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Research Shows Underwater Treadmill Outperforms Land-Based Treadmill

2014 October 29

Athletes, weekend warriors and active adults may feel like a water workout is “too easy.” Often clinicians will question if their athletes or patients will be able to reach sufficient metabolic results on an underwater treadmill compared to a land-based treadmill that has the ability to incline, which raises the heart rate.KB4_3347small

However, a new study from Utah State University, “Metabolic Cost Comparison of Running on an Aquatic Treadmill with Water Jets and Land Treadmill with Incline,” has shown that when athletes run on a HydroWorx underwater treadmill with high-powered resistance jets, the jets can be used to simulate and actually outperform land treadmill incline physical responses.

The study consisted of 18 participants who underwent trials on land-based and HydroWorx underwater treadmills. Participants’ metabolic cost (VO2 max) and heart rate increased in a predictable, linear fashion when the speed and incline increased on the land treadmill. However, when the same methods were applied to the aquatic treadmill by increasing the power of the resistance jets, individuals’ metabolic cost and heart rate jumped by unexpected, cubic amounts. When the resistance jets were at 100 percent capacity, participants showed physical effects that exceeded those that they displayed when running on a land treadmill at a 10 percent incline.

Utah State University’s Dr. Dennis Dolny, PhD and Department Head of HPER, one of the research study authors, states,

“A common concern practitioners may express regarding water versus land treadmills is that there isn’t an incline to simulate running uphill. With the resistance provided by the HydroWorx water jets, at any given speed, one can simulate the metabolic requirement of running up a one percent incline to in excess of a 10 percent incline. This added resistance would meet the training requirements of virtually all athletes seeking optimal training conditions, such as high intensity coupled with reduced joint stress.”

These results are very exciting as athletes and active adults are able to endure a more intense workout in the water, a safe environment, while decreasing their chances of re-injury and joint stress.

Read the full article today>>


Download our Research Studies Book for a comprehensive overview of studies that have been done on underwater treadmills.

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Upcoming Webinar: Reduce the Risk of Falls with Aquatics

2014 October 29
by hydroworx

2peoplein1200According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-third of Americans aged 65 and older fall each year with up to 30% experiencing fall-related injuries that negatively impact functioning and independence. Muscle weakness and gait impairments are the most common causes of falls in older adults. Falls are also the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of non-fatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults.

Join the ICAA along with HydroWorx on Wednesday, November 5 at 1:00pm EST for the webinar, “Reduce the Risk of Falls with Aquatics,” presented by Jackie Halbin, Living Well Manager at Lakeview Village in Lenexa, Kansas. Participants will learn how to enhance fall prevention programs by using the pool for strengthening and balance training. Adding aquatics options to land-based fall prevention, appeals to many different levels of clients. The aquatics environment can be manipulated to allow individuals to complete tasks at a comfortable level, progress “on the fly” and build self-confidence. Helping people develop lower body strength and agility while improving their balance and awareness of center of gravity enables them to stay independent longer.

Attendees will learn:

  • Why water is the perfect environment for fall prevention training.
  • How to encourage participants to improve by creating personal profiles that show their progress.
  • How aquatic training improves scores on assessments conducted on land.
  • Which techniques create a sense of camaraderie among participants to improve attendance and retention rate.

Register today for this webinar>>

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Severe Ankle Injury Case Study from St. George’s Park

2014 October 24

2013 pool4The 2014 World Cup was disappointing for the England Senior Men’s Team for many reasons. For England fans, hopes of a medal began to fade quickly after falling to Italy and then Uruguay. The results were more upsetting for some than others, but it may have been most disappointing for physiotherapist, Gary Lewin. Lewin had his trip to the World Cup cut short after experiencing a fracture and ankle dislocation on the side of the pitch in the match against Italy. Lewin had his ankle immediately relocated on site, was taken to the hospital and then flown home to England for subsequent treatment.

