n International SportMed Journal - Acute responses to aquatic fitness activities : a comparison between shallow and deep-water lesson : original research

Volume 15, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1528-3356



Aquatic activities have become one of the most important exercise programmes in the fitness industry. However, the physical responses to the various exercises are not known and instructors need more scientific-evidence to better design their programmes. This study intended to compare the physiological and psychophysiological responses to a fitness aquatic lesson performed in two different depths. Within-Subjects Design (repeated measures). Twelve female subjects, with at least one year of practice of head-out aquatic exercise, were submitted to two lessons of head-out aquatic exercise, over a period of 24 hours. The lessons comprised similar exercises that were performed in shallow (1.20m) and in deep-water (2.00m, with a flotation belt). The heart rate was assessed before, during and after the lesson, the blood lactate concentration and the perceived exertion were assessed after the lesson. Shallow-water exercises presented higher values of maximal heart rate than the deep-water conditions (168.73±6.87 vs. 158.75±8.50 b·m-1, p<0.01) and during lower limb exercises (154.00±9.75 vs. 144.19±7.89 b·m-1, p=0.03) and full body exercises (143.93±10.32 vs. 137.69±8.89 b·m-1, p=0.01). These higher values remained after the lesson (150.09±11.61 vs. 142.40±7.53 b·m-1, p=0.03) and up to the 5th min of recovery (114.64±10.77 vs. 109.30±11.42 b·m-1, p=0.04), despite identical blood lactate concentrations and perceived exertion levels. The results presented different acute cardiovascular responses between the two exercise conditions. Although suggesting a higher cardiovascular demand of head-out aquatic lesson when in a lower depth, the similar values of lactate concentrations and perceived exertion suggests further investigation.

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