5 Pool Workouts for Injured Athletes

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Author Name: Mia Barnes
Date: Thursday November 15, 2018

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Being an athlete means grueling through intense workouts — which often indicates putting oneself at an increased risk for injury, too. If you’re a self-proclaimed athlete, you’re all too familiar with the hurt and damage commonly associated with your sport. Do you know how beneficial pool workouts for athletes who are injured can be?

Although a sprained wrist or a shin splint may seem like you’ll have to hang in your towel until you’re feeling better, this may not entirely be the case. While your physician may recommend you stay off the fields until you experience a full recovery, that doesn’t mean you can’t transfer your workout regimen over to the pool.

When you submerge yourself in water, you can perform activities that may feel more strenuous or exhausting when done on land without feeling the same strain or discomfort. Since water is buoyant, you won’t experience anywhere near the same level of impact that you feel in the gym.

So if you’re looking for pool workouts for athletes who are injured, we’d say you’re off to a great start.

Pool Workouts for Athletes Who Are Injured

Although injuries may be inconvenient, that doesn’t mean they also signify a complete end to your workout routine, too. While it’s crucial to rest your body to help it repair, it’s also vital to build your strength and stamina by keeping in motion.

Not sure how? Here’s a look at 5 simple pool workouts for athletes who are injured but want to maintain their fitness in the water until they’re ready for the land.

Underwater Walking

When examining sports-related injuries on athletes and competitors, the most commonly afflicted areas involve the lower body — which often means simple everyday acts such as walking become a pain.

Walking on a treadmill may have played a vital role in your workout regimen before your injury. But just because you’ve experienced a wound or damage doesn’t mean you can’t stick with your walking habits, either. The water adds resistance that’ll strengthen your muscles while putting less pressure on your joints, too.

If you’ve just had a surgery or your injury still causes a great deal of pain, use the side of the pool to support you as you walk the parameter of the pool. Remember to pace yourself and go at your own rate. Once you develop your strength, try high-knee running to help better prepare you for getting back on the field.

Knee to Elbow

Sometimes, your training regimen should be simple — especially if you’re injured. Fortunately, a quick knee-to-elbow workout will allow just the right amount of stretching and strengthening without requiring unnecessary aching or pain, too.

Start with your arms extended outwards and bent at the elbow. Bend your right knee until it touches your left elbow by slightly twisting your torso towards your knee. Then, bend your left knee towards your right elbow and repeat these steps for as many reps as you can.
This exercise will assist injuries centered in the back while building up the strength throughout your leg muscles, too.


As the name of this top pool workout for athletes implies, aquabiking consists of enjoying the feeling of riding a bike while under water. If you’re prone to knee pain while enjoying a cycling session on land, consider taking your bike rides to the pool to experience less aggravation while still getting in a heart-pumping cardio session.

For athletes who don’t want to worsen their injuries but who still want to remain active, aquabiking provides a myriad of different health benefits that’ll keep them active yet safe while striving to heal their trauma. Can’t find an aquabiking class near you? Support your arms on the border of the pool and mimic the motions of cycling instead.

Arm Raises

Shoulders injuries are rampant in athletes. Whether you’re suffering from a dislocation, strain or a case of misalignment, your shoulders may not feel quite as strong or toned as they should.

Although you may not feel up to the challenge of working these vitals muscles on land, the pool provides you with the ideal environment to push your flexibility without straining yourself in the process, too.

Begin by holding your arms at your side and bending your elbows at a 90-degree level. Slowly raise your arms through the water, lower them, and gradually repeat. Once you build up your strength, use webbed gloves to add more resistance to your reps.

Step Climbing

You know that the benefits of taking the stairs are enough to make you skip the elevator on a regular basis. While climbing a flight of stairs may not seem ideal given your current circumstances, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy similar health perks while in the water, too.

Place a stepper platform in the pool and carefully step up and down one leg at a time. If that seems too easy, bring your knee up to your chest every time you step onto the bench.

Injuries can be heartbreaking, especially when they prevent you from engaging in the daily physical activities you love. The next time you suffer a sprain, broken born or torn muscle, be sure to try these pool workouts for athletes to aid you in your recovery.

You’ll quickly find that sometimes, the key to getting back on your feet may just be as simple as taking a dip in the pool instead.

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