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Designing the Ideal Athletic Hydrotherapy Space

Designing the Ideal Athletic Hydrotherapy Space

You want your athletes to have an excellent hydrotherapy experience. It all starts with your hydrotherapy room’s design! Our HydroWorx pools offer the best results when installed in a well-designed room with proper lighting, enough space, essential equipment and storage facilities. 

Tips for the Ideal Athletic Hydrotherapy Room Design

Aaron Borgmann, from Borgmann Rehab Solutions, shares his lessons learned about how to design an optimal hydrotherapy space based on his experience as an NFL physical therapist and athletic trainer for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs.

How to design an aquatic therapy room

Ensure Sufficient Spacing

Hydrotherapy has come a long way. No matter how big or small your facility is, there is a hydrotherapy solution that can work for your space. When you’re designing your space, make sure you decide how much space you’ll want around the perimeter of your pool or unit. That will help you decide which unit is best. Your design and construction team can help you get creative to make sure you’re optimizing your space.

Whether you are installing an in-ground pool or an above-ground freestanding system, you’ll want some room around or in front of the unit so you can comfortably demonstrate exercises to your athlete. It’s uncomfortable if you are too close to the edge of the pool to stand and demonstrate the exercise or drill.

You’ll also want to make sure you have some dedicated space to store equipment that you’ll need for hydrotherapy sessions, such as a cabinet, shelving or a trunk. It’s unfortunate when you have to go to a different room to retrieve equipment. It’s even worse when you have to return it dripping down the hallway.

If you’re building a space for your hydrotherapy unit, make sure you consult with your construction partner to ensure you’re planning for enough space around your unit. Additionally, as a clinician, it is important to be involved in the planning process. We understand that space is a challenge at times and you may not be able to have a lot of it, but by working with your architects and construction managers, hopefully, you can come up with some creative solutions.

Ideal pool room design for a HydroWorx 2000

Install Drainage Systems Around the Pools

Perimeter drainage is essential in any hydrotherapy room. It’s best to install a drain near the pool entries and exits. If you have our 2000 or 1200 Series HydroWorx pool with moveable floors, there are no fixed entries and exits, so install trenches or perimeter slots around the pool to remove the excess water.

Install Monitors for Feedback

HydroWorx pools come standard with two monitors because these are critical for feedback. Monitors integrate with an underwater camera system (more on that later) to make sure you can see what’s going on. If the hydrotherapy system you have or are shopping for does not have high-quality monitors, upgrade them stat!

When the individual is moving up and down, it can be challenging to see what’s going on if the monitor is too small. Individuals learn best when they can clearly see the visual feedback in real-time so they can adjust their form to optimize their exercises. 

Flyers Classic Plunges

Get Underwater Cameras

Stay away from a fixed-view camera. They don’t enable you to have the flexibility you need to capture your athlete on the move at different angles to visualize what’s going on under the water. Cameras that showcase all sides and angles are great.

Multi-view underwater cameras in a HydroWorx 2000 Series

Ensure Accessible Mechanical Spaces

Leave enough room for mechanical spaces when the pool needs servicing, and ensure easy access to the brominator and filter.

Consider a Dehumidifier

Your hydrotherapy room will get misty without proper airflow. Windows and doors may let a cold breeze in, so we recommend a dehumidifier to keep the room clear and protect your equipment.

Consider the Hydrotherapy Room’s Location

When designing your athletic hydrotherapy facility, be sure to think through the flow of practice and game schedules. You’ll likely want to keep the hydrotherapy area close to the team locker rooms and the main athletic training room to ensure smooth transitions for pre and post-practices. This will allow your athletes to receive comprehensive care as quickly and comfortably as possible. Additionally, be sure there is close access to a shower nearby if possible. This will make using the aquatic facilities easier for your athletes and will increase your utilization of your hydrotherapy unit.

Hire a Dedicated Clinician or Athletic Trainer

If you’re serious about aquatic therapy, go all in on a dedicated aquatic physical therapist or athletic trainer. Someone who is focused on developing hydrotherapy recovery and conditioning programs is a surefire way to make sure you’re getting good mileage out of your investment and top-notch care for your athletes and patients.

Install Sufficient Lighting 

The last thing you want in a hydrotherapy room is poor lighting. Inadequate lighting hinders mobility and makes it difficult to monitor your athlete’s movements. Be sure to install quality lighting throughout the room. 

Include Aesthetic Elements

Let’s not forget about the overall appearance of your aquatic therapy space. Your athletes will appreciate a few aesthetic design elements, such as

  • Wood or stone accents
  • Glass walls and doors
  • Team logos

Keep an Open Mind

It’s a common misconception that hydrotherapy is just for walking/running. It’s not. Any workout you do on land can be adapted for water. Many people also don’t know that you can fit multiple athletes in large pools at the same time to maximize time with your athletes and the utility of your pool.

Thank you Aaron Borgmann for sharing your time and insights. Visit Aaron’s website for more information about Borgmann Rehab Solutions.

Start designing the ultimate hydrotherapy space

Start Designing Your Hydrotherapy Space

At HydroWorx, we have ample experience when it comes to aquatic therapy room design. We love helping our customers optimize their hydrotherapy space to maximize the benefits our pools offer. Contact us for more information on designing your hydrotherapy room and installing the right equipment. 

About Aaron Borgmann

​​Former NFL Physical Therapist and Athletic Trainer, and Borgmann Rehab Solutions Founder, Aaron Borgmann spent years putting injured players back together and back onto the field.

After growing up in St. Louis, Aaron worked as an intern with the St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Rams before moving on to NFL Europe, then was hired away by the Philadelphia Eagles. He spent 7 years in Philadelphia with the Philadelphia Eagles and NovaCare before relocating to Kansas City to be the physical therapist/athletic trainer for the Kansas City Chiefs.

He has worked with professional athletes from NFL, MLB, MLS, WTA (Professional Tennis), WUSA (Women’s Professional Soccer) as well as countless amateurs and active adults. 

In addition to sports injuries, Aaron enjoys taking care of all orthopedic conditions including joint replacements, spinal injuries and those looking to continue an active lifestyle.


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