What are the Different Types of Aquatic Exercise Equipment?

Simone Lawson

Aquatic exercise is an ideal low-impact workout for those who suffer from joint or muscle pain. Performing aquatic exercises consistently may help reduce pain, increase flexibility and burn calories. The models of exercise equipment vary according to the designers and manufacturers, but the basic types of equipment are aquatic treadmills, underwater stair climbers, workout stations and aquatic fitness systems. There are several aquatic exercises that can be performed without equipment, but many find aquatic exercise equipment enhances their workout and improves physical results.

Aquatic therapy -- which is performing rehabilitation exercises in the water -- puts little stress on the joints and bones.
Aquatic therapy -- which is performing rehabilitation exercises in the water -- puts little stress on the joints and bones.

One of the more common pieces of aquatic exercise equipment is the aquatic treadmill. Aquatic treadmills are very similar to standard treadmills, but they sit at the bottom of the pool and are used underwater. Using an underwater treadmill has numerous health benefits and is ideal for those with injuries who are looking to get a cardiovascular workout.

Aquatic therapy may be used to treat various muscle strains.
Aquatic therapy may be used to treat various muscle strains.

The most beneficial aspect of the treadmill is that it gives a strength-building workout and burns calories without creating any pressure on the bones or joints. The majority of effort exerted during this workout comes from the resistance of moving the legs through water. Aquatic treadmills tend to be very expensive and may take up quite a bit of room in a standard-sized home pool; using this piece of aquatic exercise equipment may be more practical in a gym or fitness center.

Another type of aquatic exercise equipment is the underwater stair climber. The aquatic stair climber is more compact and easy to install. The stair climber may also easily be moved in and out of a home swimming pool. This piece of equipment works similarly to a gym stair stepper but offers the benefits of cardiovascular exercise without the joint and muscle stress. Some aquatic stair steppers include additional arm pieces for added weight resistance or abdominal twisting.

Water workout stations are another option for portable or detachable aquatic exercise equipment. Water workout stations typically combine several components to form a single piece of exercise equipment. The components may consist of a pull-up bar that rests above the pools edge, a set of pedals for stair climbing and a rotating hand device that can be used to perform lat-pulls or oblique exercises. This is an ideal form of portable exercise equipment, as it allows for versatility, takes up little space and is relatively inexpensive.

A more expensive option for aquatic exercise equipment would be an aquatic fitness system. Aquatic fitness systems are specially designed pools that include many different pieces of aquatic exercise equipment. These systems typically include adjustable swim jets, non slip surfaces for safer workouts, resistance bars and built-in edges for various water resistance exercises that can be performed without equipment.

Aquatic systems may be installed indoors or outdoors. Most have aquatic systems installed outdoors and then seal the area with a greenhouse-type structure. The cost for the system itself may be several thousand U.S. dollars, excluding the cost of installation. These systems are ideal for those who have a serious commitment to aquatic exercise.

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