Thanks to Lewin’s job, he knew exactly where to start his physiotherapy once he was cleared to do so. He went straight to St. George’s Park, which is the National Football Centre for all of England’s national teams. It was here that Lewin began working on regaining function of the injured ankle. One of the modalities he used was the centre’s HydroWorx 2000 Series pool for progressively reeducating and loading the ankle as well as maintaining fitness while he was not yet fully weight-bearing.

The pool offered him features that were essential to his treatment such as:

  1. Moveable floor to adjust water depth for progression of load
  2. Underwater treadmill for gait reeducation
  3. Resistance jets for progression of intensity

He saw significant progress during his use of the pool and was able to return to his international duties less than 12 weeks post-injury.

Download the written case study overview here>>

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Athlete with MS Made Strides with Aquatic Therapy

2014 October 23

Underwater TreadmillUnderwater Treadmill
MSBlogEbnerRick Ebner was a college football player and avid athlete. When the business owner and father of four was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at the age of 32, he was devastated that the athletic lifestyle that defined him would now be gone. Thankfully, for 8 years he was able to continue to stay active, but eventually, after some undue stress, his condition began to decline and he went for many years without being able to run at all.

At the suggestion of a friend, he went to ACCUA in Savage, MN to start working in the HydroWorx 500 Series pool. At his first session, he was able to run for about 45 seconds. After a few months, he was up to running for 20 minutes at 4.0 mph.  By doing this aquatic therapy with Chris Kost, he was able to not only get back to doing something he loved, but also to stop using his cane for a majority of activities and reach goals he never thought would be possible again. At one point, Ebner had a goal of getting in 4,000 strides on the elliptical at the gym. He eventually saw that number decline to 3,200 and thought that his goal was forever out of reach. Thanks to his hard work and determination, he was finally able to get back up to 4,000 strides in the pool!

Some of the protocols that Kost used in order to improve Ebner’s mobility included:

  • Walking at 1.5 to 2.0 mph with a focus on lengthening strides
  • Side-stepping
  • Karaoke
  • Jogging
  • Backward walking
  • Treadmill “Ride and Jumps”
  • Balancing on one leg against resistance jets
  • Single leg jumps on treadmill

Ebner has gained strength, confidence, balance, and capability through exercising and rehabilitating on the treadmill in the pool.

Watch the Case History and Pool Protocol videos below:


Download a case study from St. George’s Park on improving left-side weakness in a multiple sclerosis patient>>

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Upcoming Webcast: Strategies to Perfect Upper Body Rehab Outcomes with Aquatic Therapy

2014 October 22

_DSC5570BarrywebinarOften, the use of hydrotherapy for shoulder rehab is overlooked. Many people think that there is not much that water can do better than land therapy for shoulders. But we are finding more and more clinicians that are using water for upper body rehabilitation with great results!

Join us for an exciting webcast, streaming live from the HydroWorx pool at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC. The webcast will take place on October 29, 2014 from 1:00pm – 2:00pm EDT.

Barry Lippman, MS, ATC, NASM-PES, Associate Athletic Trainer/Rehab Coordinator for Coastal Carolina University, will provide specific strategies for developing advanced shoulder rehab programs, emphasizing the use of aquatic therapy as a medium to implement them. The strategies are developed to safely, efficiently and effectively bridge the challenging gap between rehabilitation and performance.

Attendees will learn:

  • A systematic approach to upper body training in the pool
  • A progression and regression for late term upper body rehabilitation using water as a medium
  • How to use water to work around specific contraindications
  • Effective scapular stabilization techniques to prepare athletes for overhead throwing
  • How to gain and maintain upper body strength while minimizing residual soreness

This 1 hour webcast will be broadcast live from the HydroWorx pool at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC. Want to attend the webcast in person? Live attendees will have the opportunity to try the HydroWorx pool at Coastal Carolina. Make sure you bring your bathing suit and towel!

If you are interested in attending in person, please contact Michele Reber today by email at

Register for the webcast today!

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