Exercise is an important way in which we keep our bodies moving and working well. Sometimes it’s easy to get up, go to the gym and put in a good workout. Other times? It’s pretty difficult to make the trip. If you own a hot tub, we’ve got some good news for you. Instead of paying for an expensive membership, you can get a great workout without having to leave the comfort of your backyard.
Hot tubs make a great exercise space. The fact that you’re soaking in warm water also helps you to get a better stretch and relax sore or tense muscles. It’s a much more easy going method of exercise, in a quiet, tranquil environment. You really can’t go wrong!
But what kind of exercises can and should you try? The answer to this is both simple and complex. It’s simple because there are a ton of exercises that you can do in your hot tub, and we’ve got a list of our favorite below. It’s complex because only you know your comfort level. If any of the exercises we recommend don’t feel comfortable or weird when you attempt them (only after getting permission from your doctor, of course!), stop immediately or modify the exercise. The last thing you want to do is cause an injury.
This exercise is similar to riding a bike but you’re submerged in water instead of sitting on a bicycle.
- Sit on the edge of your hot tub seat
- Support yourself by holding onto the hot tub or a rail (if available)
- Raise your legs and start peddling through the water as if you were riding a bike
Challenge yourself to start bicycle kicking for at least 30 seconds. When you’ve achieved that goal, work your way up to 1 minute. From there, you can keep increasing your time until you’re a bicycle kicking champion.
Standing on Tiptoe
Standing on tiptoe helps to strengthen your feet and calve muscles. It also helps you to build your core and find better balance.
- Stand in the middle of your hot tub with your feet flat on the floor
- Raise yourself up onto your toes
- Lower yourself back down so that your feet are flat on the floor again.
At first, you might find it easier to put your hand on your hips or even to place a hand on the interior wall for balance. Eventually though, you’ll build enough strength to manage this exercise without any assistance.
Roll Your Shoulders
If you want an exercise that will help to promote circulation, shoulders make a great start to any routine. This exercise is simple and easy to do, and will also help to loosen tense neck, chest and shoulder muscles.
- Submerge your shoulders in the hot tub water
- Slowly roll your shoulders back
- Slowly roll your shoulders forward
If you suffer from joint pain, shoulder rolls help to decrease your discomfort and increase mobility. So, when you leave the hot tub, you’ll feel much better than when you stepped in!
Stand and Sit
This exercise doesn’t actually use your hot tub seats. It is actually very similar to squats. The only difference here is that you’re doing squats in warm water. The benefit here is that in your hot tub, the exercise is much easier on your knees.
- Extend your arms
- Tilt your hips back like you’re going to sit down
- Bend your knees until you are halfway down
- Return to a standing position
With this exercise, it’s important to use your stomach muscles and your legs as you bend and stand again. Move slowly and carefully to avoid hurting your back and really get a good stretch. For even more support, you can use one of the hot tub seats to sit into as you bend. This will also help you to keep your balance.
Rotate Your Torso
This exercise really helps to develop your core and abdominal muscles. For a better workout, remember to move slowly, and engage those muscles!
- Take a seat in your hot tub so that your shoulders are under water.
- Put your hands on your hips or cross them over your chest.
- Rotate to the left
- Rotate to the right
It helps to exhale while you slowly twist to the side. The number of rotations depends on your fitness level. Try starting with 10 rotations and work your way up from there.
Work Your Arms
This exercise helps to strengthen your arms and shoulders. It uses the resistance of the water, so you’ll have to push yourself a little bit harder, but not too much! Remember, you don’t want to injure yourself, so if you find doing too much of this exercise too difficult, start off doing a small number. You can always work your way up to more.
- Stand in the middle of your hot tub
- Put your arms out to either side
- Point your fingers toward the floor of the hot tub, raise your thumb towards the sky
- Move your hands towards each other under water until your palms touch
- Move your arms back out to your sides
Hot Tub Yoga
If you’re feeling a little more advanced after giving the above exercises a try, you can always turn to hot tub yoga for a challenge. Any form of yoga is a wonderful way to get a little exercise. What it’s really known for is strengthening muscles, and decreasing stress. When you add the heat of a hot tub, you get an even deeper stretch, while still building strength. You also significantly decrease your stress through your breathing and the yoga poses.
Similar to the exercises above, you want to make sure that you practice your yoga carefully. You don’t want to push yourself and cause any injury.
There are many resources online for different yoga poses you can try in your hot tub. You can try these by yourself, or if your tub is large enough, with a partner or friend. It’s really a wonderful way to exercise and find a deeper sense of calm.
Before you start exercising in your hot tub, it’s important to check with your doctor to determine if it’s a good idea. This is especially important if you’ve suffered from any heat intolerance, heart disease, or dehydration issues (currently or in the past). If you are pregnant, it’s likely not a good idea for you to participate in hot tub exercises. There is a chance you could overheat and faint, or harm you baby. Again, it’s best to check with your doctor before giving these hot tub exercises a try.
If at any time you feel sick, dizzy or lightheaded, stop immediately. Remember, spending any time in a hot tub will dehydrate you. Therefore, it’s important to drink lots of water if you plan on exercising in your hot tub.
If you’re cleared to exercise in your hot tub, start with a light warm up before you dive into your exercise. This will help to loosen your muscles so that when you start your exercises, they’re ready and you won’t hurt yourself. A few stretches and some light cardio should do the trick.
The most important thing you can do while exercising in your hot tub is to relax and enjoy yourself! You’re moving and working to strengthen your body. There isn’t anything better than that, especially when you can do it from your very own backyard.