Inside the SHAC Therapy Pools

SHAC: New Age Recovery System

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NDSU’s new therapy pools will bring the training staff to new heights.

No Diving


The therapy pools, located in between the trainers’ room and the weight room, are the biggest examples of how far NDSU has come in Division I athletics. Gone are the days of silver bucket ice baths. Now, NDSU has three separate pools that each serve an important purpose for NDSU student- athletes. The far north pool is the cold tub. It stays at 46 degrees from top to bottom and the jets allow the water to circulate around the student-athlete. The hot pool is a little smaller and works in a similar way. The water temperature remains around 104 degrees. The biggest advancement is the underwater treadmill on the east side of the room. There, student-athletes and trainers can rehabilitate injuries and exercise with resistance on muscles and joints. For example, if you’re running with the water level chest high, you’re only putting 30 percent of your body weight on your feet while running. There’s also a deep pool next to the treadmill for student-athletes to tread in before getting on the treadmill.

Sanford Health Athletic Complex Therapy Pools
The female student-athletes sit in the cold pool and look longingly at the hot pool.

“Anytime you do anything in water, you really lessen the amount of weight that you’re putting on your joints. Anytime you can walk, run, jog, tread water, you are working the muscles just as hard, and you’re getting correct mechanics, but you’re not putting the stress on the injured joint.” – Scott Woken, NDSU Associate Director of Athletics, Internal Operations

Sanford Health Athletic Complex Therapy Pools
The female student-athlete looks at her running form on the two computer screens straight ahead.
  • There are two cameras in the exercise pool watching the student-athlete on the underwater treadmill. One angle is straight on and the other is filming from the side for the trainer to take notes.
  • The cold pool stays at 46 degrees. The hot pool remains at 104 degrees.
  • Student-athletes will do intervals in the cold and warm pool. For example, these athletes spent 10 minutes in the cold pool, 10 minutes in the warm pool and then ended with 10 more minutes in the cold pool to help them recover.
Sanford Health Athletic Complex Therapy Pools
The underwater treadmill is a game-changer for student-athletes recuperating from an injury.
SHAC: New Age Recovery System
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