Benefits of an Underwater Treadmill

Benefits of an Underwater Treadmill

Underwater treadmills combine the benefits of land-based exercise with water’s buoyancy and resistance to offer a powerful workout.

Whether you are recovering from an injury or just trying to stay healthy, underwater treadmill therapy has several benefits that can help improve your quality of life. Here’s why you should consider adding it to your workout routine.

Increased Resistance

An underwater treadmill takes advantage of the viscosity of water to increase resistance and promote cardiovascular endurance. This means that runners in the pool can cover a greater distance and burn more calories than they could when jogging on land, regardless of their body weight or level of fitness.

Aqua running on an underwater treadmill also carries a lower risk of injury because the foot-striking forces are reduced and the pressure on joints is minimized. In fact, studies have shown that underwater jogging is more effective than jogging on land at lowering blood pressure (BP) by up to 10%!

This type of exercise is also ideal for reducing hypertension, especially in those 67 million Americans with high blood pressure who avoid land-based exercise due to pain. The soothing effect of the water, along with the heightened resistance of the pool, makes underwater treadmill training more effective at reducing diastolic and exercise systolic BP than on-ground training.

Another benefit of an underwater treadmill is that it improves gait strength. A recent study of patients who walked on an underwater treadmill with water-jet resistance found that their static and dynamic balance ability scores, gait velocity, cadence, step length, stride length and swing phase improved more than those who walked on the treadmill without water-jet resistance.

Noted athlete Deb Sunderman, who underwent two hip surgeries and was unable to run on land, uses the HydroWorx 500 for aquatic physical therapy to rebuild her muscle strength. She also uses the variable-speed underwater treadmill with directional jets to add resistance and improve posture, endurance and stability.

The hydrostatic pressure of water can also help relieve swelling and ease joint pain for those with arthritis or injuries. Additionally, underwater treadmill therapy helps improve range of motion and enhances gait in stroke patients by allowing them to walk with less stress on their joints and muscles.

Veterinary hospitals and veterinary practices often utilize aquatic physical therapy in dogs that have been treated for cancer, post-surgery, neurologic disorders, geriatric patients, or those who are recovering from orthopedic surgery. In addition, many pets who cannot stand on land can walk or run in the water.

Lower Impact

If you have a chronic condition, injury or are recovering from surgery, an underwater treadmill can be a life-changing tool. These machines have become more popular in recent years due to their many benefits, and a number of physical therapists incorporate them into their treatment plans.

A key benefit of an underwater treadmill is that it is easier on the joints. By only bearing 20% of your body weight while walking or running, you reduce the impact on your joints and improve your flexibility.

For people with osteoarthritis, this can be a real relief from joint pain Underwater treadmill and discomfort. In addition, underwater treadmill therapy has been proven to promote range of motion and muscle recovery for patients with injuries such as knee sprains, shoulder and ankle sprains, fractures and ACL reconstruction.

It is important to note that although an underwater treadmill can be a great way to help you recover from an injury, you should always see your physician before starting any exercise program. You should also avoid activities that can increase your risk of injury, such as running or jumping.

The water also acts as a natural shock absorber, which can help to protect your joints from jarring or damaging movements. This is especially true if you have an injury that prevents you from getting off the ground, such as a broken leg or fractured ankle.

You should also consider using a buoyancy belt for added support and comfort during an aquatic workout, and make sure to get a good night’s rest after your exercise session to allow your muscles and joints to recover properly.

If you are an athlete, an underwater treadmill can be a great way for you to maintain your competitive edge while recovering from injuries or illnesses. Elite runners and triathletes regularly use these devices for their weekly training, but they can be used by anyone who wants to enhance their cardiovascular fitness without putting unnecessary strain on their muscles or joints.

A recent study by Texas A&M University found that people who combine strength training and an underwater treadmill workout see more successful results in their muscle mass than those who only do resistance training on a land-based treadmill. This is because running through the water allows your body to exert more force, resulting in increased hip, leg and foot strength, and improvements in core muscle groups throughout your body.


An underwater treadmill is one of the best ways to build muscle mass. Its consistent resistance provides athletes with an unfailing challenge. It also allows them to use muscles they don’t typically use during land-based exercises. This translates to an increase in lean body mass that far outpaces the results of regular land-based exercises.

Besides the increased muscle-building benefits of an underwater treadmill, there are many other health and fitness benefits to using this type of exercise. These include:

Reduces Hypertension

According to a study conducted at Texas A&M University (TAMU), aquatic treadmill training reduces blood pressure more effectively than land-based exercises. The TAMU researchers tracked 60 adults and compared on-ground and underwater treadmill workouts, finding that the underwater routines led to greater reductions in diastolic blood pressure (BP), exercise systolic BP, and resting diastolic BP.

Reduces Joint Pain

Patients who suffer from osteoarthritis find relief with an underwater treadmill. Its warm water helps to relieve swelling, inflammation and joint stiffness. It also promotes early range of motion and increases flexibility.

Aids Gait Training

Another benefit of underwater treadmills is that they are low-impact, which can be a big help for people who may be unable to perform their usual exercise routines due to pain. The turbulence and buoyancy of the water are also beneficial for patients who have balance deficits.

Hydrotherapy on an underwater treadmill can be used to treat a variety of conditions and injuries. It can be a great tool for physical therapists to use on a regular basis to improve a patient’s mobility and function.

It can also be used as a way to strengthen and tone a patient’s muscles and joints, as well as correct faulty postures that have developed post-injury.

An experienced therapist can use an underwater treadmill to achieve the desired results in a safe and effective Underwater treadmill manner. They must make sure to assess each patient and take the necessary precautions before introducing them to this therapy.


Underwater treadmills offer a safe and effective form of exercise that can be used to treat a variety of injuries, conditions, and pain. Many physical therapists and other rehabilitation professionals use them for patients who have chronic joint and muscle pain, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, spinal injuries, or sports injuries like ankle sprains, fractures and knee surgery.

Underwater therapy has been shown to strengthen muscles and tendons, which can speed up recovery after an injury or reduce the pain associated with it. Additionally, it helps improve the gait and mobility of patients.

One study conducted at Texas A&M University showed that aquatic therapy significantly increased a patient’s range of motion after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. The results were similar to those of a physiotherapy group, with the added benefit of reduced stress on the injured joints.

Several patients who have recently undergone surgery, such as femoral head ostectomy, can benefit from underwater therapy because the low-weight-bearing environment allows them to exercise their newly formed joints without damaging scar tissue. Underwater walking also improves flexion of the stifle and hock, but only to a limited degree, which is why it’s often recommended in the pre-surgical stages of patients with joint disease or injury.

It’s important to talk to your veterinarian before starting hydrotherapy with your dog to ensure it is safe for them. Some conditions that may warrant caution include newly sutured areas, large wounds, incontinent patients and hot spots, which can be irritated and inflamed in the water.

Another consideration is that dogs who have recently undergone surgery will most likely need to wait for their incisions to heal and their vet to clear them for baths and swimming before starting on the treadmill. This is because the sutures that were placed during surgery might dissolve more quickly in water and could cause the area to open up or become infected.

In the end, the benefits of using an underwater treadmill are far-reaching and can help you to regain your strength and mobility faster than running on land alone. It can even help with preventing future injuries from occurring, making it a great choice for athletes and those recovering from injuries.

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