The Benefits of an Aqua Treadmill

The Benefits of an Aqua Treadmill

Hudson Aquatic offers a series of underwater treadmills that use the natural properties of water (buoyancy, hydrostatic pressure and viscosity) to provide a rigorous cardiovascular workout with less impact and stress on the body. Our systems are used by medical professionals and top athletes for rehabilitation from injury, optimal training and conditioning as well as weight loss and to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Cardiovascular Endurance

If you’re trying to get in shape, preparing for a race or rebounding from an injury, running on an underwater treadmill may be just the thing. The buoyancy and resistance of the water make it easy to mimic on-land movement while providing a challenging workout. Depending on the depth of the water, walking or running in an aquatic treadmill reduces impact by up to 75% on your knees, ankles and hips compared to on-land exercise.

Cardiovascular endurance is the ability to perform a workout at medium or high intensity for an extended period of time, without getting tired. It’s a measure of how well your heart and lungs work together to deliver oxygen-rich blood to working muscles, explains kinesiologist Rick Prince. If you’re a runner, improving your cardiovascular endurance will help you run longer distances, or even nail your next marathon PR.

For non-runners, improving your cardiovascular endurance can help you run or walk for longer periods of time and make everyday tasks, like climbing stairs, easier. Cardiovascular endurance can also help prevent and treat certain health conditions, including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

Walking or running on an underwater treadmill helps improve your cardiovascular and respiratory health. It increases your endurance and strengthens your leg muscles. It also decreases the risk of knee injuries and helps you recover more quickly from them. Athletes use aqua treadmills to boost their performance and train for events, such as marathons and triathlons.

You can find these treadmills in gyms, rehabilitation centres and private homes. They’re especially popular with runners and cyclists because they can provide a safe way to work up a sweat without putting too much strain on the legs. Some elite coaches have their athletes train on these treadmills, as well.

To maximize the benefits of an aquatic treadmill, it’s best to start out with a lower incline and speed and work your way up. If you’re recovering from an injury, your physician will guide you in choosing the appropriate level of resistance and intensity for your workout. A good starting point is to have a resting heart rate between 80 and 100 beats per minute.


For patients with chronic injuries or who have difficulty walking on land, an underwater treadmill offers a low-impact workout that allows them to perform gait exercises and strengthen the muscles in their legs and hips. The natural hydrostatic pressure of the water reduces swelling, relaxes joints and improves strength and flexibility. Walking and running in an underwater treadmill pool also helps reduce the risk of falling because the water provides support.

Even professional athletes who are not injured can benefit from the cardiovascular and resistance training of an aqua treadmill. For example, elite distance runners like Galen Rupp are using treadmill pools to train because they provide a safe way to increase the miles in their weekly training aqua treadmill without causing extra stress on the joints. The water also helps them recover more quickly from their hard road workouts.

An aquatic treadmill can be installed in a new or existing pool and offers the same functionality as a traditional treadmill. It can be used for rehabilitation or fitness and is available in a variety of sizes and options. The underwater treadmill system features a control panel with an adjustable speed and jets that can be used to increase or decrease the intensity of exercise and to add or remove resistance. The treadmill can be used with a water-based weights or an attachable massage hose to target stiff muscles.

The VTFC aquatic treadmill is a great tool to help patients regain mobility after surgery or injury, and can be used for postural, balance and strength training. It can be utilized in combination with specific strengthening exercises given to a patient by their Physical Therapist, to build muscle strength and prevent future injuries.

Many people with hip or leg injuries avoid activities such as walking because it can be very painful on their joints. However, exercising on an underwater treadmill reduces the body’s impact by up to 75%, and walking in warm water helps to relieve pain, decrease swelling and improves flexibility.


The natural buoyancy of water and the added resistance of an underwater treadmill make a workout with this apparatus a powerful strength-training tool. In fact, a recent study out of Texas A&M University found that runners and athletes who alternate aqua treadmill aquatic treadmill workouts with land-based strength training experience greater gains in lean body mass than those who perform on-land strength training alone. The increased exertion caused by the viscous nature of water also helps build muscle strength and endurance.

In addition, walking and running on an underwater treadmill provides an effective lower-body exercise that does not increase leg fatigue or put additional strain on muscles. This allows you to get a great cardio-resistance workout without putting too much stress on the joints, which makes it especially good for people who suffer from osteoarthritis or other chronic lower-body conditions.

Many users report that the ability to walk on an underwater treadmill relieves their joint pain and reduces the stiffness in their legs and feet. The natural hydrostatic pressure and soothing effects of the warm water relaxes muscles and joints to soothe inflammation and promote healing. The natural healing properties of the underwater treadmill are ideal for patients suffering from joint and muscle disorders like muscular dystrophy, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia.

Water treadmills are also a great option for older patients who want to stay in shape or are recovering from injury, as the buoyancy of the water allows them to walk and run for extended periods of time with less stress on the joints. The ability to control the speed of the underwater treadmills and the option to increase the resistance with the use of water jets means that you can get a workout that is both challenging and fun.

Whether you’re an elite runner or recovering from a knee injury, an aqua treadmill can help you get back to your sport sooner. In fact, the AquaWorx 300 Sport model at the Silvis Campus features one of the fastest underwater treadmills in the Quad Cities area, making it a popular choice among athletes and rehab patients alike.

Pain Relief

Running and walking on an underwater treadmill provides a great way to get back into exercise without the impact, shock and strain that would otherwise put extra pressure on injured muscles, joints and ligaments. Whether you’re an elite athlete who needs to up their mileage or someone recovering from injury, exercising on a controlled and challenging treadmill in the water can help restore muscle memory of running on dry land and provide a workout that will help reduce pain and improve mobility.

In a study comparing walking on a zero-impact aquatic treadmill and a regular treadmill, participants suffering from knee and hip osteoarthritis were found to have significantly less joint pain after participating in the aqua treadmill workout. This is because the natural buoyancy of the water reduces impact forces on the bones and joints while still providing a full-body workout.

Another benefit of the water is that it can be used to change resistance levels. For example, by increasing the depth of the water, you can increase the intensity of your workout and increase the calories burned. In addition, the temperature of the water can also be adjusted to help reduce swelling and edema, making it easier for your body to exercise with minimal discomfort.

Physical therapists who use the aqua treadmill to treat injury and rehabilitation patients will often incorporate it into a patient’s overall rehabilitation plan to speed up recovery. This is because the aquatic treadmill offers a more comfortable and safe environment than traditional land-based therapy. For injured athletes, being able to exercise on the treadmill sooner will help to reduce psychological stress about losing training time and fitness gains.

As with any form of exercise, it’s important to consult your doctor or physical therapist before starting an aquatic treadmill program. If you are unsure whether or not this type of training is right for you, a physical therapist can help you decide and guide your workouts to ensure you’re receiving the most effective treatment possible. The team at AICA Orthopedics is committed to helping you through the recovery process and using an aqua treadmill can be one beneficial way to speed up your rehabilitation in a supportive healing environment.