Benefits of the Magical Properties of
5 Properties of Water.
short, you are getting a complete overall full body
workout, without the impact to your joints, you won’t
get hot, you won’t get nearly as winded, the risk of
DOMS (the muscle soreness the next day) is greatly
reduced, and you are having fun! You have an effective
way to get a complete overall workout without feeling
like you have.
There are so many benefits to exercising in water that
it is worth the first-class experience because you are
learning how your body works, how to use your body
effectively without the normal stresses that gravity and
exertion normally put us through.
Water workouts are a great way to get fit and to keep
fit! The unique physical properties of water provide an
ideal environment for exercise. The natural buoyancy of
water reduces weight bearing stress, allowing greater
ease of movement with less strain on bones, joints, and
muscles. The increased density of water creates even and
fluid resistance in all directions, comfortably toning
and strengthening muscles with greater balance and
efficiency. Turbulence, hydrostatic pressure, buoyancy,
resistance and thermal conductivity are all properties
that make water a magical environment in which to move.
Benefits? Everyone Who Tries It!
Athletes such as: runners and marathoners, football,
basketball, soccer, rugby players, swimmers, weight
lifters, walkers, gymnasts, skiers, dancers and
Health and wellness conscious people
Rehabilitation patients ex: breast cancer, accident
recovery, arthritis, multiple sclerosis,
osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, parkinson, spinal
development, gait training, cardio, sport injuries
and joint rehabilitation
Weight, strength, stature and mobility
challenged people Pre and post natal
Persons looking for cross training
Persons who are unable to exercise due to weather
1. Aquafit is for
everyone Not every fitness class can claim to be for
everyone. Some classes are too easy for some, and too
difficult for others. Some are way too sweat-inducing
for people. Others are too stressful on the body.
Aquafit is perfect for everyone - whether you exercise
every week or are getting active for the first time in
your life. All fitness levels can take part. You don't
need to worry about being a swimmer either. Lessons are
purposely held in shallow water so that they're
inclusive for all.
2. It's friendly
on the joints Exercising on dry land, particularly in
activities that involve running, puts strain on joints
that impacts the body negatively over time. Repetitive
impact causes neck, back and legs to tighten, leaving
them more susceptible to injury. That's why it's as
important to rest as it is to exercise. Aquafit lifts
the gravity forcing weight down on your body and reduces
impact on joints by 85 percent.
The low-impact nature of Aquafit makes it a great
activity for anyone recovering from injury. It's ideally
suited to suffers of chronic joint conditions such as
sclerosis or arthritis.
3. You don't get all sweaty A full-body workout that
won't make you all red-faced and sweaty. How good is
that? It's not that you don't sweat during Aquafit, it's
just that water is great at regulating body temperature
and wicking away sweat. You'll still be burning those
calories, though, so you'll need to keep well hydrated.
4. It's a full-body workout Don't let a lack of visible
perspiration trick you into thinking you're not doing
enough. Just because Aquafit is easy on the joints,
doesn't mean you aren't seriously working those muscles.
Every movement is Aquafit is met with resistance from
the water, which builds muscle and increases
flexibility. The extra pressure from the water makes
muscles work harder, which in turn makes the heart work
harder. And when the heart's pumping, calories are
5. You'll feel better mentally Aquafit improves your
mental health. It decreases anxiety and depression and
boosts mood. This isn't us just speculating, these
benefits were found in a study by the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention in the US.
6. Aquafit is fun and beneficial. Aquafit is a get
together of friends and like-minded people. Everyone's
there to enjoy being active and experience healing. The
music is good and CALA instructors are upbeat and
enthusiastic throughout. Your one hour of exercise flies
by but the benefit continues long after the class!
muscles can be worked at
same time or you
isolate specific muscles.
participant is able to work at their own intensity
unlike land sessions where you feel it is necessary to
keep up with the instructor.
feel safe in the water. They are not going to fall and
hurt themselves- They work in water that is at a level
comfortable to them.
Effects of Buoyancy: A Summary
the effects of gravity on movement: An individual
who weighs 70 kg on land will weigh about 7 kg in
neck deep water. Populations who have load bearing
difficulty on land (including obese, frail elderly,
arthritic, disabled, injured, and women in the
childbearing year, athletes who have been
overtraining on land, people with other kinds of
painful joint disorders) will exercise in relative
comfort and ease in the water.
results in decreased joint loading: When the bones
within a joint are not forced together by gravity,
the joint may have slightly increased range of
motion and movement comfort. CALA vertical water
training exercises using “The Charlene Kopansky
Method” are designed to encourage full range of
motion. The benefits of this include increased joint
mobility and resistance to joint injury.
The force of buoyancy assists venous return:
On land, the downward force of gravity pushes the
blood toward the feet. The cardiovascular system
must work against gravity to return blood to the
heart. In the water, the up-thrust of buoyancy
counteracts the downward pull of gravity, assisting
venous return. This will contribute to lower
exercise heart rates during vertical aquatic
training; however, this does not imply that the
training effect is lower.
