Aquatic Treadmill Benefits
- Treadmill Walking Benefits versus Pool Walking
Movement in water can result in approximately 12 times the resistance that is encountered while doing the same activity on land. By controlling the speed of motion, an individual is able to control the resistance generated. This makes aquatic exercise safe even for rehabilitation of older and poorly conditioned individuals and can significantly reduce the amount of time needed to exercise compared with just pool walking.
Since the resistance encountered in water is much larger then on land, it is recommended that at first average individuals should use the Aquabilt for about 10 minutes only.
For most people undergoing rehab training, a workout of 3-5 minutes is quite adequate.
In the beginning, the speed of movement of the lower limbs should be slow until the person becomes accustomed to the unit and to the resistance generated.
Forward walking on the Aquabilt (while facing the front end of the unit) strengthens the trunk extensors and abdominal muscles. In addition, the hip flexors are also used. The main part of the exercise however, is done by the hip extensors such as the gluteal and hamstring muscles.
Treadmill Walking Benefits versus Pool Walking.
The pattern of resistance when walking on the Aquabilt water treadmill is much different than that encountered during ordinary pool walking. Walking on an Aquabilt water treadmill allows you to FULLY exercise all the muscles of your legs, both front and back, whereas traditional pool walking enables you to only exercise the front muscles. This is because when the heel strikes the pool, the pool surface is stationary versus resistance gained when the heel strikes the moving treadmill.
In pool walking, resistance is encountered during the forward movement of the lower limb (swing phase of gait) in the pool. When the heel of the advancing leg reaches the floor of the pool (heel strike phase of gait), the lower limb becomes fixed on the floor and the body travels forward generating resistance. On the other hand when walking on the Aquabilt water treadmill, you will experience the same amount of resistance as in pool walking during the forward swing of the advancing lower limb but the major difference occurs following the heel strike. In regular pool walking the body travels over a fixed lower limb and generates its resistance. When using the Aquabilt water treadmill following heel strike, there is a forward movement of the body coupled with a backward movement of the lower limb that is in contact with the belt on the treadmill. Therefore in addition to the resistance during the forward motion of the body, added resistance is encountered due to the backward movement of the lower limb and by the turning of the rollers on the treadmill. This results in selective strengthening of the hip extensor muscles such as the gluteus and hamstring muscles. Tests have proven that a 4 hour per week regimen on an Aquatic treadmill can result in an annual weight loss of approximately 44 pounds.