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When aqua jogging comes to mind, you usually think of it in terms of injury recovery. Of course, injury doesn’t have a great connotation, so it is natural that the workout would be thought of in the same light. Here’s an important fact: aqua jogging isn’t punishment! Here’s how you can benefit from adding it into your training—and how to spice it up a bit.
The Benefits Of Aqua Jogging
As we’ve said, aqua jogging isn’t just for injured runners; there is a lot that everyday runners can get from the workout, as well. In fact, though it is associated with injury recovery, it can actually help prevent injury.
“Aqua jogging is a great way to enhance leg power through the resistance training the water offers,” explains Sandra Gallagher, coach at IRunTons based in the Under Armour Performance Center. “It also allows runners the opportunity to gain fitness without the weight-bearing stress of running on land.”
This is especially great for runners prone to knee injuries or those who are looking for a new way to build up leg strength with one workout that can impact every muscle.
RELATED: Aqua Jogging For Injured Runners
How To Do It
Aqua jogging is especially great during the sweltering summer months—it’s an excuse to get out of the heat and hop in some cool water for a workout.
“For athletes using aqua jogging as cross-training—as opposed to replacing running due to injury—adding in aqua jogging for 10-20 minutes one to two times per week is a great way to add variety and resistance training to your training,” notes Gallagher.
When using aqua jogging as cross training, Gallagher notes that you’ll want to use deep water instead of the shallow water that benefits athletes returning to weight-bearing exercise. In deeper water an aqua jog belt isn’t necessary to get in an effective workout, though it is an option.
“For a total body workout use two styrofoam dumbbells,” adds Gallagher. “Most public pools carry them on deck for members to use. Alternate moving your bent arms as though you are running with holding the dumbbells straight down by your sides for a great workout.”
Spice Up The Workout
What’s a good way to change the way you think about aqua jogging? Gallagher suggests switching up what you call it as the first step.
“Many runners are offended by the term jogger, so the term aqua-‘jogging’ already has negative connotations attached to it,” she notes. “So let’s call it aqua-running—after all, it is not the pace that distinguishes running from jogging, but rather the effort and intention.”
When it comes to spicing up the actual workout, she suggests you do it in the same manner you would your regular run training. For example, you can mix up steady state running with short sprints at max effort to keep things interesting. Devote other sessions to focusing on the quality of your form so you don’t develop bad habits along the way.
Setting a goal and intention for each session will not only give you something to focus on while in the water, but it will help you switch up your workout to train different muscles and keep things effective.