water treadmill pool

Benefits of a Water Treadmill Pool

Running on an underwater treadmill provides a low-impact workout while enhancing strength and endurance. Buoyancy reduces impact stress on the body’s joints, making it a safe option for anyone with injury or mobility issues.

The directional water jets provide additional resistance, engaging the upper body as well. This combined effect of increased resistance and unloading of the legs is what makes water running so effective.


A water treadmill pool allows you to exercise without the pain, aches and soreness that typically comes with land based exercises. It is the perfect solution for people with joint or back problems, as it allows you to walk, run or do exercise in a non-weight bearing environment. The resistance of the water helps build muscle strength and flexibility while reducing joint stress.

Even elite runners and triathletes use a water treadmill when they are injured, as it allows them to maintain their fitness and avoid losing too much ground while they recover from injury. It also allows them to increase their mileage, as running through the water forces your muscles to work harder and provides comparable cardiovascular benefits to running on a regular treadmill.

While the majority of users for a pool with an underwater treadmill will be those requiring rehabilitation, it is also gaining popularity among healthy individuals who are looking to get a better workout and reduce the risk of injury from land-based exercise. The boomer generation are known to be a fitter, healthier and more active group than previous generations, so it’s not surprising that they are moving toward home-based pools with an underwater treadmill for exercise and recovery.

For horse owners, a pool with an underwater treadmill can provide an excellent way to treat horses that have injuries or are recovering from surgery. Immersing a horse in a water treadmill improves circulation and reduces swelling by increasing extra-vascular pressure through compression. It can help the horse to move more freely, which is particularly beneficial if it has been injured or has had surgery on the lower leg or hoof.

A Hudson Aquatic drop-in underwater treadmill system, such as the AquaCiser III, can be installed into an existing pool and transform it into a therapeutic pool. Water temperature, depth and the direction of the treadmill belt can all be controlled and manipulated with this modular system that features a control console, water reservoir and treadmill housed in a fiberglass unit. It also includes an ozone sanitizer system, storage tank blanket and on-site in-service training.


Using an underwater treadmill in a swimming pool provides an effective and enjoyable way to exercise for fitness or rehabilitation. Studies show that the buoyancy and resistance of water reduces the amount of stress placed on the joints, yet provides an intense workout for both legs and core. The cardiovascular and fat-burning benefits of exercising on a land-based treadmill are also enhanced in the water. The speed of the treadmill can be varied, ranging from a gentle walk at 0.5 miles per hour to a brisk run at 5.5 miles per hour. The speed increases with the effort put forth, providing a challenging workout for anyone, regardless of age or level of physical condition.

While many of the same strength-building exercises that are used out of the water can be used in the water, some require special considerations water treadmill pool for safety and efficacy. For example, assistive devices that are often used to help improve walking on a land-based treadmill, such as weights or water wings, are less useful in the water. Instead, water-resistant remotes, like those included with an Endless Pools Hydrostride treadmill or any of our swim-in-place products, can be used to control a variety of treadmill speeds and options.

Additionally, the depth of the water has a significant impact on the muscular demands. Depending on the depth of the pool, walking in waist-deep water can reduce body weight by 50 percent, while chest-height water can lower impact forces to approximately 75%. These reduced loads can make the aquatic treadmill an ideal workout option for those suffering from knee or hip injuries.

Water turbulence, treadmill speed, and a range of other variables need to be carefully adjusted in order to achieve a successful outcome for each individual patient. For this reason, an experienced therapist is best equipped to handle a water treadmill therapy session or program. This is particularly important if the treadmill will be used with tetraparetic patients. In these cases, a team of people must be present to ensure the patient is safe and comfortable: one person to work with the rear limbs and one to work with the front limbs, as well as a third to prevent head submersion.


Exercise builds endurance, relieves pain and stiffness, boosts metabolism and promotes weight loss. However, land-based exercises can place too much stress on the body’s joints and muscles, making them uncomfortable for many people, particularly those with injuries or limited mobility.

Thankfully, water workouts can offer all the benefits of traditional exercise without this high-stress impact. Water treadmills in pools allow a patient to walk or run at the same pace water treadmill pool as on a regular treadmill while providing added resistance to help strengthen muscles and burn calories.

As a result, runners who use water therapy can train for longer periods of time than they would on land without putting so much strain on their joints. In fact, some elite athletes use water therapy to keep their training on track even when they are injured.

For horse owners, hydrotherapy includes everything from cold hosing a horse to treat soreness and swelling after a race to using an underwater treadmill for rehabilitation. The latter involves having a horse walk on an underwater treadmill at their veterinary practice to improve the horse’s range of motion and proprioception, as well as encourage respiratory and muscular development.

Hydrotherapy for equines can help them recover from knee, tendon, muscle and hoof conditions as well as neurological disorders such as kissing spine syndrome. In addition to improving mobility and strength, an underwater treadmill can also reduce joint inflammation, help horses lose weight and prevent a vicious cycle of pain, swelling, lameness and non-use that can often be difficult to break.

Hudson Aquatic’s AquaPaws underwater treadmills allow the physical therapist to control speed, turbulence and depth of the water, allowing them to create a custom treatment plan for each patient. Combined with jets that can be activated or turned off, the therapist has complete control of resistance, which is useful for strengthening and building cardiovascular endurance while simultaneously helping to reduce swelling and edema.

In a study published in the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, researchers found that walking on an underwater treadmill versus on a regular treadmill produced similar results when it came to maximal oxygen consumption and metabolic equivalents, which are measurements of heart and lung performance during exercise. While some patients with cardiac or respiratory problems may experience more discomfort on an underwater treadmill than others, most can exercise safely on one if they are monitored closely and the exercise is stopped before panting occurs.

Weight Loss

Whether you’re looking to lose weight, get in shape or recover from an injury, water treadmill training offers a powerful cardio workout that is easy on your joints. Studies have shown that walking or running in a pool gives nearly identical aerobic and cardiovascular benefits as on-land exercise, without the heavy impact and pounding to your muscles and joints. The buoyancy of the water supports your body and provides resistance, making it easier to work out for longer periods of time. With some models, the amount of resistance can be increased to give you a more challenging workout.

Working out in a swim spa with an underwater treadmill can burn up to 2 calories more per minute than on land. It’s also a great way to improve your balance, coordination and posture, which will help you feel and look your best. Using the Hydrostride treadmill or any of Endless Pools walk-in-place products can transform your home pool into a fitness center and allows you to customize your workout from a gentle walk at 0.5 miles per hour up to a challenging run at 5.5 miles per hour.

A water treadmill can help you achieve immediate rehabilitation results if you are recovering from orthopedic surgery, managing an arthritic condition or suffering from neurologic disorders (i.e. Parkinson’s disease, stroke or MS). The natural resistance of the water can help reduce pain and stiffness while allowing you to regain strength, endurance and flexibility.

If you are interested in purchasing a swim spa with an underwater treadmill, contact Breakthru Physical Therapy & Fitness today. Our expert team of Physical Therapists and Athletic Trainers are ready to answer your questions and will work with your insurance to make the most of your rehab experience. We are located in downtown Sarasota.

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