Water Running with a Pool Treadmill

Water running is a great way to workout and rehabilitate with less pain, more resistance, and minimal stress. If you’ve used it for recovery or as the ultimate workout, you know how effective it can be. If you haven’t tried it, now is the time.

Continue reading and learn 5 ways you can utilize a pool treadmill for rehabilitating and conditioning your athletes.

Why run in the water?

The advantage of water running is that the same muscles you use to work out on land are fired up the same way. But, the weightless quality of water eliminates gravity-induced pounding on joints. You can also successfully achieve a complete lower body workout, core conditioning, and cardio training benefits equal to those on land.

An added plus is that the intensity of the workout is increased exponentially the faster someone runs or walks against the water. In other words, the harder you work, the harder the workout, and the better the results!

5 ways to run in the water

1. Shallow water running

water running

It couldn’t be any easier to achieve the benefits of running in water than to simply run across the bottom of the pool. Instruct your athlete to stand in an area of the pool where the water level is chest high, and run from one side of the pool to the other. The water will create enough resistance to provide a great workout.

2. Deep water running

Get deep enough to float without touching the bottom of the pool. Beginners may need a flotation belt until they are able to get the proper mechanics down.

Next, have the athlete run as they would on land. The athlete should be running in place, or slowly moving forward.

3. Running on a pool treadmill

There are a variety of swim spa treadmills available on the market today. Here is some information on two great options to help you select the right one for your athletes’ needs:

Drop-in treadmill

Typically self-powered, these treadmills are small enough to drop into any existing pool. Their lightweight, stable design makes them easy to maneuver and ideal for any facility.

For continuous walking or running, they will work as hard as your athletes do.

Integrated treadmill

water running on a pool treadmill

This is a motorized treadmill that’s built right into the pool. Depending on the model, this aquatic treadmill can achieve top speeds of 8.5 mph and is adjustable in 1/10th mph increments.

They can come with removable handrails for flexibility, a time elapsed display monitor, different speed settings, and can be programmed for individual workout routines.

4. Running against the current

Running against a current in a swim spa or hydrotherapy pool is an efficient and effective way to realize the benefits of pool running without additional equipment.

When you run against the water flow, the resistance works the same muscles used to run on land. In this case, however, your athletes get the added bonus of a core workout. If the pool has an adjustable current, you can also increase, decrease, or pre-program your workout to fit an individual’s routine.

Here’s a quick demonstration of one way you can run in a swim spa with an adjustable current:

5. Adding a treadmill into a hydrotherapy pool

pool treadmill built in

Are you looking for the ultimate water running workout? Adding a treadmill to a current pool is an easy way to challenge the strongest athlete.

By programming the pool treadmill at one speed and the water current at another, you can change up the challenge. This is a great way to customize based on an athlete’s specific requirements.

So, there you have it! Water running is a low impact exercise with high impact results that you can build into your hydrotherapy sessions with great success.   

~ Authored by Liz Lecomte

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