Effect of Wearing Ankle Weights on Underwater Treadmill Walking

  • Park, Que Tae (Incheon National University, Division of Sport Science) ;
  • Kim, Suk Bum (Department of Rehabilitation and Personal Training, Konyang University) ;
  • O'Sullivan, David (Pusan National University, Division of Sport Science)
  • Received : 2019.04.16
  • Accepted : 2019.06.04
  • Published : 2019.06.30


Objective: The main purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of wearing an ankle weight belt while performing gait in water by focusing on the effect of using ankle weights have on the gait kinematics and the muscle activities for developing optimum training strategies. Method: A total of 10 healthy male university students were recruited for the study. Each participant was instructed to perform 3 gait conditions; normal walking over ground, walking in water chest height, and walking in water chest height while using ankle weights. All walking conditions were set at control speed of $4km/h{\pm}0.05km/h$. The depth of the swimming pool was at 1.3 m, approximately chest height. The motion capture data was recorded using 6 digital cameras and the EMG was recorded using waterproof Mini Wave. From the motion capture data, the following variables were calculated for analysis; double and single support phase (s), swing phase (s), step length (%height), step rate (m/s), ankle, knee, and hip joint angles ($^{\circ}$). From the electromyography the %RVC of the lower limb muscles medial gastrocnemius, rectus femoris, erector spinae, semitendinosus, tibialis anterior, vastus lateralis oblique was calculated. Results: The results show significant differences between the gait time, and step length between the right and left leg. Additionally, the joint angular velocities and gait velocity were significantly affected by the water resistance. As expected, the use of the ankle weights increased all of the lower leg maximum muscle activities except for the lower back muscle. Conclusion: In conclusion, the ankle weights can be shown to stimulate more muscle activity during walking in chest height water and therefore, may be useful for rehabilitation purposes.

OOOSBL_2019_v29n2_105_f0001.png 이미지

Figure 1. Set up of the cameras in positive recording the control frame on the underwater treadmill

OOOSBL_2019_v29n2_105_f0002.png 이미지

Figure 2. Aquabilt Pat 302 underwater treadmill with control frame for digitizing

Table 1. Characteristics of the participants

OOOSBL_2019_v29n2_105_t0001.png 이미지

Table 2. Changes in the support phase time, swing phase time, step length and step rate

OOOSBL_2019_v29n2_105_t0002.png 이미지

Table 3. Changes in the joint angular velocities during gait phases for the ankle, knee and hip joints

OOOSBL_2019_v29n2_105_t0003.png 이미지

Table 4. Electromyography signals for each of the lower limb muscles during gait

OOOSBL_2019_v29n2_105_t0004.png 이미지


Supported by : Incheon National University


  1. An, Y. D. (2003). Effects of the Aquatic Exercise and Weight Training for Physical Fitness of Patients with Middle Aged Man Lumbago. Journal of Sport and Leisure Studies, 19(2), 13011313.
  2. Chung, H. Y., Kim, S. K. & Chun, Y. J. (2011). The Effect of Waterbased Exercise Program on Gait Coordination for People in Chronic Stroke. Journal of Sport and Leisure Studies, 43(2), 619-628.
  3. Danneskiold-Samsoe, B., Lyngberg, K., Risum, T. & Telling, M. (1987). The effect of water exercise therapy given to patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Scandinavian Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 19(1), 31-35.
  4. Driver, S., O'Connor, J., Lox, C. & Rees, K. (2004). Evaluation of an aquatics programme on fitness parameters of individuals with a brain injury. Brain Injury, 18(9), 847-859.
  5. Jung, T., Lee, D., Charalambous, C. & Vrongistinos, K. (2010). The influence of applying additional weight to the affected leg on gait patterns during aquatic treadmill walking in people poststroke. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 91(1), 129-136.
  6. Kim, E. H. (1998). Effect and Theory behind the Aqua-aerobics exercise. Rhumatism and Health Journal, 5(2), 296-302.
  7. Kim, K. E., Kim, H. M. & Woo, S. Y. (2006). The Effect of the Aqua-Rehabilitation Program on the Stroke Patient's Gait Patterns. The Korean Journal of Physical Education, 45(5), 449-455.
  8. Kim, H. J. & Choi, J. H. (2006). Effects of 12-week aquatic exercise on the isokinetic muscular function of knee joint in the elderly women. Korean Journal of Physical Education, 456(1), 655-664.
  9. Kim, S. K., Moon, J. H. & Yu, Y. J. (2014). Analysis of Gait Pattern on Hemiplegic Patients According to Condition of Water Height. Korean Journal of Sports Biomechanics, 16(3), 107-114.
  10. Koury, J. M. (1996). Aquatic therapy programming: Guidelines for orthopedic rehabilitation. Human Kinetics Publishers.
  11. Lee, S. Y., Hyung, I. H. & Shim, J. M. (2009). The Effect of Aquatic Gait Training on Foot Kinesiology and Gait Speed in Right Hemiplegic Patients. Journal of Korean Contents, 9(12), 674-682.
  12. Nam, S. N., Kim, J. H. & Cho, Y. S. (2004). The Effect of Affected Side of Muscle Strength and Articular Moving Range of Persons with Cerebral Apoplexy Hemiplegia on Aqua-Rehabilitation. Korean Journal of Adapted Physical Activity, 12(2), 79-88.
  13. Nishiyori, R., Lai, B., Lee, D. K., Vrongistinos, K. & Jung, T. (2016). The use of cuff weights for aquatic gait training in people post-stroke with hemiparesis. Physiotherapy Research International, 21(1), 47-53.
  14. Nielsen, C. R., Bates, C. A., Rooke, M. W., Hansen, F. R., Petersen, P. T., Le, M. V. & Lew, E. K. (1996). U.S. Patent No. 5,570,241. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  15. Park, S. W., Lee, K. J., Shin, D. C., Shin, S. H., Lee, M. M. & Song, C. H. (2014). The effect of underwater gait training on balance ability of stroke patients. Journal of Physical Therapy Science, 26(6), 899-903.
  16. Ryu, J. C. & Kim, J. H. (2008). Kinematic analysis of gait pattern according to Load of %Wt of SCUBA subsidiaries' weights Loaded in underwater activities. Korean Journal of Physical Education, 47(1), 421-433.
  17. Svedenhag, J. & Seger, J. (1992). Running on land and in water: comparative exercise physiology. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 24(10), 1155-1160.
  18. Wilder, D. G. (1993). The biomechanics of vibration and low back pain. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 23(4), 577-588.
  19. Woo, S. Y., Kang, D. H. & Kim, H. J. H. (2007). A Gait Pattern Analysis of the Stroke Patients using the Aqua Rahabilitation program. SunchunYang University Science Journal, 13(2), 165-170.