Course Description & Objectives

1313 – GaitWay to Mobility

Beginner / 2.0 credit hours
(Classroom Viewing Time: 1 hour / Pool Viewing Time: 1 hour)


Faculty: Melinda Pierce, PT, MS, CEEAA, ATRIC


COURSE DESCRIPTION: GaitWay to Mobility includes a brief review and analysis of current literature supporting the therapeutic value of water walking, assessment tools that support the use water walking as a therapeutic intervention, the use of goal-oriented gait and specific therapeutic gait techniques. Assessment techniques will be introduced during lecture. Therapeutic and wellness gait techniques will be practiced in the pool. Exploration of equipment options for progression will be considered in lecture and pool practical. Anyone whose land mobility would improve by balance, coordination and endurance activities can benefit from this fun and engaging aquatic program.


1) Identify the benefit of pool walking as it relates to land-based walking.
2) Describe the benefits of water walking based on current literature.
3) Apply the results of standardized assessment tools to design water walking interventions.
4) Adapt interventions appropriately as outcomes improve.
5) Explore equipment options for progression and variety.
6) Identify how and when to introduce “drag” to the program.


FACULTY:  Melinda Pierce, PT, MS, CEEAA, ATRIC, has been a physical therapist for over 40 years in hospital, outpatient, and geriatric settings with a primary focus on orthopedic and aging populations, and leading a rehabilitation team for a CCRC group. She has given numerous presentations to students, therapists, athletic trainers, patients, and the general public on musculoskeletal, aging, and aquatic topics. She holds an advanced master’s degree in musculoskeletal physical therapy, and certifications from ATRI and as an Exercise Expert for Aging Adults through the APTA Academy for Geriatric Physical Therapy. She is a reviewer for the Journal of Aquatic Physical Therapy. She shares her passion for Ai Chi through classes and an Ai Chi blog (

Course curriculum

  1. 1
    • Handout

    • PowerPoint Presentation

    • Video 1

    • Video 2

    • Video 3

    • Video 4

    • Quiz