Hydrotherapy


I had an interesting thought in the hydrotherapy pool on Friday. I don’t know what it is about exercise but I have to get my brain churning over something while I’m doing it or the pain and boredom have me climbing the walls in moments.

Oh, the thought? It was that doing the same exercise in the pool with a float uses entirely different muscles than doing it on the dry with a weight.

Think about it. Let’s take an arm curl (which happens to be what I was doing in the water). When you are on dry land gravity assists you in the movement of your hand from your shoulder down to your hip and it is the movement up from hip to shoulder that takes real effort. Now stand in water up to your neck and replace the weight with a barbell made from floatie foam. Now the movement up is assisted by the buoyancy of the float and it is the downwards movement against the buoyancy that takes effort.

Now when you take that into account you realise that you are working totally different muscles, indeed you are working muscles that are hard to work on dry land without using some sort of machine.

I also realised that some of the things that are easy on land are harder in water, even walking, due to the higher resistance of water against air.

OK, not an earth shattering thought, but interesting. Perhaps when I have fully recovered from my hip replacement and no longer go to hydrotherapy at the hospital I’ll have to find somewhere to do pool exercises on top of going to the gym. One thing that hydrotherapy has convinced me is that I am unfit and need to exercise more.

 

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