Starting a Therapy Pool?  Here’s a jump start on equipment you might want.  This list was complied by a variety of aquatic therapy practitioners and offered by Adolph Kiefer & Associates –




·      Flotation Rings - Provide security for patient flotation, for stretches and Bad Ragaz techniques.  Great for added buoyancy and UE/shoulder comfort in water (especially vertical positioning in deep water).


·       Flotation Belts - Can be used around the waist in deep or shallow water.  Belts provide flotation for vertical positioning but usually require the client to provide correct alignment.  They are often used for core stability in trunk stabilization clients.  With the client in the supine position the belt positions under and around the hips and can prevent excessive rotation.  With the client in the prone position it positions under and around the pelvis and can prevent excessive lordotic curvature and rotation.


·      Fillable Bar Bells - Can be utilized for water resistance without water inside and for proprioceptive work with water inside.


·      Buoyant Hand Bars - Provide balance and stability for walking, upper body strength and abdominal work.  Get long and short styles, and small and big buoyancy pods.  Thirty-inch swim bars are good for sitting (on bar) exercises like bicycling for hamstring or quad isolation, trunk stabilization exercises, and for vertical stabilization exercises in the deep water.  


·      Buoyant and Resistant Ankle Cuffs - Good challenge for those needing more than unchallenged LE movement in water.  Might use with a higher-level stroke to induce LE control during exercise.  Also used for lower body strength and abdominal conditioning.


·      Ankle Weights - Helps keep CVA client’s leg down for relearning balance and stability.


·      Short-tipped Fins/Flippers - A must for ankle rehab as they can be used to provide resistance during most ankle motions.  Used for gait training, ankle strengthening and flexibility, and strengthening tibialis anterior for dorsiflexion.


·      Resistant Bands and Tubing - Used for added resistance, strengthening and flexibility.


·      Tire Inner Tube - Used for abdominal exercises and as walking support.


·      Resistant Hand Bells and Paddles - Good for upper level strengthening, coordination challenges, proprioceptive challenges for LEs by UE workouts (i.e. one leg stance with alternating punches).


·      Kickboards - Good for trunk stabilization exercises, for isolation of LE exercise, and can serve as a balance board.


·      Mask and Snorkel (with removable mouthpiece) - For neutral spine positioning during prone exercise and Bad Ragaz/PNF techniques.


·      Gloves - Good for lower level resistance for UE injuries and conditioning.  Neoprene are good for warmth.


·      Noodles - For LE conditioning, balance, and UE support.


·      Cervical Collars - Provide neck comfort and support for any supine exercise as well as minimize water flow to the patient’s ears.


·      Various Therapeutic Waterwear – Provides stability, flotation, warmth and/or simple on and off for clients.  Examples include flotation suit, shoes, neoprene vest, or specialty suits.


·      Platforms – Provide comfort and stability for adults and children in standing, seated and horizontal positioning.


·      Storage Systems


About the author:

Ruth Sova, MS, an internationally known speaker, author and consultant, is founder of six different businesses including the Aquatic Therapy and Rehab Institute, the Aquatic Exercise Association, Living Right Magazine, America's Certification Trainers, Armchair Aerobics Inc, and the Fitness Firm.  A leader in the health and wellness industry, she also draws on her vast experience as an entrepreneur to teach others what it takes to assume the risk of business and enterprise.  Ruth is on the Wisconsin Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and the author of numerous articles and fifteen books on her specialties of wellness and business.                  


Special thanks to the following contributors:

Mary Essert

Marty Biondi

Terri Mitchell

Ruth Meyer

Donna Adler

Susan Cooper


This information was supported by Adolph Kiefer & Associates: Everything but the water since 1947... 1-800-323-4071,