Effects of Water Immersion on Squat and Split Squat Kinematics in Older Adults

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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This study examined the effect of water immersion on trunk and lower limb kinematics during squat exercises in older participants. A total of 24 active older adults (71.4 ± 5.4 years) performed squats and split squats on land and while partially submerged in water. Inertial sensors (100 Hz) were used to record trunk and lower body kinematics. Water immersion increased the squat depth (squat: p = .028, d = 0.63 and split squat: p = .005, d = 0.83) and reduced the trunk flexion range (squat: p = .006, d = 0.76 and split squat: p < .001, d = 1.35) during both exercises. In addition, water immersion increased the hip range of motion during the split squat (p = .002, d = 0.94). Waveform analyses also indicated differences in the timing of the movements. These results showed that water-based exercise generates a different exercise outcome and appears to provide an alternative option for older adults, enabling exercisers to perform these tasks in a manner not possible on land.

Severin, Burkett, McKean, and Sayers are with the School of Health and Sports Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, Queensland, Australia. Severin is also with the College of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR. Wiegand is with the School of Science and Engineering, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, Queensland, Australia.

Address author correspondence to Anna C. Severin at aseverin@uams.edu.
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