Aquatic Quest

Unique opportunities at the Aquatic Center in Tucson

aquatic questWhat if you could move more easily, stretch farther and relax utterly in weightless freedom? That’s what can happen when you take your exercise or body work into the water.

At the beautiful Aquatic Center at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, an indoor lap-swimming and aerobics pool, water therapy and exercise pool, high-tech underwater treadmill and Watsu® massage therapy pools offer unique opportunities for Canyon Ranch guests of all ability levels. The possibilities are amazing for seasoned triathletes, general conditioning and people who are injured and on the mend.


Serious athletes can find what they’re looking for – and more – at the Aquatic Center.

“Tri-events are becoming more popular,” says Mike Siemens, M.S., Clinical Director of Exercise Physiology and Director of Aquatic Therapy at Canyon Ranch in Tucson. “Swimming is the part of the competition in which many athletes have the least experience. Most people make the mistake of training by swimming long distances slowly, at the same speed. That’s incredibly boring and it doesn’t make you any faster.

“We can show them how to interval train, set them up with a long-term training program, and improve their stroke mechanics so they get their swimming on par with the rest of their race.”

Burdenko also provides a valuable training method for serious athletes. “Everyone wants to optimize their balance, coordination and flexibility, which is precisely what the Burdenko Method targets,” says Mike. 

If exercise hasn’t been part of your regular schedule, it’s not uncommon to feel tired or sore after a hike or fitness class. The Aquatic Center offers opportunities for low-risk, stress-free workouts,” says Mike.

“They can hit the underwater treadmill and get fantastic cardio and muscle conditioning without pounding or additional soreness. In fact, exercise in the water is much like a massage for the muscles. Most people leave the water feeling better than when they got in. This recuperative property of the water allows people to accomplish what they intended during their stay.”

A swim lesson can greatly enhance enjoyment of the water, Mike points out.

“Many folks don’t enjoy swimming because they don’t breathe properly, or their technique is so inefficient they feel that they’re constantly struggling in the water,” says Mike. “We can show them how to breathe so they don’t feel short of air, and we provide technique pointers on how to move through the water more easily.”

Rehab & Pre-hab
 If you have limitations or concerns, the Aquatic Center provides a tranquil environment for healing. The pools are ideal for anyone recovering from illness, injury or surgery, says Mike – and the water temperature is carefully controlled, so guests can stay in them without becoming chilled or overheated.

“In chest-deep water, you weigh 80 percent less than on land,” he explains. “The relief from gravity lets sore joints decompress and strained muscles relax. Movement becomes pleasurable again. And because movement truly is medicine, that can initiate a cascade of beneficial effects – reduced discomfort, better sleep and mood, increased strength and more freedom of movement.”

Total Relaxation
 Water is also the ideal vehicle for total relaxation and deep healing, with Watsu® massage. In the Aquatic Center’s comfortably warm Watsu pool, a massage therapist holds you afloat and uses techniques that soften muscles, stretch tissues and open energy pathways. A profound, holistic body experience, Watsu is especially effective in addressing stress, chronic back pain, orthopedic limitations, range of motion issues, fibromyalgia and more. As the body floats and sways through the water, it reaches a state of utter relaxation. Sheer bliss!

Whether you’re a top athlete, nursing an injury or just want to relax, the Aquatic Center’s incredible range of facilities will help you take your experience of movement to a whole new watery plane.



Burdenko Water and Sports Therapy at Canyon Ranch

The Burdenko Method, developed by Igor Burdenko, Ph.D. – currently advisor to the Canadian Olympic team and the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs, among other sports organizations – is a renowned system of movement therapy, conditioning and training that comprises hundreds of exercises. Burdenko Therapists select from these exercises to create a customized routine to address each individual’s needs and goals. Burdenko exercises can be performed on land and in the water – Burdenko Water Exercise is performed with a flotation vest which provides comfort in the water.

With three of the 28 Master-Certified Burdenko Movement Therapists in world on staff, Canyon Ranch in Tucson is the ideal place to experience this gentle but powerful approach to physical rehabilitation, conditioning and training.