Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Journal of Human Kinetics

The Journal of Academy of Physical Education in Katowice

4 Issues per year

IMPACT FACTOR 2016: 0.798
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.252

CiteScore 2016: 1.16

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.483
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.792

Open Access
See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 44, Issue 1 (Dec 2014)


The Properties of Water and their Applications for Training

Lorena Torres-Ronda / Xavi Schelling i del Alcázar
Published Online: 2014-12-30 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/hukin-2014-0129


The biological effects of immersion in water, which are related to the fundamental principles of hydrodynamics, may be beneficial in certain training contexts. The effects and physical properties of water, such as density, hydrostatic pressure and buoyancy are highly useful resources for training, when used as a counterbalance to gravity, resistance, a compressor and a thermal conductor. Not only does the aquatic medium enable a wider range of activities to be used in a context of low joint impact, but it also constitutes a useful tool in relation to sports rehabilitation, since it allows the athlete to return to training earlier or to continue with high-intensity exercise while ensuring both low joint impact and greater comfort for the individual concerned. Moreover, this medium enables the stimulation of metabolic and neuromuscular systems, followed by their corresponding physiological adaptations allowing both to maintain and improve athletic performance. Hydrotherapy can also play a beneficial role in an athlete’s recovery, helping to prevent as well as treat muscle damage and soreness following exercise.

Keywords: aquatic training; rehabilitation; recovery


  • Al Haddad H, Laursen P, Chollet D, Lemaitre F, Ahmaidi S, Buchheit M. Effect of cold or thermoneutral water immersion on post-exercise heart rate recovery and heart rate variability indices. Auton Neurosci-Basic, 2010; 156: 111-116CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Alberton CL, Cadore EL, Pinto SS, Tartaruga MP, da Silva EM, Martins Kruel LF. Cardiorespiratory, neuromuscular and kinematic responses to stationary running performed in water and on dry land. Eur J Appl Physiol, 2011; 111: 1157-1166CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Arazi H, Asadi A. The effect of aquatic and land plyometric training on strength, sprint, and balance inyoung basketball players. J Hum Sport Exercise, 2011; 6: 101-111CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Arazi H, Coetzee B, Asadi A. Comparative effect of land- and aquatic-based plyoetric training on jumping ability and agility of young basketball players. South African J Res Sport Phys Edu Recreation, 2012; 34: 1-14Google Scholar

  • Bahnert A, Norton K, Lock P. Association between post-game recovery protocols, physical and perceived recovery, and performance in elite Australian Football League players. J Sci Med Sport, 2013; 16: 151-156PubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Barela AM, Stolf SF, Duarte M. Biomechanical characteristics of adults walking in shallow water and on land. J Electromyogr Kinesiol, 2006; 16: 250-256PubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Becker BE. Aquatic Therapy: Scientific Foundations and Clinical Rehabilitation Applications. Pm&R, 2009; 1: 859-872PubMedGoogle Scholar

  • Bieuzen F, Bleakley CM, Costello JT. Contrast Water Therapy and Exercise Induced Muscle Damage: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Plos One, 2013; 8: e62356CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Bleakley C, McDonough S, Gardner E, Baxter GD, Hopkins JT, Davison GW. Cold-water immersion (cryotherapy) for preventing and treating muscle soreness after exercise. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2012Google Scholar

  • Bongers CC, Thijssen DH, Veltmeijer MT, Hopman MT, Eijsvogels TM. Precooling and percooling (cooling during exercise) both improve performance in the heat: a meta-analytical review. Br J Sports Med, 2014; 19: 2013-092928Google Scholar

  • Bove A. Medical disorders related to diving. J Intensive Care Med, 2002; 17: 75-86CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Buchheit M, Al Haddad H, Chivot A, Lepretre PM, Ahmaidi S, Laursen PB. Effect of in- versus out-of-water recovery on repeated swimming sprint performance. Eur J Appl Physiol, 2010; 108: 321-327CrossrefPubMedGoogle Scholar

  • Buchheit M, Peiffer JJ, Abbiss CR, Laursen PB. Effect of cold water immersion on postexercise parasympathetic reactivation. Am J Physiol-Heart C, 2009; 296: H421-H427Google Scholar

