Effect of Wearing Ankle Weights on Underwater Treadmill Walking
In this freely accessible article, published by Incheon National University in Korea, you can find some nice insights on ankle weights wearing in underwater exercises.
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. 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 ( ). 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.