Swim spas have changed home exercise, making it easy for people to have a quality workout in their backyard, all year round, no matter the weather.
Many people suffer from mobility issues, long-term injuries or simply need a gentle way to support their health journey, but not everyone has the space for a pool to meet that need.
That’s where a swim spa can be a welcome addition, making gentle fitness accessible while providing a way to rehab the body afterward, giving you lasting benefits to improve your everyday life!
Before we can begin breaking down how swim spas can help you and how you can use them, we first need to explain what they are!
What is a Swim Spa?
Swim spas are a hybrid between a traditional pool and a hot tub. They are compact, making them an easy addition to many backyards, and can be used year-round because their water is heated to the degree that prevents freezing.
These high-tech units have powerful jets to create a unique swim experience that amplifies the traditional benefits of swimming. You’ll be able to have a quality swim without your body ever moving forward in the water.
Simply set the current to your desired strength, and swim against it. The current allows you to swim as you would in a regular pool, pushing against your body to keep you in place as your swim.
Swims spas also include hot tub seating. Each model is different, and the hot tub seats will either be on one end of the swim spa or in each corner. Each seat is lined with powerful jets to give you all the benefits of lounging in a hot tub as the warm water eases your stress and the jets massage the muscles you just worked out.
The Benefits of Swim Spas
Because swim spas combine exercise with therapeutic hydrotherapy, you’ll experience a wide range of benefits that are usually only found through the use of multiple areas, like gyms, pools, and hot tubs.
However, because a swim spa combines each of those aspects into one unit, you can easily access their combined benefits from one place – your backyard!
Swim spas use heated water, a vital part of hydrotherapy. When this is combined with the use of jets to move the water while massaging your muscles, your body will release the tension it’s been holding, and you’ll be able to loosen your body from head to toe.
When relaxing in hot water, your blood vessels expand from the heat, giving you better circulation. This helps your blood move through your body more easily, allowing it to flush out toxins and oxygenate your muscles better.
Using the jets to massage your sore muscles will also help reduce your pain by stimulating blood to flow to the area, reducing inflammation, helping release the muscles, and providing long-lasting pain relief when used regularly.
As mentioned above, relaxing in warm water helps increase blood flow, helping it move better through your body to combat inflammation. Inflammation is also decreased because of the buoyancy of the water.
When you submerge yourself underwater, you make your body weightless. As you go through your day, your joints are constantly under pressure, keeping you upright and supporting the weight of your body so you can function.
This weight causes pressure on your joints, leading to inflammation and pain. Water is one of the most accessible ways to relieve that pressure and give your joints time to rest and heal. This greatly reduces the inflammation surrounding your joints.
This reduction in pressure also helps increase your mobility, making it easier to move your body.
Better Mobility and Flexibility
The warm water in your spa helps release your tight muscles and makes it easier for your body to move from the reduced pressure. This allows you to regain some flexibility and include exercises that will help you increase your mobility long-term.
You’ll feel more relaxed throughout the day with less pain and tension when you include some light stretching in your regular routine while using your swim spa, leading to a better range of motion and an increased quality of life.
Regular exercise can increase energy levels, but when paired with hydrotherapy and massage, your body releases more tension than during a typical post-workout stretch.
Between the heat from the water and the deep tissue massage from the jets, your tight muscles will begin to release. Over time, these muscles will maintain their relaxed state outside of the water.
When your body no longer directs your valuable energy resources to keep muscles tense from the stress and pain, you’ll notice a significant increase in your energy levels throughout the day.
This also helps you sleep better at night, allowing your body to rest fully and recover more efficiently.
In fact, a clinical study that examined the effects of passive heating through bathing discovered that women with insomnia had a deeper sleep with fewer interruptions just by including a soak in warm water before bed.
Lower Impact Workouts
Traditional cardio, such as running or jogging, can be tough on your joints. Even when done on a treadmill, your body is still experiencing significant impact each time your foot hits the ground. Over time, this can cause inflammation, pain, and occasionally damage to your joints.
Doing these exercises underwater can significantly decrease the amount of impact your body experiences, protecting your joints long-term.
The 6 Best Swim Spa Exercises
Many swim spas have textured or gripped surfaces on the floor. This makes it easy for them to be used for so many more exercises than just swimming! Here are some of the best swim spa exercises you can do in your swim spa to have a powerful, full-body workout.
This is the most obvious exercise you can do in your swim spa. Swimming is a great cardio exercise, and a swim spa can help you achieve a quality swim all year round, no matter the weather.
Swims spas can grow with you as you become stronger, giving them a unique way to help you train that can’t be found in a traditional pool. The water current can be adjusted to match your capabilities and can continue to be increased. This makes swim spas an ideal option for casual and professional swimmers alike.
Squats are easy to do in a swim spa. Simply stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and sit back, keeping your knees from going in front of your toes. Because swim spas include hot tub seating, you can use them to guide you through this exercise. Simply stand in front of one of the seats, and lower your body as if you were going to sit in the chair, stopping to hover above the seat. Then, stand back up.
Doing push-ups in water might seem strange at first, but swim spas are the perfect place to do this exercise, especially if you’re just beginning to add them into your routine.
Completing a push-up in an inclined position is an easy way to build your upper body strength and minimize the risk of hurting your shoulders when you do this exercise. Place your hands on the edge of the swim spa and lower yourself down, getting your chest as low as possible while keeping a tight core to maintain proper form.
You can try placing your hands farther or closer together to influence how difficult the pushup is and what muscles you’re working out. Try including a variety of pushups in your routine for a well-rounded set.
Swim spas have created a unique way for people to complete a low-impact jog that can be as difficult or easy as they want. Simply turn on the water current and set it to a strength that matches the speed you want to jog at. Then, run against the current as it keeps your body in one place, allowing you to push yourself to the limits without moving forward.
Many swim spas come with a way to attach resistance bands to them. This gives you a way to add exercises into your routine that can strengthen your upper body in the same way you would using weights.
Rowing is a powerful upper body workout, working your arms, chest, back, shoulders, and core. Once you’ve attached your resistance bands, pull them towards your body with both hands in a rowing motion, then slowly extend your arms in front of you again.
6. Flutter Kicks
Flutter kicks will help you easily workout your abs, and you’ll be feeling the burn in no time!
Sit on the end of one of the hot tub seats and lift your legs out in front of you, keeping them straight. Keep them flexed and kick them up and down. You’ll be strengthening your abs from the movement itself, while the resistance of the water makes it even more effective than it is when done outside the water.
Best 4 Swim Spa Accessories
Working out in a swim spa can strengthen your body in a fun way while also supporting your relaxation and recovery easily afterward.
Here are some accessories that can help you get the most enjoyment out of your swim spa.
1. Swim Spa Cover
Including a well-fitted cover for your swim spa will help keep your water warm while keeping your energy costs low. If you live in a cooler climate, make sure your cover is made of thick material that can withstand the cold.
2. Resistance Bands
Give yourself a challenging workout that goes beyond body weight exercises. Invest in a set that comes with multiple strengths so you can tailor your workouts to match your level.
3. Aromatherapy Products
Enhance your relaxation after a hard workout by including some hot-tub-safe aromatherapy products to help you relax and recover.
4. Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
Everyone has a favorite playlist they put on when they hit the gym. Investing in a waterproof Bluetooth speaker will let you crank up the music and set the tone for your workout with ease.
Swim Spas Near You
With over 30 years of experience serving Edgewater, MD, our team of experts at Arundel Pool and Spa can help you discover your dream spa.