Dr. Killgore had two recent articles come out in print with the first article being featured in the Spring issue of “Coaching Athletics Quarterly” (Volume 6, No. 1, pp. 26-28) entitled “Land + Water = Optimal Performance for Runners”. Dr. Killgore was asked to provide an appropriate scientific and experiential examination of how to properly marry land and water running. Sample workouts were included.
The second article Dr. Killgore was asked to provide was entitled “The Art and Science of Connecting Land and Water for Optimal Performance”. The article was featured as a follow-up to a previous article in the May edition of “Techniques” (Volume 4, No. 4, pp. 37-42). This article emphasized the holistic usage of both the shallow and deep ends of the pool as part of a overall plan for success in both cross country and track and field training.
Dr. Killgore and his colleagues and students at Linfield College had two posters accepted at the International Aquatic Fitness Conference in May. The first poster was “A comparison of land vs. aquatic plyometric training while shod and barefoot on vertical jump performance in active college-aged women”. This study compared using the AQx Aquatic Training Shoes vs. completing plyometrics in the pool while barefoot and while on land. The bottom line is that no statistically significant differences were found. However, the subjects reported a preference for wearing the shoes while in the pool. Furthermore, this project confirms earlier research reports of no difference between land and water-based plyometric training.
The second was “A comparison of land plyometric training and aquatic plyometric training with and without aquatic training gear on vertical jump performance in NCAA III football players”. Three groups of football lineman were used in the study. The study design was very similar to the previous study on women with the exception that the Zero Gravity Suit and Aquatic Training shoes were both used with one of the groups instead of just the shoes. Once again, no statistically significant results were found. However, there was an increase in power production for all of the groups between pre and post training regardless of which program they were in. The AQx® group improved more than the barefoot aquatic group. Of note, is that the advantages of wearing shoes and suit included a decrease in slipping/better grip on the pool bottom; protection of the feet from sores/cuts from the roughness of the pool floor; more resistance and thus drag created while exercising; commonly reported statements about “my joints don’t hurt like on land”. In fact, the strength and conditioning and assistant football coach reported that “we have created a monster” in that theses larger athletes want to complete their plyometric training in the pool instead of on land!
CONCLUSIONS: Our studies both support the idea of using aquatic plyometrics to increase power as a positive alternative to land-based plyometrics, especially in an overweight population. In particular, the AQx® group more closely approximates the land-based positive outcomes of plyometric training without the negative aspects of muscle or joint soreness, etc.