Benefits of an Aqua Treadmill

aqua treadmill

Benefits of an Aqua Treadmill

Underwater treadmills provide an effective workout for clients seeking to rehabilitate injuries, train and gain fitness. Hudson Aquatic systems’ underwater treadmills combine buoyancy, resistance and hydrostatic pressure for a safe, low impact workout.

Longer exercise durations combined with the heightened resistance of water generate greater cardiovascular endurance, which pumps up a client’s on-ground physical stamina. This improves muscle strength too.

Cardiovascular Endurance

Cardiovascular endurance is the ability of your body to maintain a high-level exercise intensity without fatigue or excessive stress on the heart and lungs. Your cardiovascular endurance determines your maximum exercise capacity, which helps you burn more calories during a workout and throughout the day and also aids in weight loss. It also allows you to complete daily tasks, such as carrying a laundry basket full of clothes or climbing the stairs, more easily and with less effort.

Whether you’re a professional athlete or someone recovering from injury, you can improve your cardiovascular endurance with an aqua treadmill. This type of pool-based exercise uses a conveyor belt submerged in water to allow you to walk or run at an adjustable speed and level of resistance. The conveyor belt is controlled by an electric motor. It’s not the same as a regular land-based treadmill, but it’s a great way to maintain your fitness level aqua treadmill while easing up on joint-stressing exercises that can be difficult to do with the help of an aquatic therapist or trainer.

For example, a recent study by TAMU showed that people who use underwater treadmills in addition to their traditional workouts have more strength and better mobility than those who only do land-based exercises. And for those with joint problems, such as osteoarthritis, the buoyancy and comfort offered by an underwater treadmill can be a real boon.


In addition to being an effective cardiovascular workout, using a water treadmill also provides the body with a challenging strength training session. The heightened resistance and decreased body weight of exercising in water allows individuals to perform walking, running or sports-specific exercises that require greater exertion without the joint stress. In addition, many water treadmills allow users to adjust the depth of the water so that it enables them to increase or decrease the resistance as they progress in their training and rehabilitation.

This water-based exercise therapy has become a popular choice for athletes and patients alike. Athletes use it to strengthen their bodies before and after a competition or for recovery from a medical procedure or injury. Physical therapists are also increasingly using water treadmills to assist patients in strengthening their muscles and recovering from injuries or surgery.

Studies on human subjects have shown that the simulated movement of running or walking on an underwater treadmill is very similar to what occurs when doing these activities on land. This low-impact activity makes it possible for people with arthritis and other painful joints or muscles to get a full cardio and strength training session while protecting their knees, hips and back. In fact, a study on 71 OA-afflicted sexagenarians found that these individuals experienced reduced pain and increased mobility after participating in aquatic treadmill sessions.


Oftentimes, when recovering from injuries or surgeries to the lower body, it’s recommended that patients refrain from any weight-bearing exercise. Fortunately, thanks to the buoyancy of water and the principle of hydrostatic pressure, an aquatic treadmill can be used as early as days following a surgical procedure or injury to help strengthen the leg muscles without any pain or discomfort.

The water also provides a greater amount of resistance than that found on land, which allows users to get a similar lower-body cardio and fat-burning workout while remaining injury-free. This is why so many athletes, trainers and physical therapists recommend running on an underwater treadmill as part of a comprehensive recovery plan.

While the benefits of an aqua treadmill are numerous, the equipment can be costly if purchased for home use. Luckily, some physical therapists and university athletic therapy departments have this type of equipment on hand for patient use. For the rest of us, there are more minimal machines that can be dropped into a standard pool or rehabilitation tub (like the systems offered by Hudson Aquatic Systems and Hydro Physio).

Whether a runner has been injured or a person with an arthritic condition finds that their legs ache after long walks on conventional land-based treadmills, an underwater treadmill can provide an effective solution to their pain while simultaneously offering a full lower body and core workout. In fact, according to a study conducted by TAMU, combining underwater treadmill workouts with on-land strength training leads to greater improvements in leg and hip muscle strength.


Using an underwater treadmill can help you regain muscle function and improve balance, which can aid in your recovery from injuries. It also enhances your flexibility by reducing the stress on joints and tendons. You can perform water resistance training, rehabilitation, athletic conditioning or swimming using the versatile treadmill system.

The warm water of the aquatic treadmill reduces joint and muscle tension, allowing you to move more freely without straining your body. The natural hydrostatic pressure of the water can help decrease swelling and aqua treadmill relax your joints, and the speed of the treadmill can be adjusted to accommodate different fitness levels.

As a result, you’ll be able to increase your range of motion more quickly than you would in an air-conditioned gym. Many runners, including elite coaches like Alberto Salazar and top distance runners Galen Rupp, have found that running on an underwater treadmill helps them recover from high mileage and build strength more quickly than doing the same workouts on land.

The HydroWorx 300 Sport pool at the Silvis campus features an underwater treadmill that allows you to do a variety of group exercise classes, including cardiovascular endurance training, muscle toning and weight loss. The machine has two underwater cameras and a flatscreen viewing monitor to assist your physical therapist in observing gait patterns during exercise, and the jets can be used to add resistance.