  • Bushman BA, Flynn MG, Andres FF, Lambert CP, Taylor MS, Braun WA. Effect of 4 wk of deep water run training on running performance. Med Sci Sport Exercise, 1997; 29: 694-699CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Colado JC, Garcia-Masso X, Gonzalez LM, Triplett NT, Mayo C, Merce J. Two-leg squat jumps in water: an effective alternative to dry land jumps. Int J Sport Med, 2010; 31: 118-122CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Colado JC, Tella V, Travis Triplett N, Gonzalez LM. Effects of a short-term aquatic resistance programe on strength and body composition in fit young men. J Strength Cond Res, 2009; 23: 549-559CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Darby LA, Yaekle BC. Physiological responses during two types of exercise performed on land and in the water. J Sports Med Phys Fitness, 2000; 40: 303-311 de Souza A, Pinto S, Kanitz A, Rodrigues B, Alberton C, da Silva E, Martins L. Physiological comparisons between aquatic resistance training procols with and without equipment. J Strength Cond Res, 2012; 26: 276-283Google Scholar

  • Delextrat A, Hippocrate A, Leddington-Wright S, Clarke ND. Including Stretches to a Massage Routine Improves Recovery From Official Matches in Basketball Players. J Strength Cond Res, 2014; 28: 716CrossrefPubMedGoogle Scholar

  • DeMaere JM, Ruby BC. Effects of deep water and treadmill running on oxygen uptake and energy expenditure in seasonally trained cross country runners. J Sports Med Phys Fit, 1997; 37: 175-181Google Scholar

  • Donoghue OA, Shimojo H, Takagi H. Impact forces of plyometric exercises performed on land and in water. Sports Health, 2011; 3: 303-309PubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Dowzer C, Reilly T, Cable N. Effects of deep and shallow water running on spinal shrinkage. Brit J Sport Med, 1998; 32: 44-48CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Fontana H, Haupenthal A, Ruschel C, Pizzolatti A, Cerutti P, Roesler H. Comparison of ground reaction forces between in-place and forward water running at two levels of immersion. Portuguese J Sport Sci, 2011; 11: 495-498Google Scholar

  • Gatti CJ, Young RJ, Glad HL. Effect of water-training in the maintenance of cardiorespiratory endurance of athletes. Br J Sports Med, 1979; 13: 161-164PubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Haff GG. Aquatic Cross Training for Athletes: Part I. Strength Cond J, 2008; 20: 18-26CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Haupenthal A, Fontana H, Ruschel C, dos Santos D, Roesler H. Ground reaction forces in shallow water running are affected by immersion level, running speed and gender. J Sci Med Sport, 2013; 16: 348-352CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Haupenthal A, Ruschel C, Fontana H, Santos D, Cerutti P, Helio R. Load during the vertical jump in water: values for prescription in hydrotherapy. Portuguese J Sport Sci, 2011; 11: 515-518Google Scholar

  • Haupenthal A, Ruschel C, Hubert M, Fontana H, Roesler H. Loading forces in shallow water running at two levels of inmersion. J Rehab Med, 2010; 42: 664-669Google Scholar

  • Higgins D, Kaminski T. Contrast therapy does not cause fluctuations in human gastrocnemius intramuscular temperature. J Athl Training, 1998; 33: 336-340Google Scholar

  • Higgins T, Cameron M, Climstein M. Evaluation of passive recovery, cold water immersion, and contrast baths for recovery, as measured by game performances markers, between two simulated games of rugby union. J Strength Cond Res, 2012PubMedGoogle Scholar

  • Ingram J, Dawson B, Goodman C, Wallman K, Beilby J. Effect of water immersion methods on post-exercise recovery from simulated team sport exercise. J Sci Med Sport, 2009; 12: 417-421CrossrefPubMedGoogle Scholar

  • Jones K, Waters D, Legge M, Jones L. Upright water-based exercise to improve cardiovascular and metabolic health: a qualitative review. Complement Ther Med, 2011; 19: 93-103CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Killgore GL. Deep-Water Running: A Practical Review of the Literature with an Emphasis on Biomechanics. Physician Sportsmed, 2012; 40: 116-126CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • King M, Duffield R. The effects of recovery interventions on consecutive days of intermittent sprint exercise.PubMedGoogle Scholar

