Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2009) 08, 179 - 189

Review article
Physiological Assessment of Head-Out Aquatic Exercises in Healthy Subjects: A Qualitative Review
Tiago M. Barbosa1,4, , Daniel A. Marinho2,4, Victor M. Reis3,4, António J. Silva3,4, José A. Bragada1,4
Author Information
1 Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, Bragança, Portugal
2 University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal
3 University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal
4 Research Centre in Sports, Health and Human Development, Vila Real, Portugal

Tiago M. Barbosa
✉ Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, Bragança, Portugal
Email: barbosa@ipb.pt
Publish Date
Received: 03-03-2009
Accepted: 04-05-2009
Published (online): 01-06-2009
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ABSTRACT

In the last decades head-out aquatic exercises became one of the most important physical activities within the health system. Massive research has been produced throughout these decades in order to better understand the role of head-out aquatic exercises in populations’ health. Such studies aimed to obtain comprehensive knowledge about the acute and chronic response of subjects performing head-out aquatic exercises. For that, it is assumed that chronic adaptations represent the accumulation of acute responses during each aquatic session. The purpose of this study was to describe the “state of the art ”about physiological assessment of head-out aquatic exercises based on acute and chronic adaptations in healthy subjects based on a qualitative review. The main findings about acute response of head-out aquatic exercise according to water temperature, water depth, type of exercise, additional equipment used, body segments exercising and music cadence will be described. In what concerns chronic adaptations, the main results related to cardiovascular and metabolic adaptations, muscular strength, flexibility and body composition improvements will be reported.

Key words: Aquatic exercises, immersion, physical fitness, acute adaptation, chronic adaptation.


           Key Points
  • Several papers reported consistent and significant improvement in physical fitness (e.g., aerobic capacity, muscular strength, flexibility and body composition) after a program of head-out aquatic exercise with at least eight weeks.
  • Chronic adaptations to head-out aquatic exercise programs are the cumulative result of appropriate acute responses during the exercise session.
  • Appropriate acute adaptations can be obtained taking into account the water temperature, water depth, type of exercise and its variants, the equipment used and the segmental cadence according to the subjects’ profile.
 
 
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