squats In Water

posted Jun 28, 2015, 8:38 PM by Sandy Karlek   [ updated Oct 30, 2015, 8:12 PM ]


One (1) out of four (4) American adults have multiple chronic conditions including arthritis, Parkinson's Disease, Muscular Sclerosis and strokes to name just a few. For some or us, performing simple activities of daily living can seem daunting. Below is the first of a series of low impact aquatic exercises you can do on your own or with a caregiver to help increase muscle strength, balance and make every day living a little easier. For the first set of exercises, we're highlighting SQUATS.

Squats are an important exercise for not only increasing strength in your hips, thighs and buttocks, but enabling more ease with your activities of daily living. For those who experience significant pain just in standing or sitting, squats on land seem impossible. Sit-to-stand is a task that most people don’t think about, but the neuromuscular co-ordination required to get from sitting to standing is tremendous, and the power to lift your body weight using your legs is challenging. Here is are some adaptive technique you can do in the water that will allow you to comfortably develop muscle strength decreased weight and pain on your joints.

While we encourage you to call us for an appointment so we can develop an aquatic exercise program customized according to your specific health conditions, goals and needs, we encourage you to get started today using these simple exercises that you can do on your own.  

Squat Progressions in the Water

1. Squats holding onto wall

Enter the water. 

Holding the side rail or gutter, position your body facing the wall in mid-chest depth water.  

Keeping your knees over you heels, slowly squat down until your knees are at a 90 degree angle. 

Then slowly rise to an upright position.

Repeat 5 times.

YouTube Video


2. Squats with only fingertips on the wall

Next, repeat above, but only have your fingertips touching the wall as you do your squats. 

Repeat again 5 times.

YouTube Video


3. Squats with hands crossed at chest

This time, with your fingers interlocked at your chest.

Repeat 5 more squats.

YouTube Video


4. Squats while holding object

Staying in mid-chest depth of water, stand with your feet about 3 feet apart. (If it's uncomfortable, try standing with your feet closer together.)

Squat while holding a ball or a water dumbbell. 

Move your arms with your body - lower your arms as you move into squat position and raise them up over your head as you rise. 

Raise your arms only up to the point that you're comfortable. 

Repeat 5 times.

YouTube Video


5. Sumo Squat while shifting weight from side to side

Lastly, standing upright with your arms down by your sides, lift up your right knee and take a side step to the right into your squat position, bringing your arms up to the surface of the water. 

As you rise, lift up your left knee up and press your hands back down to your sides, gently returning to your upright position. 

Repeat going the other direction.  

Do it 5 times in each direction.

YouTube Video