Pool Workout for Healthy Joints

Wednesday, May 22 2024

Enjoy a pool workout that includes steady-state cardio, HIIT, muscle conditioning, pool noodle barre exercises and core training. Sounds like many of the other 225+ pool workouts on the Poolfit App, right?  The difference is that Healthy Joints & Water Exercise is designed with range-of-motion (ROM) exercises to keep your joints healthy and supple.

First and foremost, this 50-minute water exercise video is not an arthritis class. This is a regular high-energy shallow water workout that provides total body results for cardio and muscular endurance. However, this workout is stocked with arm and leg movements from the Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program (AFAP). Young or old, fit or sedentary, everyone benefits from maintaining joint elasticity and ROM. Failure to do so leads to stiffness and pain, and eventually injury and disability.

Video Inspiration
Recently, I presented sessions at the International Aquatic Fitness & Therapy conference (IAFTC). Instructors from around the world attend this conference to learn from the world’s top aquatic fitness professionals. Among the sessions I taught was Healthy Joints & Aquatic Fitness. My goal was to show instructors that they could include AFAP exercises in any class component and format. I wanted to demonstrate that they could include these range-of-motion exercises in their warm-ups, cardio, HIIT, muscle conditioning, noodle work, core training, cool downs and more. And if they could, they should. Doing so helps their students maintain healthy joints. Since I had already created this workout for instructors, I decided to share it on Poolfit.  Below is a photo taken after the conference session.

What happens when joints become unhealthy

  • Pain & stiffness
  • Limited range of motion (ROM)
  • More prone to injury and chronic disability
  • Inability to perform regular activities and diminished quality of life.

What causes joints to become unhealthy?

  • Osteoarthritis (wear & tear)
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Injury
  • Obesity
  • Autoimmune diseases (lupus, rheumatoid arthritis)

How can you keep your joints healthy?

  • Move!
  • Make joint ROM exercises a part of your regular exercise routine
  • Choose low impact exercise
  • Strength training
  • Muscular flexibility
  • Stay safe and avoid injury
  • Maintain a healthy weight & diet

AFAP Exercises
Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program (AFAP) exercises are specifically designed to move your joints through their full range of motion, including jaw, cervical spine, shoulders, elbows, wrists, fingers, lumbar spine, hip, knee, ankle and toes. Including these exercises in your fitness routine provides a total body tune-up for your joints, keeping them lubricated and functioning with a full ROM. 

Pool Workout-at-a-Glance
Healthy Joints and Water Exercise is a 50-minute pool fitness video that is divided into seven segments. All the exercises in each of these segments were designed with arm and leg AFAP movements.
Segment 1: Warm-up
Segment 2: Cardio/Add-On
Segment 3; Interval/HIIT Training
Segment 4: Muscle Conditioning
Segment 5: Noodle Barre Work
Segment 6: Core Training
Segment 7: Cool Down, Stretch, Joint Tune-Up
Watch Mark talk more about the Healthy Joints and Water Exercise routine in the video below



Keeping your joints healthy is important at any age
Without doubt, many Poolfit subscribers will scroll past this workout on the app. They will skip it because they believe it is for old people with arthritis. Instead, they will select one of their favorite HIIT water workouts. They will do this over and over until one day they injure themselves in one of their favorite HIIT workouts. The injury will likely occur because they lack the joint elasticity and muscular flexibility to participate in those advanced workouts. To be the best and healthiest version of yourself, balance out your workouts and take the opportunity to follow along with videos that promote stretching and joint range-of-motion. Keeping your joints supple and your muscles flexible will help you move better, feel better and live better. I am confident that after you do this workout you will feel like every part of your body has been moved and revitalized. And if you do feel like that…please tell others. You knew that was coming right?  Mark is once pleading for you to consider helping us by leaving a review in the App Store or Play Store. It would be huge help to us as we gear up for the busy season.

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.