Back pain is common for those who stand or sit a lot. You can ease your back pain with some exercises. Water exercises for back pain are an easier and more effective option. 

We have compiled the most effective water exercises to ease your back pain. Follow these guidelines to reap the full benefits.

Also, see our guide on the best water exercises for seniors. 

Water exercises for back pain

1. Water walking 

How to do water walking:

The water is at your hips. From one end to the other, walk around the pool. Swing your arms while moving forward and backward. Do five repetitions. 

Start jogging when your back is stronger. 

Side note: Keep the torso stable and spine straight as you walk.

2. Superman

This exercise will help relieve joint pain by strengthening your hip extensors, and glutes. 

This exercise will require a noodle.

To perform the Superman pose, hold a noodle in front of your face and then lie down in water. Make sure your elbows and knees are straight.
Hold the position for about 3–5 seconds. Do five repetitions.

3. Flutter kick

The flutter kick strengthens your lower abs, hipflexors, and quads. 

Begin by sitting at the edge of your pool, extending your legs as far forward as you can with your toes pointed forward. Next, kick from your hips and make small splashes at top of water. As you do this, keep your knees straight. 

For a more advanced exercise, hold onto the pool wall using both your hands and with your belly facing down. To extend your vertebrae, and strengthen your back muscles, stick your legs out of the water. Continue the same kick, but bend your knees slightly.

You can put your face in the water occasionally to relax your neck.

4. Stretch your knees

Stand at the shallow side of the pool. As you lift your knees, start marching. Slowly and steadily march in place. Do ten reps. 

5. Knee-to-chest

To start, take a step into the pool. Hold onto the side with your righthand. Next, stand on your right foot with your left leg bent and your left knee slightly bent. Next, lift your left leg up to your chest and lower it back down. You can do five reps before switching sides.

6. Kickboard balance

You can rest your legs in water by placing your feet on a pool bar or a kickboard. Keep your spine straight and engage your abdominals. 

Next, raise your arms straight up and place them on the kickboards. Hold for 60 seconds. Do five repetitions.

You can also do the kickboard balance by kneeling down on the board.

7. One leg balance

This will help to engage your core muscles and back muscles, thus strengthening your lower back.

To perform:

Standing in water, chest-deep, in a balanced position. Lift the right foot forward to the ground in front of you so that you’re standing only on one foot. Continue the movement for 15 seconds, returning to your starting position. Alternate between both legs. Five reps

8. Noodle oblique twist

Place a noodle under your back and Lie down in the water. Your belly should be facing the sky, so hold onto the pool wall. Next, place your hands on the pool wall and hold your legs together. Bend your knees slightly to the side. Twist your hips from side to side.

Continue for 10 seconds—complete three reps.

9. Bicycle kicks

To stabilize, lean against a pool wall while holding a pair of noodle(s). Begin to kick by bending your knees slightly inward. Kick with your core. Do three sets of 20 reps.  

10. Dumbell punches

Standing in chest-high water, hold the dumbbells in your hands. Push the dumbbell forward and back. Three sets of 20 reps are required.

11. Bleak twist

Standing in water, shoulder-width apart. Stand with one arm straight and one bent on the kickboard at the other end. Alternate between your arms. Continue for fifteen seconds. Three sets are required.

12. Kickboard pushes

Standing in shoulder-high water. Stand with the kickboard in your hands and push it back and forward. This will strengthen your core, back, and core. Do three sets of 15-20 reps.

Stability requires that you keep one foot forward and one behind.

13. Elbow-to-knee

Standing in water, place your hips apart. To make contact with the water, raise your left knee and move your right elbow. As you do this, keep your spine straight. Alternate between elbows. 

Next, extend your right leg outwards and raise your left knee. Alternate between your ankles. Do five repetitions.

14. Step-up

With your feet hip-width apart, stand upright in the water. Place your left foot on a flat surface and then take a step towards the water. Return to the starting position. Perform five repetitions.

Safety tips water exercises

Here are some great tips for working out.

  1. Warm up first. You will be able to exercise more efficiently if you do light exercises.  
  2. Keep hydrated.
  3. Choose the right pool. The water should be shallow enough to allow you to swim comfortably.
  4. Consider purchasing swimming gear like goggles and water belts.
  5. Check the water temperature. The recommended temperature for water exercises is between 83-88 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Don’t move too fast. Don’t make very long strides or flexion if you aren’t comfortable with it. 

Final note

For the best results, you should exercise in a heated swimming pool. This will help to ease your pain and increase your spine mobility. It is important to slow down and take your time. You can also rest between sessions if you need to.

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