For Your Healthy Athletes: No Excuse Needed to Dive Into Aquatics!
Strength and Conditioning Coaches, Physical Therapists and Athletic Trainers: Your athletes don’t have to be injured to get a serious boost from hydrotherapy. Aquatics are beneficial beyond treatment and rehab. Competitive athletes at all levels of their careers, from tough weekend warriors to elite football players, are getting better, stronger and faster thanks to the power of a high-intensity water workout in a HydroWorx therapy pool.
Not sure how hydrotherapy can rev up your athletes’ routines and improve strength and conditioning? Check out these five ways that athletic trainers are improving results with a little help from water, an underwater treadmill and a desire to up the stakes:
- Reduce Overuse Injuries. Overuse injuries are too frequently considered “normal” for athletes. Hydrotherapy workouts can lessen the likelihood of chronic problems like micro-trauma to the tendons, bones and joints. This inevitably leads to performance gains, and longevity for athletes who love their sports and want to compete at a high level.
- Supplement Land Training. Land-based training takes its toll on the body leaving athletes with aches and pains, not to mention some mental fatigue. Restore athlete enthusiasm and protect joints, tendons and muscles by working against the resistance of water and high-powered jets in an environment where gravity is significantly reduced.
- Increase Muscle Strength. The researchers at Texas A&M University discovered that resistance training plus aquatic treadmill training elicited greater lean muscle mass gains than land training. It’s a testament to the fact that you CAN build muscle while engaged in cardiovascular exercise. Legs, feet, core and muscle stabilizers are all strengthened when athletes push through the water.
- Speed and Strength Training. Not only does the hydrostatic pressure of the water minimize discomfort, but the unloading environment allows athletes to aggressively train without fear of injury. Just using an advanced hydrotherapy pool for dynamic warm-ups has its benefits on overall speed training and sports-related flexibility. At the University of Kansas, Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Medicine Murphy Grant routinely challenges his athletes with intense, speed-driven pool sessions.
- Foster Post-Workout Recovery. Every athlete needs a post-workout recovery day, but not every athlete treats it as a time to actively recharge the body. Underwater treadmill workouts and sessions in therapy pools promote recovery without hampering progress.
If you work with athletes, it’s worth considering hydrotherapy as a strength and conditioning tool beyond just rehab.