The buoyancy of water decreases the amount of shock
which is transmitted through the
bones/joints/ligaments on landing, while in chest
deep water. In deep water, there is no impact,
therefore no shock to the body.
Buoyancy decreases the effects of gravity: Body
weight is reduced by 75– 90% (chest to neck level
immersion). An individual who weighs 70kg on land
will weigh about 7kg in neck deep water. Special
populations including the obese, the elderly who may
have fragile bones, the arthritic, the disabled, the
injured athlete, as well as pre and post natal women
will exercise with relative ease in the water.
Range of motion is increased; this improves joint
mobility and contributes to dynamic flexibility
The force of buoyancy assists in venous return. On
land, the downward force of gravity pushes blood
toward the feet. The cardiovascular system works
against gravity to return blood to the heart. In the
water, the up-thrust of buoyancy counteracts the
downward pull of gravity thus assisting with venous
return. This will contribute to lower exercise heart
rates during aqua-fitness!
Effects of Hydrostatic Pressure (HP): A Summary
Venous return and cardiac function are greatly
enhanced by HP during vertical water training.
HP assists participants to exercise more vigorously
with less strain on the cardiovascular system and a
reduced training heart rate for a given level of
exertion (as compared to land exercise). This does
not imply that the training effect is lower.
HP reduces swelling of injured or edematous
(swollen) joints or limbs below the water. This
effect is enhanced with greater depth of immersion.
The pressure of water on the chest wall creates a
training effect for the respiratory muscles. This
pressure may be excessive for people with poor
respiratory health and /or compromised respiratory
Effects of Turbulence: A Summary
Currents and eddies in the water massage the skin,
promoting circulation, relaxation and increased pain
contributes to the resistance felt in aquatic exercise
(see Coefficient of Drag, PD equation, Resistance
earlier in this chapter).
Turbulence creates an unstable environment encouraging
the core muscles of the body to become stronger to
maintain correct position and posture. Turbulence can be
manipulated to make an exercise easier or harder.
The core muscles become stronger as participants
learn to stabilize their bodies against turbulence.
Balance is challenged and trained by turbulence.
Exercises can be designed to work with or against
turbulence, thereby increasing or decreasing
Turbulence enhances venous return thus lowering the
exercise heart rate as compared to the same exercise
intensity on land. This does not imply a lower
Effects of Thermal Conductivity: A Summary
For all of the following points, it is assumed that
vertical water training is being conducted in the
appropriate water temperature.
The water “wicks” away excess body heat during VWT
using the “Charlene Kopansky Method”, creating a
cool, comfortable environment for vigorous exercise.
Blood that would be shunted to the skin for cooling
(on land) is available to the working muscles when
exercising in water. It
available to deliver oxygen and remove waste
products from the working muscles
The heart does not have to work as hard as it does
on land to assist with thermoregulation of the
Pool temperatures can be altered to meet the needs
of special groups, from rehabilitation (31° to 37°C
/ 88° to 98°F), to intense athletic training (around
Water conducts heat approximately 25 times faster
The water ‘wicks’ away excess body heat during
exercise, creating a cool, comfortable workout
Effects of Water‟s
Resistance: A Summary
The force and energy required to move through water
develops muscle and bone strength as well as
cardiovascular and muscular endurance. Remember that
the resistance of water will only be effective if
limbs are kept under the water when moving.
By changing hand / foot configuration, lever
lengths, speed or range of motion, the work done
during vertical water exercise is readily altered to
suit a variety of participant needs.
Resistance to movement in all directions fosters
balanced muscle usage and training. VWT can be
classified in a category of “All Gain, No Pain”,
according to fellow aqua enthusiast, Irene Wallin,
formerly of H2Oz, Australia. Water accommodates all
levels of fitness.
(Newton.s Third Law): When proper alignment and
movement technique are taught and maintained in
vertical water training, many muscle groups must be
recruited to stabilize the body. These challenges
ultimately develop coordination (an essential
component of fitness) as they increase core strength
Movements are slower and less likely to be jerky in
water is approximately
1000 times greater
of the exercise
increased or decreased
by changing hand positions
area). The hand positions include the following
choices for a participant:
Slice: easiest intensity in terms of surface area
Fist: moderate intensity
in terms of
Flat hand: hardest
intensity in terms of
Specific hand-held Equipment: has the
much higher level of intensity
in terms of
intensity of the workout can be greatly altered by
changing shape / size / and, or speed of the moving body
parts. Increasing the speed of motion while maintaining
surface area and range of motion will cause an
exponential increase in the work done.
movement performed under the water will encounter
resistance. This means that the body will meet
resistance in every direction of movement.
of water dampens the speed of motion and the end point
of each movement thus preventing or diminishing the
occurrence of jerky movements and the risk of injury.
energy expenditure in water is similar or greater than
on land because more stabilizer muscles are used during
water exercise, especially if it is performed while
suspended in deep water.