  • J Strength Cond Res, 2009; 23: 1795-1802 LaStayo PC, Woolf JM, Lewek MD, Snyder-Mackler L, Reich T, Lindstedt SL. Eccentric muscle contractions: Their contribution to injury, prevention, rehabilitation, and sport. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther, 2003; 33: 557-571Google Scholar

  • Leeder J, Gissane C, van Someren K, Gregson W, Howatson G. Cold water immersion and recovery from strenuous exercise: a meta-analysis. Brit J Sport Med, 2012; 46: 233-240CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Martel GF, Harmer ML, Logan JM, Parker CB. Aquatic plyometric training increases vertical jump in female volleyball players. Med Sci Sport Exercise, 2005; 37: 1814-1819CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Meredith-Jones K, Waters D, Legge M, Jones L. Upright water-based exercise to improve cardiovascular and metabolic health: A qualitative review. Complement Ther Med, 2011; 19: 93-103CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Miller M, Berry C, Bullard S, Gilders R. Comparisons of Land-Based and Aquatic-Based Plyometric Programs During an 8-Week Training Period. J Sport Rehabil, 2002; 11: 268-283Google Scholar

  • Parouty J, Al Haddad H, Quod M, Lepretre PM, Ahmaidi S, Buchheit M. Effect of cold water immersion on 100-m sprint performance in well-trained swimmers. Eur J Appl Physiol, 2010; 109: 483-490CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Peiffer JJ, Abbiss CR, Watson G, Nosaka K, Laursen PB. Effect of cold-water immersion duration on body temperature and muscle function. J Sports Sci, 2009; 27: 987-993PubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Pinto SS, Cadore EL, Alberton CL, Silva EM, Kanitz AC, Tartaruga MP, Kruel LF. Cardiorespiratory and neuromuscular responses during water aerobics exercise performed with and without equipment. Int J Sport Med, 2011; 32: 916-923Google Scholar

  • Pinto SS, Cadore EL, Alberton CL, Zaffari P, Bagatini NC, Baroni BM, Radaelli R, Lanferdini FJ, Colado JC, Pinto RS, Vaz MA, Bottaro M, Kruel LF. Effects of intra-session exercise sequence during water-based concurrent training. Int J Sport Med, 2014; 35: 41-48Google Scholar

  • Reilly T, Dowzer CN, Cable NT. The physiology of deep-water running. J Sports Sci 2003; 21: 959-972PubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Robey E, Dawson B, Halson S, Gregson W, Goodman C, Eastwood P. Sleep quantity and quality in elite youth soccer players: a pilot study. Eur J Sport Sci, 2014; 14: 410-417CrossrefPubMedGoogle Scholar

  • Robinson LE, Devor ST, Merrick MA, Buckworth J. The effects of land vs. aquatic plyometrics on power, torque, velocity, and muscle soreness in women. J Strength Cond Res, 2004; 18: 84-91Google Scholar

  • Roesler H, Haupenthal A, Schutz GR, de Souza PV. Dynamometric analysis of the maximum force applied in aquatic human gait at 1.3 m of immersion. Gait & Posture, 2006; 24: 412-417CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Ross M, Abbiss C, Laursen P, Martin D, Burke L. Precooling Methods and Their Effects on Athletic Performance A Systematic Review and Practical Applications. Sport Med, 2013; 43: 207-225CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Stanley J, Buchheit M, Peake JM. The effect of post-exercise hydrotherapy on subsequent exercise performance and heart rate variability. Eur J Appl Physiol, 2012; 112: 951-961PubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Stemm JD, Jacobson BH. Comparison of land- and aquatic-based plyometric training on vertical jump performance. J Strength Cond Res, 2007a; 21: 568-571PubMedGoogle Scholar

  • Stemm JD, Jacobson BH. Comparison of land- and aquatic-based plyometric training on vertical jump performance. J Strength Cond Res, 2007b; 21: 568-571PubMedGoogle Scholar

  • Thein JM, Brody LT. Aquatic-based rehabilitation and training for the elite athlete. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther, 1998; 27: 32-41PubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Torres R, Ribeiro F, Duarte JA, Cabri JMH. Evidence of the physiotherapeutic interventions used currently after exercise-induced muscle damage: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Phys Ther Sport, 2012; 13: 101-114CrossrefPubMedGoogle Scholar

