Featured Exercise: Deep Back Kicks

This is our best exercise for strengthening the gluteals.  Learn how to get in the correct position for it, the most common mistakes and how to correct those mistakes by watching this video.

We have double bars in our pool, but don’t let that throw you.  You can still do this and all the other exercises.  If your pool has a gutter or ladder, either of those can act like our bars.  Or simply grasp the side of the pool.  For this particular exercise, you will find it helpful to have one hand placed down lower to help you keep your hips up.

You need a flotation belt for this exercise.  You can find a selection of belts at www.lahuey.com.  The belt preferred by most of our patients is the CompletePT belt, which is the most buoyant.  But those of us who are under 5’5” often choose a belt with a narrow front so that the belt doesn’t press on our rib cage or hip bones.

Now you have your hand hold figured out and you’re wearing a float belt.  Lean forward and look down at the water.  Let your hips float up as high as the belt will lift them.  That’s the position you want to maintain throughout the exercise, regardless of where your legs are moving.  Keep your hips up!

The emphasis is on the backswing in this exercise.  But in order to have a powerful backswing, you have to reach each leg far enough forward to create room for the backswing.  One leg will reach almost to touch the side of the pool.  The other leg does the work of swinging backward by generating great muscular strength from the gluts.  Establish a rhythm and get those legs swinging.  Don’t reach so far to the rear that you arch your back.  The video will show you how far back to swing the leg.

After you feel you’ve learned the exercise and are doing it correctly, increase the amount of work performed by the gluts by squeezing each side of the buttocks in time with each back swing.  As the right leg swing back, squeeze the right glut.  As the left leg swings back, squeeze the left.  Keep squeezing and soon you’ll feel the burn from working those muscles.

The next step is to add resistance to the ankles as in this photo.  It’s like increasing the weight you’re lifting in the weight room.  When you push more water, you will feel more resistance.

In this photo the patient has both hands on the top bar.  Some people prefer that hand hold, but if you notice your hips are sinking, put one hand down lower.

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