If you are experiencing back pain, you likely have searched for all kinds of different solutions. Not only can back pain be a severe discomfort, but it can limit your ability to enjoy life.
Hot tubs and swim spas can help to relax your body and alleviate pain. This creates the perfect opportunity to perform a stretching routine that can help to ease the tension in your back and get you back to feeling great.
In this article, we will provide you with five of the best stretches to do in hot tubs and swim spas to help ease your back pain. Keep reading to learn more about stretching in the spa!
How Hot Tubs and Swim Spas Can Help Back Pain
There are lots of ways that your back can become strained and sore throughout the day. Maintaining poor posture for a prolonged period is a common cause of back pain.
Other causes can include:
- Improper heavy lifting
- Injury or trauma to the muscles and joints
- Strain from staring down at a computer, phone, or keyboard
- Contact sports
No matter how your back pain came to be, we know looking for a solution can feel overwhelming. Rather than wasting time and money trying every cream, ointment, or heating pad, the right solution for you might be investing in a hot tub or swim spa.
Hot tubs are known for being a pinnacle of relaxation and healing – but that’s not all they are good for! Following a stretching routine while sitting in a spa can greatly boost the effects of the stretch.
As for swim spas, not only are they great for stretching routines, but they can even accommodate more involved workouts as well! Working out regularly can help to alleviate back pain by strengthening your muscles and core. This helps to prevent unwanted or unexpected strains and injuries.
Benefits to Your Health and Wellness
There are many benefits of owning a hot tub, especially when it comes to your health.
These benefits can include:
- Reduced stress, anxiety, and emotional turmoil
- Relief of pain and tension in muscles and joints
- Improved circulation
- Relaxation and improved sleep
- Boosted energy and endorphin levels
Additionally, modern hot tubs and swim spas are much more energy-efficient and are often produced with recycled or recyclable materials. This allows you to enjoy the comfort of your spa while maintaining a low environmental impact.
The Importance of Stretching for Your Health
When parts of your body are in pain, oftentimes it is your muscles and joints becoming tense and tight. Think of this as your body begging for movement.
Stretching matters for this very reason. It provides both static and dynamic movements for your body, allowing you to maintain a higher level of stamina and strength.
According to Harvard Health, benefits of stretching can include:
- Maintaining muscular strength
- Increasing flexibility
- Improving range of motion in joints
- Protection against physical injury
By following a regular stretching routine, back pain can not only be alleviated but potentially eliminated.
5 Great Hot Tub and Swim Spa Stretches for Back Pain
Below we have detailed 5 of our favorite stretches to perform in a hot tub or swim spa.
We recommend adding these to a stretch routine or creating a stretch routine from them. While stretching every day will do your body the most benefit, we suggest following a stretching routine at least three days a week. Before beginning your stretch routine, soak in the warm water and in front of the hydrotherapy jets to allow your body to relax and your muscles to warm up.
Without further ado, here are our top stretches to do in the spa:
1. Hamstring Stretch
We know what you’re thinking – why is the first stretch to help my back pain a leg stretch? The truth is, that the muscles in your legs have a significant impact on the muscles in your back.
If you are experiencing back pain in your lower back, there’s a good chance it could be related to the tightness in your legs! When your hamstrings are tight, this causes your pelvic bone to tilt backward. As a result, this puts strain on the lower vertebrae in your back.
The beauty of the hamstring stretch is that it can be done within limited space, making it ideal for a spa stretching session.
To do the hamstring stretch, follow these steps:
- Sit in your spa with your back flat against the side, legs bent at a ninety-degree angle and feet touching the floor.
- Raise one leg until it is sticking straight out in front of you. Flex the foot so the toes are pointing to the ceiling.
- Reach with outstretched arms towards the toes of your feet on your straight leg. Your back should remain straight and shoulders down while reaching.
- Once you have reached as far as you can, hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds.
- Repeat these steps on the other leg.
2. Cat Stretch
In yoga, this type of stretch is known as the Cat-Cow or Bitilasana pose.
This pose specifically targets the muscles in your back, torso, and neck while also helping to strengthen your core. With the proper breathing, the pose can also help to open up your chest and enable better breathing.
In the traditional pose, you would position yourself with your hands and knees on the ground, back parallel to the floor.
To do the pose in a hot tub or spa, you should sit straight with your back against the side of the spa. Your legs should be bent at a ninety-degree angle with your hands on your knees. Once in this position, you will perform the following steps:
- Begin by exhaling. Round your back, bringing your stomach and belly button inwards. You should squeeze and tighten your abdomen as you do so.
- Bow your head towards your chest and continue rounding until you feel the tightness of the stretch. This should be mildly uncomfortable, but not painful.
- Hold the rounded position for 5 to 10 seconds.
