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Aqua Jogging: The Perfect Cross Training Workout for Injured Runners

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As a runner, you must be well-aware of the fact that running injuries are bound to happen on the track. But, should these injuries stop you from working out? Absolutely not! For those of you wondering how you can possibly workout while you are hurt, aqua jogging is the answer to that. It is also beneficial for the people who wish to bring some change in their workout regimen in their monotonous training schedule. The reason why it is so popular among runner is that, unlike other workouts, it doesn’t put any stress or heavy impact on your joints. In short, it offers better results by putting in much less effort. 

Know more here:

What is Aqua Jogging all about? 

Aqua jogging is also referred to as deep water running. It is a kind of training that would help you to maintain your fitness level while you are injured. Well, water jogging is stimulated running while you underwater. However, in this workout, your feet aren’t supposed to touch the floor of the pool.  To help you with this, you can tie water jogging belts around your waist. This would help you in staying afloat easily. You would need this only towards the beginning. Once you get used to it and have become stronger, you would be able to workout without the belt. 

Top Benefits of Aqua Jogging

Still not convinced that aqua jogging is beneficial for you? We have listed down some of the advantages that would make it clear to you as to why it is an effective workout. 

1. Anyone Can Do It 

Anyone can perform aqua jogging as long as your arms and legs are working fine. The great thing about this is the fact that you would easily be able to adapt yourself to it. It just takes a few minutes for your body to adapt and once done, it would seem as easy as normal walking or a run. The only difference here is the fact that you would be jogging in water. 

You might need a few gears like the aqua jog belt which is completely optional but definitely useful. Also, as your body weighs only 10% of your total weight in water as compared to that on the land, you would be able to perform all activities easily. The workouts that you gasp for breath can now be done easily and that too by getting similar benefit. 

aqua jogger
Jog in the water

2. Non-impact Workout

You must have heard about your favorite runners indulging in water jogging. Now there's a reason as to why they choose this workout. The biggest one being that you would still be able to perform any kind of fitness activity under water. When you perform aqua jogging workouts, you would be able to uphold the level of your running performance. 

This kind of workout has shown enhanced performance in several athletes. This shows that if you are injured and cannot train, as usual, working out underwater would prove to be beneficial. When you return back from your injury, you can expect to run at somewhere around 90% time performance. This workout is, in fact, advantageous for the non-runners who suffer from joint pains.

3. Targets the Core Muscles 

Another advantage of swimming pools workouts is the fact that it targets the core muscles. The core muscles get engaged by remaining afloat in water. Working out the cardiovascular system is fine but you also need to pay attention to your core. With this kind of workout, your hamstrings, quadriceps, lower back and shoulders also get engaged. 

But, can all of this be achieved with land base workouts too? Well, of course, there's no denying the fact that you could include a few exercises that target your core. But, the good thing about aqua jogging is the fact that the core gets engaged quite naturally. And, not to forget that there’s no impact on the joints. 

benefits of cross training
Aqua jogging works on your core (source)

4. Hassle-Free Workout in the Water 

For those of you for whom swimming isn’t particularly a pleasant activity, you might be feeling a bit apprehensive about aqua jog workouts. But, you would be glad to know that you can enjoy the benefits of this workout without having to deal with the less favourable aspects like dunking your head underwater. In such situations, aqua jogging belts might be your saviour. This is because; it would help you in keeping your head above water safely. This gear would ensure that the chlorine doesn’t irritate your skin or eyes while you have an enjoyable workout session. 

5. Enjoy the Massage Effect 

A lot of people recuperating from an injury are often advised to water jog. But, why is it so? How does it help an individual? Well, each and every movement performed underwater acts as a little massage for your joints and muscles.Not many people are aware of it but with water-based massages, there is an increased circulation of blood and lower blood pressure. Studies have shown that in a lot of people, water-based activities like aqua jogging help in reducing stress. It is definitely worth a try if it can offer a mini massage. 

6. Cross Training is Important 

More than often we tend to underestimate the capabilities of our body. Our body is actually very adaptable and if you continue doing the same workout for a prolonged period of time, its benefits would reduce. Other than that, it can turn monotonous after some time. Therefore, it is essential for you to cross-train. Cross training workout would help your body build strength and would also keep things interesting. 

Aqua jog workouts would motivate you and bring some character to your fitness routine. These water workouts do not necessarily need to be done twice or thrice a week. To keep things interesting, you could perform it just once a week. It would bring about a great change of pace, especially for your joints and muscles.

7. Enhances Your Running Performance 

As discussed above, activities like aqua jogging can help in enhancing the performance of the runners. The water-based fitness activities focus on the constructive range of motion and in attaining a good form. When working out, you are supposed to make proper movements of the arm, maintain an upright posture along with long, effortless strides. When you focus on improving your running form underwater, you are actually honing your skills. This way you would be able to perform much better in the actual race. 

8 Technique and Tips to Master Aqua Jogging

  1. Make sure that you are in the deep end of the pool or are in the pool in such a way that your body is submerged in water and your feet aren’t touching the floor.
  2. Your face should be above the surface of the water while you should try to keep the water line at level with your shoulders. 
  3. Your hands must be clenched in a fist so that you won’t be cheating in any way by swimming with your hands. 
  4. Lean slightly forward as you would normally do when running. This would ensure that the gravity is working in an appropriate direction. Most people commit the mistake of leaning way too much and that makes them end up in a doggy paddle position. That is of course not what you want. 
  5. As is with other kinds of training, working out alone can turn to be quite monotonous. Get a friend to train with you. This way you both can have fun while working out. 
  6. Pay attention to your leg and arm drive. Your arms must be exactly at right angles in such a way that it would seem you are driving them backward and forward. Imagine that you are trying to elbow someone walking behind you. That is the exact form you would have to achieve. Notice a few aqua joggers to get an idea of the technique that they are using. 
  7. Your legs should move in a normal stride and must have a full-leg drive. You basically have to move your legs in a similar way as you do when cycling. The knees need to be high while the heel should lift behind your body. 
  8. Do not strain yourself even though the intensity isn’t going to be as high as land-based training. With water jogging, it is essential that you take breaks at regular intervals as you would normally do. Break each workout session into proper intervals of intensive training followed by a short recovery period. 

You would need to dorsiflex your feet when you are running. But, what does it mean? Well, it refers to pulling the toes up towards the skins. This is something that each runner does without realizing when running on land. However, when performing aqua jogging workouts, you need to think about this actively. When doing it for the first few times, aqua jogging might seem like a tough job. However, you need to remember that your main challenge is to remain upright in the water. Of course, working out against the resistance of water is a difficult task but that is what your challenge is. You would have to create some forward motion no matter how hard it may seem. After doing it for a few times, you would find it better than land-based workouts. 

benefits of aqua jogging
Water Jogging helps you burn calories faster (source)

Summing Up 

By now, it must be clear that aqua jogging is truly a beneficial and interesting workout that you can consider including in your fitness regimen. You might find it difficult when trying it for the first time but with continuous practice; you would be able to master it. Once you learn the techniques, the workout would seem a lot interesting. 

We really hope that we have given you a detailed insight about aqua jogging. Don't let your injuries halt your run, instead recover faster with aqua jogging and get back on the tracks. If you have any more doubts or wish to share any valuable tips with us, please feel free to do so in the comment section below. 

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