First Time Swimming After Paralysis

This article contains a video
Content via Jennifer Boulahoud
Jennifer Boulahoud

“It feels great to be back in the water and swimming again.”

Jen is a T10/11 paraplegic who documented her first time swimming after her spinal cord injury.

Jen is aided by trainers at Project Walk, Claremont, and she demonstrates water exercises that help strengthen her muscles. “When I swim, I use a lot more upper body strength,” Jen explains. “My legs are tied together to prevent them from veering side to side.” Through her persistence, Jen is now able to swim 4 laps in an Olympic-sized pool during one swimming session!

At the 1:03 mark in the video, Jen does gait training. She wears ankle weights to straighten out her legs, and with the assistance of a trainer, Jen walks underwater. “Taking steps in the water is different than on land because of the resistance the water has,” explains Jen. “This exercise is meant to strengthen the muscles such as my hip flexors.”

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