Deep Water Exercise in a Pool (Aquatic Therapy) – Ask Doctor Jo

Whee! Hey everybody, it’s Doctor Jo. As you
can see for the aquatic therapy exercises, we have moved to the deep end. I’m kind of
lounging around. These big noodles, there thicker than the normal noodles. They’re probably
the best thing to use, and you can get them for about 4-5 dollars at a dollar general
store. They hold you up really well. You wanna be upright with all the deep water exercises.
A lot of people will float on their back, but to really get the stretch in your upper
body/trunk area, you have to be in an upright position. To help out with that, wear some
ankle weights. That will help you stay straight down. Mine are about a pound and a half each,
3 pounds total. You might want to start off with just that, but you can work your way
up and it will give you a little more stretch in the deep end. I wouldn’t go any higher
than 5 pounds on each side though. First exercise is just a simple bicycle exercise. Just simulating
riding a bike. Again, your body needs to be upright, and then you’re just going to pull
your knees up and kick down in a circular motion, like you’re riding a bike. You’ll
probably go forward, so you can do laps in the deep end if you want to. Start off with
just 2 minutes, but you want to work your way up to about 5 minutes of doing this. After
you do that, keep your legs nice an straight. Now you want to lock out your knees. If you
pull your toes up, that will help keep your knees locked out the whole time. Now just
with your lower body, your legs, do a jumping jack movement. You don’t have to use your
arms. Some people want to, but this is really just getting the motion down there. So this
jumping jack movement is going to take you backwards. So you can do backwards laps if
you want to. Just start off with about 2-3 minutes again, and work your way up to about
5 minutes. So the next exercise is going to be a scissor kick or cross country kick. Keep
your knees locked out again. Pull your toes up to help lock them out, and just go front
to back. Try not to bend those knees. Really stretch your legs front to back. Again, do
that for about 2-3 minutes. After you’re done with that, you do the fun part. Which is what
we call hanging, but what I talk to you a lot about in other videos is the traction.
So if you have some back pain, and your back’s sore, this is a great way to get some traction
in your back. Relax your body. Let those legs hang down. Let the weights pull and put some
tension on your back. The noodle will hold you up, and just relax. If you have the time,
do that 8-10 minutes. Those were your deep water aquatic therapy exercises. If you have
any questions, leave them in the comments section. If you would like to check out some
other videos, go to askdoctorjo.com. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
Remember be safe, have fun, and I hope you feel better soon!

Joseph Wolf


  1. Do the aquatic therapy suitable to the knee after post orthoscopy meniscus repair doctor?

  2. Definitely!! As long as your scope sites are healed, the water would really help!!

  3. hi doc, its a wonderful video, thanks for this video……….one question – if knees r in bad condition and as well as in knee replacement stage, then in this case using ankle weight for them is advisable to increase the strength of their leg muscles?

  4. Yes! I would definitely use ankle weights. Even if you have to get a knee replacement, you want your muscles to be as strong as possible before the surgery. It will make your recovery afterwards much easier! Good luck!

  5. I tried traction twice in physiotherapy and every time I did it I ended up in worse condition than before. These were old traction technique where they put a belt around the waist which has some ropes attached to it and they hang weights (18 lbs). I just wanted to ask if this pool traction was something different, I'm 233 lbs, 5 ft 11 and I have a L5-S1 disc bulge since 3 months.

  6. I do think it is different. Many times in any traction machine, it is really hard to relax, and this is needed to get good traction. The whole point is that your muscles are relaxed to open up the disc spaces. I think it is definitely worth a try! Good luck!!

  7. Hi Dr. Jo!   wonderful inspriation to an old injured gal needing to take it more easy!  Do I use ankle wts with sand under water?   Seems like the sand would mildew .    If not,  where do I get the water ankle wts?  

  8. Disclaimer alert!!! Disclaimer alert!!! Just kidding 😉 Love that trademark opening 🙂 Anyhow, are those ankle weights specific for water use via water proof? I just did some of these exercises and they felt great. Love the underwater camera view, very helpful!

  9. Hi Dr Jo: without going into extreme details I have had multiple lumbar thoracic and cervical fusions. My only savings grace used to be my pool. I no longer have one where I live and am desperate to get back into one. I am immunosuppressed and thus can't use public pools. With all this in mind I've looked into Swim Spas. But I don't know how to either modify the jumping jacks or other exercises when the water is not deep enough or ensure the water is deep enough. So roughly I'm 5'11, how deep should the water be to both support my back and get a good workout? (Waist deep chest deep arm pit deep?) Are there belts that may "lift" me in the water allowing me to do deep water exercises without my good old 7ft depth? I'm fully understand you aren't aware of my situation which is why I'm asking in general. I.e. Should I be looking for 6ft depth or can I get away with 4ft? Thank you in advance!! Nadia

  10. thanks for the information, I just started aqua-size and would like a bit more, i need to strengthen my legs, i was told i need knee replacement surgery, also working n my weight, i have lost 100 lbs so far and another 100 to go. i will keep watching you , thanks so much. is 1 lbs ankle weights a good start?

  11. LOL i forgot to tell you I LOVE your "Disclaimer Alert" ha ha well done :o)

  12. Can these exercises be used for weight loss and muscle building? Would you recommend standing leg lifts with these weights as well? Thanks!

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