I can do what in the water?! May 16, 2016 12:30

Aquatic training has come a long way since the introduction of the pool noodle back in the 1980's. No longer is the water seen as a place to turn if you are injured, overweight or elderly, instead it is a proven method of training that is used by people of all ages and abilities, including some of the worlds top athletes and sports teams. From improving strength, to training for a marathon and improving your sports specific skills, there isn't much that can't be done in the water. In this blog we take a look at just a few of the things you can do in the pool..... 

Improve Strength:
Once thought to be impossible, research has now demonstrated that with the right pace, equipment and program, noticeable strength gains can be achieved in the water. By capitalizing on and increasing the drag forces already provided by water, drag resistance equipment provides enhanced resistance in multiple directions, helping you build balanced muscle strength and reduce the risk of injury. Not only is it a safe way to improve strength, but it is efficient too! Using drag resistance equipment can allow you to target multiple muscle groups and body parts simultaneously.  

Train for a Marathon:
The water can be 500 - 800 times more supportive than air, but up to 15 times more resistant, thus making it the perfect environment to help you when preparing for your marathon! It is a great way to help you maintain your fitness level without the unnecessary wear and tear, ensuring your stay in top condition for race day! Using an aquatic shoe, such as the AQx shoe, is a good way to enhance your range of motion to ensure you are replicating the proper mechanics of land-based running. 

Sports Specific Training:
For years athletes have been using aquatic training to improve and maintain their sports specific skills.  Lets look at the All Blacks for example, as the top ranking team in the world, their players need to be in top physical condition. It is therefore no surprise that we see many of their top players in the pool on a regular basis.  Even the great Muhammad Ali used aquatic training to improve his boxing techniques and footwork. So make the most of the resistance the water provides, and stay one step ahead of your competition by ensuring you have some pool time scheduled!

Recover:
Just like the water can be used to improve strength and endurance, it can also be used to enhance recovery. Research shows that light intensity aquatic exercise with minimal impact stress, or weight bearing, combined with the hydrostatic pressure of water, may have enhanced recovery on muscle soreness after training. Equally, if you are recovering from a more serious injury you will find that exercise can often be performed in the water even when it may be too soon or too difficult to do so on land. 

Lose Weight:
Aquatic exercise can also be very beneficial in aiding weight loss. Because of the resistance provided, It takes more energy to push your body through the water than through air. It is estimated that the average 30 minute pool workout burns approximately 300 calories. Even simply walking in the water, compared to walking on land will help you shed unwanted weight faster! 

Fall Prevention:
Because staying stable in the water challenges your core and balance, it is a great way to help your loved ones improve their coordination and balance and prevent falls.

Improve Flexibility, Posture and Balance: 
The water is a great place to go if you want to improve your flexibility, balance and posture. Due to the support and buoyancy of water, it is able to help enhance flexibility of tight and imbalanced muscle groups, resulting in improved range of motion with less discomfort that if attempted on land. Water also reduces the effects of both gravity and momentum, by reducing these compressive forces, as well a slowing down your movements; you will notice improved feedback which will in turn help improve posture, coordination and balance - something we can all benefit from.

So regardless of your fitness level or goals, you should now be ready to add some aquatic training to your regime and reap the rewards. Seeing is believing, so don't just take our word for it, jump in the pool and try it for yourself!