Squires Blackwell (2012) relationship of metabolic costs of aquatic treadmill versus land treadmill running

Introduction to Aquatic Treadmill Running

The increasing incidence of running-related injuries has prompted the exploration of alternative training modalities, such as aquatic treadmill (ATM) running. This study investigates the metabolic costs of ATM running in comparison to traditional land treadmill (LTM) running, with a focus on varying jet resistances and running speeds.

Methodological Approach

The study engaged 18 experienced runners who underwent a series of tests on both an ATM and LTM. The ATM tests varied jet resistances from 0 to 100% in 20% increments, at three self-selected running speeds, to assess the impact on metabolic cost. The LTM tests were conducted at equivalent speeds without incline adjustments. Metabolic costs were measured through oxygen consumption (VO2), heart rate, and perceived exertion.

Observations and Results

The findings indicated a progressive increase in metabolic cost with higher jet resistances and speeds on the ATM, aligning with previous research that suggests increased exercise intensity under these conditions. A comparison between ATM and LTM running revealed that at low to moderate jet resistances (0-40%), the metabolic costs were comparable. However, at higher resistances (60-100%), ATM running exhibited significantly higher metabolic costs, suggesting an intensified exercise experience similar to running at faster speeds on an LTM.

Discussion on the Implications of ATM Running

The study underscores the potential of ATM running as a viable alternative to LTM running, especially for individuals recovering from injuries or seeking varied training regimes. The ability to adjust jet resistances offers a tailored approach to managing exercise intensity, making ATM running an adaptable and effective training tool.

Conclusive Remarks

ATM running, with its adjustable jet resistances, presents a promising avenue for athletes and rehabilitating individuals to maintain or enhance their fitness levels with minimized injury risk. Further research is encouraged to explore long-term effects and specific rehabilitation applications.

Keywords: Aquatic treadmill, metabolic cost, running injuries, exercise intensity, rehabilitation.

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