1626 – Gentle Strength Training

Beginner / Pool Workshop


Chicago, IL / Thursday, April 11, 2019 – 1:00-5:00 pm – 4.0 credit hours

(Classroom: 1:00-3:00 pm / Indoor Pool: 3:00-5:00 pm)


Faculty: Mary Wykle, PhD, ATRIC



Gentle strength training is important for every patient and client. Core and muscular strength are the keystone of balance and movement. Most patients and clients are recovering from illness, surgery, have chronic back pain or have just been physically inactive. Restoring a baseline of strength enables therapy and rehab to move forward with achieving functional goals. Gentle Strength Training provides a starting point from which to progress. Exercises use drag or resistive equipment. Beginning with the upper extremities, active exercises in all planes of motion occur while isometric stabilization throughout the lower extremities develops core and leg strength, assisting balance and separation of movement quality between the upper and lower extremities.  Progression proceeds to active exercises using resistive equipment in the lower extremities combined with upper extremity movements to assist coordination and agility.


Muscle strength, power and mass are all associated with functional capacity. Aquatic exercise including resistant/drag equipment show similar effects in both muscle capacity and physical functioning to suggest a carryover effect for aquatic exercise. Resistance training with land exercise has been shown to improve maximal muscle force, but this improvement does not always result in improvements in function. The aquatic environment provides situation of instability by using the effects of turbulence, which could promote greater improvements in body balance reactions. Gentle Strength Training will provide new ways to achieve greater results and ideas on progressions.



1)    Determine the importance of general strength for all populations.

2)    Explain the importance of the Abdominal Draw-In Maneuver (ADIM), the disassociation of upper and lower extremity movement combined with coordination and its role in balance.

3)    Review research showing the improvement of strength in individuals.

4)    Show progressions for the development of basic strength.

5)    Practice the progression emphasizing the importance of incorporating all planes of movement.


FACULTY: Mary O. Wykle, PhD, ATRIC, presents for ATRI and AEA. Course development includes aquatic re-conditioning programs for the Army and USMC. Additional programs include Aqua Pi-Yo-Chi™, Core Stabilization and Safety Training. Aquatic recognitions include: AEA Global Award for Lifetime Achievement (2010); ISHOF Adapted Aquatics Award (2007); ATRI Aquatic Professional of the Year (2006); ATRI Tsunami Spirit Award (2004) and ATRI Dolphin Award (2002).