- After holding, inhale and slowly transition by stretching in the opposite direction, moving your belly button and stomach towards the ground, pushing the pubic bone forward as well.
- Stretch your neck backward and allow your face to look towards the ceiling.
- Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds.
Repeat these steps with slow transitions from one position to the other. You can repeat these movements as many times as you would like, but we recommend at least 5 repetitions.
3. Torso Twists
It is important in any stretching routine to include dynamic movements. Torso twists are a great example of a dynamic movement you can easily do within a hot tub or swim spa.
During this movement, not only are you stretching your back but you are also activating your core. This makes it both a great stretch and a great warm-up before more rigorous exercise. Not only will this stretch your back muscles, but it also stretches your chest and shoulders.
Including this stretch into a routine can help reduce back pain and improve your overall mobility. Plus, it can help you to improve your stability and core strength as well.
Here are the steps for doing a torso twist:
- A torso twist can be done from either a seated or a standing position. You should be planted on the ground rather than floating when performing this stretch, so if your spa is too deep for you to firmly stand, using a seat may be better.
- If you are standing, space your feet a shoulder’s width apart. For the seated version, sit with your back straight up against the side of the spa, shoulders relaxed.
- Place your hands on your hips or behind your head.
- Without moving your hips, twist your torso by looking over your shoulder and slowly turning your body in that direction.
- Once you feel a tight stretch, slowly move back to the starting position and begin turning in the opposite direction.
- Continue this back and forth movement for 5 to 10 repetitions.
4. Bear Hug
Who doesn’t enjoy a big hug? In this stretch, you will be the one giving and receiving the hug!
The bear hug pose helps to stretch your upper back muscles and shoulders. This stretch can be especially useful for those of you who regularly engage your back through physical labor or sports. An added benefit of this pose is that it can help to alleviate discomfort caused by poor posture.
Like the torso twist, the bear hug stretch can be done either standing or sitting within your spa.
To give yourself a bear hug, follow these steps:
- From either your standing or sitting position, stretch your arms straight out from your shoulders on both sides.
- Cross your arms in front of your body until your hands can touch on or around your shoulders. The further back you can reach, the deeper the stretch!
- Once you have crossed your arms, keep a loose grip and hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds.
- Release your grip and let your arms swing – or in this case, float. This ensures proper blood flow through your arms following the hold.
- Repeat this sequence 5 to 10 times
Pro Tip: If you want to give this stretch an extra kick, try combining it with the torso twist movement!
Here’s a stretch that is perfect for adding to a swim spa routine.
The Superman stretch is truly a super move. Not only can it help to alleviate back pain, but it also engages your glutes, hamstrings, and core. This move does require enough space for you to lay flat, hence why it is the ideal stretch for swim spas.
Depending on how big of a stretch you choose to do, this movement can also be used as a core exercise to build into a workout routine. For workouts, you will likely want to do more repetitions!
Here are the steps for doing a Superman pose in a swim spa:
- With your stomach facing down into the water and legs floating behind you, grab onto the side of your swim spa. Ideally, your arms will be fully outstretched.
- Arch your back, lifting your chest upwards. Lift your face towards the ceiling.
- Slowly lift your legs up and out of the water, supporting them with your glutes and core.
- Hold this position for 10 seconds, or for as long as you can. You may need to build up extra stamina for longer holds of this pose!
- Repeat 5 times for stretching routines. More repetitions are recommended for workout routines.
How to Choose Between a Hot Tub and a Swim Spa
So you’ve decided to get a hot tub or swim spa to start an overall wellness and spa stretching routine. How do you choose between the two?
Consider these 3 factors when choosing between a hot tub and a swim spa:
- Size: Swim spas are larger than hot tubs, as they include a deeper pool to float and exercise in. As such, you need to consider how much space you have in your backyard and what size will fit best.
- Price: Though both products can vary, standard hot tubs are typically less expensive than standard swim spas. If you are working with a tighter budget, you may prefer to purchase a hot tub.
- Desired Activity: Hot tubs and swim spas can both accommodate stretching routines. However, if you are interested in more workout and exercise activities, a swim spa may be the right choice for you.
Get the Hot Tub or Swim Spa of Your Dreams at Imagine Backyard Living
If you enjoyed this article and found it helpful, don’t forget to check out the rest of our blog! The Imagine Backyard Living blog strives to help you get the most out of your backyard. From the best poolside workout to explaining the parts of a gas grill, we have you covered.
Plus, our team knows about more than just hot tubs and swim spas – they also work with experts in landscape design and installation! With Imagine Backyard Living, you can achieve your ideal outdoor space on your terms. We work with you to determine what products, brands, and landscaping solutions will best fit your budget and space.
Imagine Backyard Living is located in Scottsdale, Arizona. Get in touch today by calling us at (480) 607-3529 or visit us at our 15,000 square foot state-of-the-art showroom!