  • Tyler C, Sunderland C, Cheung S. Effect of cooling prior to and during exercise on exercise performance and capacity in the heat: a meta-analysis. Brit J Sport Med, 2013Google Scholar

  • Vaile J, Halson S, Gill N, Dawson B. Effect of cold water immersion on repeat cycling performance and thermoregulation in the heat. J Sports Sci, 2008; 26: 431-440CrossrefPubMedGoogle Scholar

  • Vaile J, Halson S, Gill N, Dawson B. Effect of hydrotherapy on the signs and symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness. Eur J Appl Physiol, 2008 102: 447-455PubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Versey N, Halson S, Dawson B. Effect of contrast water therapy duration on recovery of cycling performance: a dose-response study. Eur J Appl Physiol, 2011; 111: 37-46PubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Versey NG, Halson SL, Dawson BT. Water Immersion Recovery for Athletes: Effect on Exercise Performance and Practical Recommendations. Sport Med, 2013; 43: 1101-1130CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Wegmann M, Faude O, Poppendieck W, Hecksteden A, Froehlich M, Meyer T. Pre-Cooling and Sports Performance A Meta-Analytical Review. Sport Med, 2012; 42: 545-564CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • White G, Wells G. Cold-water immersion and other forms of cryotherapy: physiological changes potentially affecting recovery from high-intensity exercise. Extreme Physiol Med, 2013; 2: 26CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Wilber RL, Moffatt RJ, Scott BE, Lee DT, Cucuzzo NA. Influence of water run training on the maintenance of aerobic performance. Med Sci Sport Exercise, 1996; 28: 1056-1062CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Wilcock I, Cronin J, Hing W. Physiological response to water immersion: a method for sport recovery? Sport Med, 2006a; 36: 747-765CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Wilcock I, Cronin J, Hing W. Water immersion: does it enhance recovery from exercise? Int J Sports Physiol Perform, 2006b; 1: 195-206 PubMedGoogle Scholar

About the article

Accepted: 2014-12-01

Published Online: 2014-12-30

Published in Print: 2014-12-01

Citation Information: Journal of Human Kinetics, ISSN (Online) 1899-7562, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/hukin-2014-0129.

Export Citation

© by Lorena Torres-Ronda. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Gabriela B. David, Luana S. Andrade, Gustavo Z. Schaun, and Cristine L. Alberton
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2017, Volume 31, Number 10, Page 2852
Yutaka Igarashi and Yoshie Nogami
European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 2017, Page 204748731773116
Sergio Gianesini, Mirko Tessari, Primo Bacciglieri, Anna Maria Malagoni, Erica Menegatti, Savino Occhionorelli, Nino Basaglia, and Paolo Zamboni
Phlebology, 2016, Page 026835551667353
Patrick Wahl, Maximilian Sanno, Karoline Ellenberg, Hosea Frick, Ezra Böhm, Björn Haiduck, Jan-Peter Goldmann, Silvia Achtzehn, Gert-Peter Brüggemann, Joachim Mester, and Wilhelm Bloch
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2017, Volume 31, Number 1, Page 162
Yue Zhang, Yi-Zhao Wang, Li-Ping Huang, Bei Bai, Shi Zhou, Miao-Miao Yin, Hua Zhao, Xiao-Na Zhou, and Hong-Tu Wang
American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 2016, Volume 95, Number 11, Page 840
Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2016, Volume 59, Number 3, Page 576
Talin J. Louder, Cade J. Searle, and Eadric Bressel
Sports Biomechanics, 2016, Volume 15, Number 3, Page 342
Danae Varveri, Andreas D. Flouris, Nikitas Smirnios, Elizana Pollatou, Christina Karatzaferi, and Giorgos K. Sakkas
Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 2016, Volume 20, Number 3, Page 497
Salvador Israel Macías-Hernández, Lucio Vázquez-Torres, Juan Daniel Morones-Alba, Roberto Coronado-Zarco, María de los Angeles Soria-Bastida, Eva Cruz-Medina, and Tania Inés Nava-Bringas
Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation, 2015, Volume 11, Number 3, Page 120

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in