20-minute-renewal | Health and Wellness Tips | Caldera Spas

Can I Stretch In My Hot Tub?

March 2016

Absolutely! Soaking in your Caldera hot tub can increase circulation, warm your muscles and increase your flexibility. You can enhance your flexibility by doing some simple stretching while you soak each day.

According to the American Council on Exercise, time constraints keep many people from stretching adequately. One of its solutions? Stretch in a hot tub, where the hot water can make muscles more pliable and receptive to stretching.

Stretching can help you avoid injury, enhance your movement and repair existing injury.

While we have recommended dynamic stretching in past blogs, a little static stretching in your hot tub when your muscles are warm can help you increase movement and avoid injury. You also have the advantage of water’s buoyancy, decreasing stress on joints.

According to a Livestrong article, “a warm muscle stretches easier than a cold muscle, and you will feel and see the flexibility improvements.” The article suggests that whenever you’re unable to complete a dynamic (movement-based) warm-up, try soaking in warm water for 10-20 minutes. No problem!

What Precautions Should I Take?

The National Safety Council website outlines several precautions for stretching:

  1. Always stretch within your comfort zone. Don’t stretch if it hurts. The stretch should never be painful.
     
  2. Relax as much as possible. When you’re tense, you risk injuring yourself.
     
  3. Don’t stretch a cold muscle.
     
  4. Stretch slowly without quick movements or bouncing. Move slowly into and out of a stretching position.
     
  5. Take 30. Pause in the stretching position for 10-30 seconds.
     
  6. Be consistent. Try stretching the same muscles regularly and for the same amount of time. Always try to stretch after you exercise.

Now What?

You’re in your hot tub, muscles are warm and pliable…what’s next?

There are lots of resources online with stretching ideas, including hot tub yoga. For now, here are a few suggestions for stretches to help you increase your flexibility and muscle mobility. Do these stretches with or without jets on the area you’re stretching, based solely on what feels best to you.

Hamstring Stretch

In a seated position, place a strap or band around the ball of your foot as you hold each end of the strap. With your foot at a 90-degree bend, slowly extend your leg out in front of you until it is as straight as you can get it. Hold for 10-30 seconds, then bend your knee to your chest. Repeat three times and then switch legs.

Shoulder and Upper Arm Stretch

Do this stretch to relieve tightness in the shoulders and upper back. Lift one arm overhead and bend your elbow so that your hand is behind you at your upper back. With your free hand, hold the tip of the elbow and gently pull it toward the center of your head. Release and repeat three times. Then do the same stretch on the other side.

Head/Neck Stretch

Sit upright and place the fingertips of both hands behind your head. Keep elbows forward and do not rest the weight of your arms on your head. Gently press forward with your fingertips while you drop your head against your chest. Be gentle!

Elbow/Shoulder Stretch

While sitting upright, point your elbow in front of you. With the other hand, hold the elbow and gently pull it across your chest until you feel tension (but no pain). Hold for 10 seconds and repeat five times. Switch arms.

Lat Stretch

Seated with your arms at your side, cross your wrists in your lap. Pull your shoulders forward until you feel tension and hold for 6 seconds. Then slowly pull your shoulders back as far as possible like a swan and hold for 6 seconds. Repeat several times.

Lower Back Stretch

Try this stretch if your hot tub has a lounge seat. With your knees in the bent position, begin slowly leaning forward. Let your hands slide down your legs for support. When you begin to feel tightness in your lower back, hold your position for 10-30 seconds. Again, be gentle and avoid any pain. If it hurts, stop!

Give it a try. With the combination of hot water, the action of the jets and some gentle stretching, you should begin to become more flexible and notice that your range of movement is increased throughout the day.

What Do You Think?

Have you noticed that spending time your hot tub increases your flexibility and mobility? Have you taken that extra step and actively stretched muscles while you’re in your hot tub? If so, do you stretch with jets focused on the area or only in calm water? What works best for you? We’d especially like to hear how effective stretching in a hot tub has been for you and whether you notice the benefits of it throughout the day. 

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