Featured Technique: Submerged Deep-Water Intervals (DWIs)
When someone you’re working with gets neck pain or stiffness from doing traditional Deep-Water Running and Power Walking, you have an alternative. It isn’t for everyone, but those who are seriously water friendly love this submerged version. This is thoroughly explained in Lesson 9 of my Aquatic Rehab Online Course.
What’s the correct depth? The depth at which the snorkel is safely above the water and deep enough that the person doesn’t feel they have to look down to keep their face in the water.
No flotation belt is used when doing the submerged DWIs. Put a tether waistband around the waist. The tether strap attached to the waistband is then secured to the side of the pool. The face mask is sealed in place and the client is breathing through the snorkel. Ask him to slowly begin water running. Without wearing a belt, he will slowly slip below the water. Watch for a while to see the depth at which he settles. He might be too high, too low, or in the right place. Add more weight or buoyancy if necessary to get him to the right depth. It will take some time to become accustomed to the new sensation, so give him at least a minute or two. If he feels any strain or pain in the neck, he should come to the surface.
When it’s time to try walking, keep your client in the same tethered, underwater position as you start with the Basic Walk. Once he can perform the Basic Walk with good alignment, the true Power Walk can be introduced. Turn the hands wide like paddles for increased resistance and begin flexing and pointing the feet to work the calf muscles. If there is a complaint of neck strain or pain, slow the pace or go back to running.
Be nearby as I was in the video so if you see the snorkel dangerously near the water’s surface, you can hold it up in a safe, dry position.