Core and muscular strength are the keystones of balance and movement necessary for our activities of daily living. Beginning in our 30’s, we lose muscle mass and strength that accelerates in our 50’s, impacting bone density. Strength training can compensate this loss with participation in an active strengthening program. Most people believe and ACSM recommends that the “weight room” is where strength training occurs. Colado studied land weight training and aquatic weight training. The land weight training group had a 50% dropout rate while the aquatic group maintained the program. Exercise interventions in the land group were more static and did not challenge neuromuscular activity. Colado found that aquatic exercises including resistant/drag equipment showed similar effects in both muscle capacity and physical functioning. Therefore, aquatic strength training with drag equipment are viable alternatives to improve muscular strength.
Colado used Perceived Exertion for improving resistance during in-water exercise to control and progress aquatic resistance intensity to improve muscle strength and endurance. Using resistive or drag equipment for training at the same intensity and frequency affect fitness gains about the same as land training. Resistance training in the water must consider the length of the limb, drag surface area, velocity/speed of movement and control of range of motion—important for progressive overload. In the water, a double increase in speed results in a four-fold increase in resistive force of drag. When we speed up the movement, the execution becomes more difficult resulting in an upsurge of cardiovascular endurance and muscular strength.