Stretching and Yoga in the Hot Tub? Yes!
You already know that soaking in your hot tub has multiple benefits.
From muscle relief, to relaxation, to increased circulation, pain reduction, and more family time, warm water hydrotherapy just keeps on giving. This is especially true if you take advantage of your spa every day.
Today, we look at stretching and yoga in the hot tub because these are two more ways for you to leverage your hot tub benefits!
First, let’s look at some benefits:
Reduce Muscle Damage
A study by the Journal of Athletic Training found that “Leg immersion in warm water before stretch-shortening exercise reduced most of the indirect markers of exercise-induced muscle damage, including creatine kinase activity in the blood, muscle soreness, maximal voluntary contraction force, and jump height.”
What does this mean for you? It means that when you stretch in the hot tub you get these added benefits:
- You can potentially repair injury
- You’ll move better
- Plus, you’ll avoid injury
It’s a good idea to do both dynamic and static stretching in your hot tub. The warm water helps you stretch your muscles better because warm muscles stretch better. Not only will you have a better chance at avoiding injury, but you’ll increase your movement.
The buoyancy of the water also decreases any stress on your joints while the warm water makes your muscles stretch easier. You will also watch your flexibility improve.
Bottom line – stretching in the hot tub is easier on your body.
Be Careful When Stretching
The National Safety Council suggests you take the following precautions.
- Don’t overstretch or stretch if it hurts. Stretch within your comfort zone – it should never be painful.
- Relax as much as you can. If you are tense, you risk injuring yourself.
- Don’t stretch a cold muscle.
- Stretch slowly without quick movements or bouncing. Move slowly in and out of a stretching position.
- Pause in the stretching position for 10-30 seconds.
- Be consistent. Try stretching the same muscles regularly and for the same amount of time. Try to stretch after you exercise on a consistent basis.
Wondering what you can do to stretch more effectively in your spa? Let’s try Hot Tub Yoga. Here are a few suggestions from our friends over at Caldera Spas. Try them with and without jets to see what works best for you.
- In a seated position, place a strap or band around the ball of your foot as you hold each end of the strap.
- With your foot at a 90-degree bend, slowly extend your leg out in front of you until it is as straight as you can get it.
- Hold for 10-30 seconds, then bend your knee to your chest.
- Repeat three times and then switch legs.
Shoulder and Upper Arm Stretch
- Do this stretch to relieve tightness in the shoulders and upper back.
- Lift one arm overhead and bend your elbow so that your hand is behind you at your upper back.
- With your free hand, hold the tip of the elbow and gently pull it toward the center of your head.
- Release and repeat three times.
- Then do the same stretch on the other side.
- Sit upright and place the fingertips of both hands behind your head.
- Keep elbows forward and do not rest the weight of your arms on your head.
- Gently press forward with your fingertips while you drop your head against your chest. Be gentle!
- While sitting upright, point your elbow in front of you.
- With the other hand, hold the elbow and gently pull it across your chest until you feel tension (but no pain).
- Hold for 10 seconds and repeat five times.
- Switch arms.
- Seated with your arms at your side, cross your wrists in your lap.
- Pull your shoulders forward until you feel tension and hold for six seconds.
- Then slowly pull your shoulders back as far as possible like a swan and hold for 6 seconds.
- Repeat several times.
Lower Back Stretch
- Try this stretch if your hot tub has a lounge seat.
- With your knees in the bent position, begin slowly leaning forward. Let your hands slide down your legs for support.
- When you begin to feel tightness in your lower back, hold your position for 10-30 seconds.
- Again, be gentle and avoid any pain. If it hurts, stop!
Hot Tub Wall-Facing Leg Stretch Exercise
- Here’s a great stretch from Andrew J. Cole, MD and Bruce E. Becker, MD, MS on the website Spine-Health.
- This exercise targets the spine, full back and shoulders.
- Assume a “Superman” position with hands resting on side of the hot tub and the body and legs outstretched into and supported by water.
- Gently and slowly raise the head to look upwards. Stop if there is any pain.
Stretching and yoga are just a few more benefits of your hot tub, and there are many.
The overwhelming benefits of warm water hydrotherapy are second to none. We’d love to talk with you more about these benefits and how through combination of hot water, the action of the jets, and some gentle stretching, you will feel better, start to notice an improvement in flexibility, and less aches and pains.
At Ultra Modern, you’ll find Caldera Spas, Hot Spring Spas, and more. Intersted? Stop by today or contact us below!
As always, this advice does not replace advice from your medical professional. Always consult your doctor before beginning any stretching or exercise regimen.