Tips & Techniques

A Pool Noodle How-to

Kirsten Rowland 
March 29, 2024

Here at Smith PT+ Aquatics we utilize a wide variety of devices and tools to assist in your rehabilitation journey. One of the most commonly used is a pool noodle. There are so many different things that a pool noodle can be utilized for, other than lounging with your favorite cool beverage of course!

One of the ways our therapists utilize pool noodles is to assist in keeping you buoyant. This could be for some deep water aqua cycling, or helping you maintain a floating position vertically while we work on some lower extremity strengthening. This provides them with the opportunity to keep you in a position with reduced gravitational force, and facilitate strengthening to specific muscle groups in non-weight bearing positions. Great for those who have non-weight bearing restrictions following a surgical procedure. 

Another way the pool noodle can be used, is to support you with some gentle stretching interventions, such as our 3 way hamstring stretching shown below! As pool noodles are naturally buoyant, they can assist with stretching, by supporting the extremity, rather than you as a patient holding it manually or the therapist pressing into the stretch. This allows for further independence with stretching and can easily be performed by a number of individuals. 

Pool noodles can also be used to create resistance for a wide variety of interventions, such as tricep extensions or resisted squats; the bigger the noodle the greater the challenge. As you can see, there are a wide variety of ways we can use pool noodles, all tailored to your needs during your time with us here at Smith PT+ Aquatics. Stop in to schedule an initial evaluation with us, so we can get you back to feeling and moving better, because you were made to move!

To see how to schedule your initial evaluation with Smith PT+ Aquatics check out the following article:

Meet the Author
Kirsten Rowland graduated from McHenry County College with her Associates of Applied Science as a Physical Therapist Assistant in 2020, joining Smith Physical Therapy in June of 2023. She began her career in an orthopedic setting, working with post-operative patients and athletes within the community. She enjoys working with the orthopedic population, but also has interest in rehabilitation of the overhead athlete, pelvic floor dysfunction, foot and ankle dysfunction, as well as aquatic rehabilitation at Smith Physical Therapy + Aquatics. Kirsten is passionate about helping patients not only feel better, but move better; returning to the things they love to do and be a part of. She loves a challenge, and is willing to work patiently with those who are dedicated to their rehabilitation as much as she is. Kirsten is also a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and Illinois Physical Therapy Association.
You were made to move!