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Types of Aquatic Shoulder Exercises

by
author image Dawndrea Huffman
Dawndrea Huffman has been writing professionally since 2010, with her work appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM. She has been a physical therapist assistant in Longview, Texas, and she has clinical experience dealing with adults and children who have neurological and orthopedic defects using various forms of therapy techniques. She is a graduate of the Kilgore physical therapist assistant program.
Types of Aquatic Shoulder Exercises
Aquatic therapy can be very beneficial for shoulder pain and injury. Photo Credit happy girl swimming in a pool image by Galina Barskaya from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Aquatic therapy can be very beneficial for shoulder pain and injury. Performing your shoulder exercises in water provides relaxation and pain relief for the shoulder muscles, and the water's natural buoyancy will assist you in completing a normal range of motion otherwise inhibited by pain. Several precautions and contraindications should be noted. They are fever, cardiac failure, urinary tract infections, open wounds, infectious diseases, contagious skin rashes and excessive fear of water.

Shoulder Flexion/Extension

Begin with your shoulders submerged in the water and your arms straight out in front of you at the surface of the water. Your palms should be down and your fingers together. Keeping your arm straight, move your arm in a downward direction until the palm touches the front of your thigh. Return the arm to the surface of the water and repeat with the opposite arm. Repeat 1 to 2 minutes, taking care to keep an upright posture throughout the exercise. In order to increase the resistance felt in this exercise, simply open the fingers of your hand, creating a little more surface area to be pushed through the water.

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Shoulder Internal Rotation/External Rotation

Begin with your shoulders submerged in the water and elbows bent at a 90-degree angle. Your hands should be in a loose fist. Keeping your shoulder and elbow parallel with the bottom of the pool, rotate your fist first away from your body as far as you comfortably can and then rotate your fist in toward your body as you bring your fist to your stomach. Repeat 1 to 2 minutes, taking care to keep an upright posture throughout the exercise. In order to increase the resistance felt in this exercise, simply open the fingers of your hand, creating a little more surface area to be pushed through the water.

Shoulder Abduction/Adduction

Begin with your shoulders submerged in the water and your arms straight at your side. Your palms should be facing forward and your fingers together. Keeping your arm straight, move your arm out to the side toward the surface of the water as far as you comfortably can. Return your arm back down to your side and repeat with the other arm. Repeat 1 to 2 minutes, taking care to keep an upright posture throughout the exercise. In order to increase the resistance felt in this exercise, simply open the fingers of your hand, creating a little more surface area to be pushed through the water.

Warning

You should always consult your physician before beginning any exercise regimen. These exercises are not to be any part of a rehabilitation program without a physician's consent.

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References

  • "Introduction to Physical Therapy"; Michael A. Pagliarulo; 2001
  • "Therapeutic Techniques"; Carolyn Kisner and Lynn Allen Colby; 1996
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