Swimming pools such as our iPools® and Fitmax® therapy pools offer great ways to build upper body and shoulder strength while reducing the risk of injury and stress on the joints and tendons.
One exercise that can be done in the pool without any additional equipment is the lateral raise. Starting with knees slightly bent simply raise your upper arms to your sides until your elbows are about shoulder length before coming back down. You can keep your palms open to provide added resistance as you move your arms upwards and back down to your sides. Performing this exercise in the water helps prevent the common mistake of swinging the weights and increasing chances of injury to the shoulders. Another advantage is that while dumbbells and cables can only provide tension on the upper arc of the exercise, performing this in water will provide resistance both in raising and lowering your arms. This exercise will help provide more definition and strength to your shoulder muscles while taking advantage of the natural resistance of the water. To provide even greater resistance and strength building, you can also use our Spabells® which have three different sized fins (vanes) for even greater resistance.
Another exercise that can be performed is the single front barbell raise. You can also perform this exercise in the pool without equipment. Stand with your knees slightly bent, raise your arm in front of you to shoulder height with your palm open down before lowering and raising the other arm. Just like with the lateral raise doing this in the water or with our Spabells will you give resistance and strength building throughout the entire arc of motion both when you lift your arm and bring your arm back down. Besides strengthening the shoulders, this exercise can help strengthen your wrists as well.
These are just some examples of the types of exercises that can be performed in a pool besides swimming. Although swimming works out almost all the muscles of the body, you can focus to work on the shoulders exclusively and take the advantage of the water added resistance in ways that dumbbells or even cables cannot provide.