Dr. John Mullen started swimming at age 4. He created the Swimming Science blog and is Director of Operations at COR, a sports performance studio in Santa Clara, CA. He recently trekked to the FINIS Stroke Lab in nearby Livermore to try out their Elite Endless Pools® swimming machine. Here's his report:
Endless Pools® provide all the benefits of swimming in a traditional pool, but they take up less space and provide users with a better experience overall. It is not the pool you want to use for a 7-year-old’s birthday party, but it is the pool you need for targeted swim instruction and rehabilitation therapy. Many athletes and swimmers of all ages use the Endless Pool for the best workout.
College swimming programs and Olympic training facilities use Endless Pools on a daily basis for targeted training and research. Endless Pools provide opportunities to study safety and performance, and to create challenging workouts. People can even install them in their homes as well. From Olympic swimmers to recovering patients, people across the US jump into an Endless Pool for success. In Endless Pools across the US, you will find many types of swimmers:
• Patients recovering from surgeries and/or injuries
• Tennis players
• Basketball players
• Motorsports athletes, and more
Why do so many people choose the Endless Pool over a traditional pool?
1. Users can control the current
The Endless Pool has a 5-hp propeller that users can adjust to control the water current. Adjusting the speed of the current challenges the athlete by providing resistance. Resistance training improves speed and power in the water. When resistance training is done in the pool it burns more calories, yet it is easier on the body and joints.
2. Increases body awareness
An Endless Pool has a mirror in the bottom that allows swimmers to observe their workout and body mechanics. Observing the body when it is in motion allows athletes to address problematic movements and positions immediately.
3. Allows for targeted training
Coaches and trainers can observe every stroke and movement in the pool. If an athlete—whether swimmer or otherwise—needs to work on form or a problematic area, coaches and trainers can target an area and adjust the workout accordingly. Targeted training improves the impact and effectiveness of drills.
4. Allows coaches to provide immediate feedback
Coaches never have to run along the pool or lose sight of the athlete in the pool. This allows coaches to observe every movement. The position and pool height allows coaches to correct problem movements and techniques right away just by reaching over the side of the pool.
5. Eliminates turns and stopping
The pool is compact, but the current makes it an endless training space. It is a training space that does not have lanes or contact with other swimmers. The Endless Pool’s counter current is the secret of its success. Swimming against the current eliminates the need for pushing off so swimmers can focus on form and performance.
6. Allows triathletes to practice in realistic water conditions
Triathletes rarely experience smooth water during a race. That is why some triathletes prefer not to swim in traditional pools. The space is too small and the water conditions are not the same as the open water. Triathletes choose the Endless Pool instead because they can mimic open water conditions. The current resistance provides triathletes with the opportunity to tailor a swimming workout to their training needs. An Endless Pool also allows triathletes to easily work on bricks and transitions without the headaches caused by traditional pools.
7. Provides a low-impact workout for all ages and abilities
Not only is the Endless Pool ideal for athletes, but it is a great option for people who are improving their fitness. The Endless Pool can be adjusted to accommodate a variety of training and fitness needs and abilities.
8. Athletes and coaches receive immediate feedback
The athlete and trainer work side-by-side during every swim to improve technique and body mechanics. In addition to the mirror and current, athletes and coaches can observe collected data about the swim with sensors and cameras. The data can be used to improve performance and reduce injuries. The coach can manually alter speeds, allowing the coach to positively manipulate training.
9. Provides users with therapeutic benefits
Not only does the pool improve performance and body mechanics, but it has a therapeutic benefit as well. Endless Pools can be heated to promote relaxation and improve muscle recovery.
10. Aids in rehabilitation and therapy
The Endless Pool’s benefits go beyond improving performance in a particular sport and increasing stamina. Endless Pools aid in rehabilitation and recovery as well. When an athlete suffers an injury, aquatic therapy can increase flexibility, improve balance, alleviate pain and swelling, and promote blood flow to injured areas.
Overall, the Endless Pool provides a plethora of tools for swimmers. The main drawback with the Endless Pool is the slight difference between pool swimming and motorized pool swimming. Nonetheless, if you're looking for a motorized pool, the Endless Pool is an elite option!
This article was reprinted with the kind permission of Dr. John Mullen.