What is Deep Water Exercise (DWE)?

Due to the non-weight bearing nature of DWE, an athlete can often perform high intensity training in the water — while unable to bear even their own body weight when standing on land.


Deep water running or exercise is exactly what the name would imply—training in water deep enough to avoid contact with the bottom of the pool, while keeping your head above the water's surface.

In other words, it is like following an exercise routine while suspended in a body of water. This unique environment gives Deep Water Exercise (DWE) its potential to benefit elite level athletes. Because the athlete is not in contact with the underlying surface, DWE is a completely non-weight bearing form of exercise.

Some athletes, particularly runners, may already be familiar with deep water running. Water Works Performance has expanded that concept to include "Deep Water Skating", which is the training technique employed with hockey players. The principles of DWE can be successfully applied to a variety of sports.


How Deep Water Exercise works

The stresses imposed by bearing our own body weight on land are significant. For example: the impact force generated while running is about 3 to 5 times our body weight. These stresses often result in both acute and chronic injury.

By replicating weight-bearing exercise in the non-weight bearing environment of deep water, the athlete may realize all the benefits of:

  1. Increased training loads to improve performance;
  2. Unloading to avoid injury;
  3. Maintaining training loads and performance while recovering from injury;
  4. Accelerated rehabilitation during recovery from injury;

…without the stresses imposed by land based, weight bearing exercise.