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Josh Beaumont's picture

Benefits of a Pool Workout

There are many benefits to incorporating aqua therapy into your training program. From a rehabilitation standpoint, aqua therapy has been shown to reduce stress on the joints and muscles, offers resistance in all direction, and swelling reduction. The pool can be an excellent place for recovery either the day after a game or after a heavy work load at practice. Because of the buoyancy of the water, the lymphatic system does not have to fight gravity to move the by-products of exercises out of the body. I have seen a decrease in injury rates when incorporated to pre-season camps, a more rapid recovery from surgery, and an increase in athlete’s recovery from the mental and physical stress of a game.

When working out with contact with the bottom of the pool, it is important to take into consideration of how much stress you are putting on your body. Body weight in the pool is approximate to the amount of the body that is not submerged. For example, if you are submerged from the chest down then about ¼ of your body is out of the water, so then you are operating at about 25% of your body weight. Waste down is 50% of your body weight.

Some examples of exercises that can be done

Holding onto the wall: Flutter kick – face down, on your back, on your side.

General footwork: Jogging, high knees, carioca, high knee crossover, back peddle, bounding, tuck jumps, rapid feet (as money touches as possible in a small space) lateral bounding.

The use of an “aqua jogger” is great for those with low back issues or those that cannot tolerate impact on the bottom of the pool. The “aqua jogger” is a belt that an athlete can wear around his or her waist. This benefits those with back issues because the natural traction properties of water that can decompress the spine.

One idea for a team drill is to have the whole team in deep end treading water. Find an object that they can pass around such as a soccer ball or light medicine ball. Give them a category such as state capitals or EPL soccer player. Make them hold the ball over their head until they come up with an answer and once they do, then they can pass the ball to a teammate. Everyone must touch the ball and no one can repeat an answer. Because they have to think under the stresses of physical activity it will increase their mental acuity.

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