Aquatic physical therapy — basic exercises

John Prana
3 min readMar 31, 2021

Today, I am going to talk about some aquatic therapy gait exercises.

In the pool, it’s very easy to not have proper technique. It ‘s very easy to just swing your body, be all over the place, but it’s really important to work on your technique because you don’t have to worry about falling.

So it’s all about exaggerating your techniques and getting the stretches you need. So starting off it’s going to be simple walking forwards and backwards, and sideways, and some marching. But it’s really important to do the proper technique. When we are walking, naturally we hit our heel first, and then roll off onto our toes.

If we have an injury, then we don’t necessarily do that all the time. So just exaggerated the movement. Try and keep your body upright while you are walking. Hitting your heel first, and rolling off onto your toes. Heel first rolling onto your toe, keeping your body upright. Again, heel first, push off on your toes.

Do that for about 3 or 4 laps.

Then you are going to go backwards. Now your toes are going to hit first. So toe, roll back on your heel. Toe, roll back on your heel. It’s really easy to start leaning back. Try not to lean back. If you lean back, you’re going too fast.

After you do that about 3 or 4 times, the next one is going sideways.


With sidestepping, it really is for people to end up turning their foot out. You want to keep your toes pointed straight the whole time. Because if you turn your foot out, you are using different muscles. We want to work the outside of our muscles right now. So keep those toes pointing forward, not out, but stepping with those toes forward the whole time.

Sidestepping, keeping that upright posture. Tuck those tummy muscles in, and then come back.

Then the next one is going to be marching. Bringing the knee up, alternating sides. So pulling that knee up as close to the surface as you can get. Again, not leaning back, not leaning forward, keeping that body upright.

Really driving that knee up. So those were the basic gait exercises in the pool. Those were your aquatic therapy exercises. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments section.

And remember: be safe, have fun, and I hope you feel better soon!