Pool Stretches for Healthy Joints

Sunday, January 23 2022

Stretch away tension, muscle soreness and achy joints with a big and bold flexibility routine that is divided in three segments, upper body, lower body, balance and small joints.  Eliza Young and AquaGym Fitness are back with Stretch Flex ROM, a follow-up video that is designed to promote healthy joints and functional fitness by increasing the range of motion (ROM) of the dynamic stretches.

Poolfit provides a wide variety of water workouts, designed for all ability levels and fitness goals.  Clearly, the HIIT and cardio workouts are the most popular, but cardiorespiratory endurance and body composition are just two of the five essential components of fitness that comprise optimal physical health.  Flexibility and muscular endurance & strength are equally important.  For example, if you lacked flexibility, you wouldn’t be able to do a HIIT workout in the pool without injuring yourself.  As we age, we often encounter an endless cycle of pain, stiffness and injury due to a lack of flexibility in our muscles and joints.  Consequently, our ability to exercise becomes limited by pain and injuries.  Making flexibility training a consistent part of your exercise routine can help you avoid this cycle of chronic and acute injury.     

The first Stretch Flex video with Eliza posted in April 2021 and was ranked by some subscribers as one of their favorite videos in the Poolfit summer survey.  In the blog for that video, Eliza shared that her inspiration for Stretch Flex began in a tank of water while she was undergoing aquatic rehab for orthopedic issues.  Due to an overexposure to Vitamin A as an infant, Eliza endured months in the hospital and over 20 surgeries on her legs due to severe deformities.  After being told she would be wheelchair bound as an adult, she proved her doctors wrong by dedicating herself to fitness and a healthy lifestyle, including a passion for yoga and water exercise.  If you missed Eliza talking about her journey in the first Stretch Flex blog, WATCH the video below.   

As mentioned above, flexibility is one of the essential components of fitness and applies to both muscles and the joints that move the muscles. One cannot be separated from the other.  The purpose of Stretch Flex ROM is to go deeper into the stretches for enhanced joint mobility.  Similar to the recently posted Flexibility in Motion, Stretch Flex showcases dynamic flexibility as opposed to static stretching.  Muscles are attached to joints, and as movements are performed with a full ROM in a slower, controlled cadence, improvements in both muscular flexibility and joint mobility are achieved.

Stretch Flex’s signature style is that movements are performed with repetition for a longer period of time in order to connect mind and breath to the exercise.  Designed with yoga-inspired concepts, the large flowing movements are paired with breath work to create a meditative, tension-releasing experience in the pool.  Watch Eliza talk more about the Stretch Flex ROM routine. 

Stretch Flex ROM can and should be used in conjunction with other Poolfit workouts.  Consider either adding some extra stretching after a cardio workout or devote a couple days a week to just flexibility training.  Don’t be intimidated by the 54-minute duration of the video.  You can just do ONE of the three segments.  For example, if your shoulders are bothering you, just do the upper body segment.  If your hips are feeling tight, then just do the lower body segment.  Below are the time codes of the three segments to better assist you in splitting the routine up.

Upper Body:  Total time – 20 minutes.  Start:  1:19   Finish:  21:52
Lower Body:  Total time – 20 minutes.  Start:  21:53  Finish: 42:18
Balance & Small Joints:  Total time – 10 minutes.  Start:  42:19  Finish: 53:43

Pool extends a big thank you to Eliza for offering up her own stretching routine, one that has helped her overcome her own physical limitations. We hope you enjoy some mindful and meditative stretching and that you reap the benefits of better movement, decreased pain and less stress.

Author: Mark Grevelding is the founder of Fitmotivation. He is also a training specialist and consultant with the Aquatic Exercise Association’s (AEA). Mark has been active in the fitness industry for 22 years as a group fitness instructor, personal trainer, international presenter and a continuing education provider for AEA, AFAA & ACE.