Fibromyalgia: What Water Exercises Can I Do?

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a condition associated with tight, sore muscles with generalized, whole body pain, which can dramatically affect a person’s lifestyle. However, there are ways to fight back! Last month, we discussed the benefits of water exercises and this month, we’re going to illustrate some specific exercises that can be performed in water. Remember to start slow and gradually introduce more exercises (as well as repetitions and the length of exercise time) AFTER you have proven to yourself that the previous exercises are well tolerated. MOST IMPORTANT, have fun with these, and modify them as needed to make them “yours.”

Diving Forward

Prep: Arms straight, stretched out from sides, palms forward.

Action: Push hands together, then outward.

Diving Downward

Prep: Arms straight, stretched out from sides, palms down.

Action: Swing hands down and inward across front, then outward; repeat down and inward behind back, then outward.

Squats

Prep: Legs straight.

Action: Bend at knees to lower body down, then up.

High Kick

Prep: Legs straight, pointing forward

Action: Swing one leg forward to backward; repeat with other leg.

Backward Kick

Prep: Legs straight, hold onto support.

Action: Ben one knee to raise foot backward, then down; repeat with other knee.

Deep-water Walking

Prep: Start in a dog-paddling position

Action: Climbing motions with both arms and legs.

Horizontal Walking

Prep: Legs straight, floating face down holding stairs.

Action: Bend one knee forward and back, then other knee.

Of course, there are many other maneuvers that can be done in water. Simply walking in water at various depths works well. Another good/easy exercise is taking empty one-gallon milk jugs with the caps on and squat down in the shallow end of a pool so only your neck is exposed and move your arms underwater back and forth in different directions, at different speeds, gradually increasing the speed of the movement.