July 18, 2024

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6 Ways to Avoid Water Workout Injuries

2 min read
6 Ways to Avoid Water Workout Injuries

Swimming Laps at Sagewell

Easy tips for enjoying your aquatic workouts for the long haul.

Searching for a low-impact, high-results workout? Look no further than the pool! Water-based exercises can build your muscles and improve your flexibility without stressing your joints.

A medical facility, like Sagewell Health & Fitness, can help you create a good water workout. But remember—even though these exercises are easier on your body, you can still get hurt. Follow these steps, and you can limit your injuries.


It’s tempting to simply jump in and start swimming. Warming up beforehand and stretching after your workout is important, though. By improving your range of motion and flexibility, it protects you from shoulder or hip injuries in the water.

Give All Your Muscles Attention

Many water exercises hit all your major muscle groups. If you want to lower your injury risk, strengthen your muscles outside the pool, too. Try these exercises that mimic everyday activities to help prepare yourself:

  • Bodyweight squats
  • Push-ups
  • Jumping jacks
  • Balancing on one leg

BackstrokeSlowly Increase Your Workout

Feeling weightless in water makes it easier to exercise longer. Resist the temptation to do too much too soon, however.

Instead of being the Energizer Bunny, slowly add more time and intensity to your workout. Building strength and increasing your stamina over time helps you avoid injury.

Use Good Form

Like every exercise, bad form in the water invites injury. Incorrect motions while swimming can strain your muscles and joints, so stick with strokes you know you do correctly to avoid pain. To increase your stability, remember to engage your core while you’re in the water.

Observe What’s Around You

Swimmer with goggles

A gym or community pool is there for everyone, so remember you’re not alone in the water. Watch out for the people around you. No amount of stretching or training can protect you from injury if you run into someone else.

Choose a workout spot away from others. Be sure to wear goggles, as well. It keeps your eyes clear so you can be aware of your surroundings.


Low-impact water workouts are still workouts. Remember to rest afterward so your muscles can recover. If you push yourself for several days in a row, you’ll have a greater injury risk. It’s OK to take a day off in between your exercises.

No matter the weather, water workouts target all your muscle groups, and they’re great for your heart. Follow these tips, and you’ll enjoy long-lasting benefits while avoiding injury!

Laura Fullman Brown is the manager of recreation and aquatics at Cone Health in Greensboro. She is a certified aquatic fitness instructor who received her degree from the University of Cincinnati. With more than two decades of experience in leading aquatic fitness classes and programs, as well as leading safety certification training, she brings substantial experience to Sagewell Health & Fitness.