The external use of water for a variety of purposes is as old as mankind and have been widely used in ancient cultures. Water training and therapy have shown beneficial effects on various physiological systems of the body. We therefore use the SSL Poolwork program for training, recovery after training as well as rehabilitation.
From a training perspective, strength is developed as the athlete is constantly required to work against resistance in any range of motion and in multiple planes of movement. Muscles and joints are therefore strengthened in multiple ranges and planes of movement. In addition, water demands fluid movement in order to generate velocity. Coordinated, simultaneous contraction of the agonist and relaxation of the antagonist is therefore key.
The Poolwork Program is ballistic in nature athletes, therefore also utilize the stretch-shortening muscle cycle that ultimately leads to the ability to produce maximal force in a cyclical movement. As there is minimal load or weight bearing on the joints, water therapy can be introduced early in the rehabilitation process. In addition, the weight of the limbs is supported by the water, which allows an athlete to continue to move an injured body part through full range of motion. Pressure from water on soft tissue have also shown to reduce pain and swelling and promote muscle relaxation. Various studies have also shown that, compared to passive methods (massage, ice bath, compressive therapy etc.), active recovery in water after training significantly lower fatigue and delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS) and improve physical recovery.