The Benefits of Aquatic Circuit Training for Athletes
Water is not just for rehab. It is also a viable option for plyometric strength training for athletes. Aquatic therapy is as effective as traditional, land-based weight training, and it opens athletes up to a variety of new exercises to enhance their performance.
Water provides resistance and allows athletes to work different muscle groups by improving overall flexibility and strength. A well-crafted water strength program may be just the thing to change up an athlete’s routine. Many professional football players and other athletes have turned to aquatic training as a way to supplement their workouts and increase both aerobic capacity and strength.ol Aquatic workouts also tend to be low-impact, so recovery times can potentially be shorter between workouts, depending on the athlete. Some helpful equipment may include resistance bands, buoyancy weights and other resistance devices.
Performing aquatic therapy in an advanced therapy pool like the HydroWorx 2000 offers a private environment for one on one exercises, easy entry, resistance jets and an underwater treadmill. With multiple workout stations at a variety of water depths, exercise programs are customizable for each individual athlete.
Circuit Training in Water Enhances Player Performance
Circuit training exercises in water can be beneficial because they alternate the use of different muscle groups with multiple movements. The workload of each activity in the circuit should be 50% – 70% of functional capacity but depends on the athlete’s current ability level. Each activity may be performed for 2 to 3 minutes or for a specific number of repetitions. Increasing the speed of movement surges turbulence, which in turn increases resistance. By alternating muscle groups, an athlete can mitigate muscle fatigue to achieve the objective of continuous movement in the target training zone. Devices such as float boards and AquaJoggers can allow a person to work in a non-weight-bearing situation. Some others circuit training sessions may include:
- Plowing through the water with a kickboard
- High-knee running
- Forward and backward running
- Ball push-downs
5 Things to Expect in Water
- Buoyancy: floating in the water allows for exercise with up to 100% of body weight removed. This dramatically decreases painful joint compression forces.
- Temperature: the warmth of the water results in relaxation and pain reduction by inhibiting pain pathways.
- Turbulence: this property is the ever-changing flow of the water which imparts additional forces on the body and helps improve balance and core stability.
- Viscosity: this is the thickness of water which allows for gentle a progressive resistance to aquatic exercise.
- Hydrostatic Pressure: the pressure exerted on your body when it is submerged in the aquatic environment. This pressure can assist with the return of blood to your heart from your legs while exercising.