2248 – Athletic Rehab

Intermediate / Pool Workshop


Dallas, TX / Saturday, September 21, 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



Athletic rehabilitation consists of planned, progressive physical exercises to reduce the chance of further injury, hasten recovery, enhance function, and optimize overall fitness and health in preparation for their return to sport. When considering aquatic rehabilitation of an athlete, consider the benefits derived from the water. Commonly seen diagnoses include musculoskeletal injuries to include simple to complex fracture, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries/concussions, post-traumatic stress, opioid addiction, and awareness of susceptibility to seizures resulting from any injury to the head. The primary goal is to return the athlete, whether amateur, “weekend warrior,” or professional to their pre-injury level. The objective is to speed healing and provide a setting where success is achieved.  It has been shown that aquatic training combined with land training can elevate recovery faster than land training alone.  Water is the safest place to rehabilitate an injury as it allows graded weight bearing, full range of motion, resistance training and cardiovascular training.  


Strength training is just one piece of the puzzle. Strength training can begin on land because listed contraindications and precautions that delay aquatic rehabilitation depending on the injury. Moving quickly to the pool, cardio training is added as it must be an equal part of rehabilitation. Deep water running is the preferred method, but weight-bearing athletes can also perform shallow water running.  Balance training is also an important part of returning to pre-injury activities. Core training is basic to exercise in the water and stabilization must be achieved before mobilization, whether strength or cardio exercise. Plyometrics can be added as appropriate.  Exercises that mimic the patient’s land-based sport are added into the program.



1)  Identify the phases of an athletic rehabilitation program, especially as it relates to the aquatic environment.

2)  Examine the current scientific evidence to determine the effectiveness of aquatic based training.

3)  Plan a comprehensive conditioning program utilizing aquatic techniques.

4)  Understand the importance of land sport requirements and plan an efficient rehabilitative water progression to return the athlete to his/her sport utilizing aquatic techniques.

5)  Implement various exercise techniques with minimal, drag, or buoyant equipment using a logical and safe progression for various levels of athletic abilities.

6)  Examine specific progressions on how to add overload for cardio conditioning, muscular strength and endurance and plyometric training for specific sports skills.


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).