Water jogging is recently gaining popularity as one of the more effective forms of exercise, but did you know that it has existed for many years before becoming a weight loss and training option? Physical therapists have long realized how underwater movements help strengthen muscles and heal injuries. Today, this same concept has been transferred to and is being applied as a method to boost running performance for serious and competitive runners as well as those wanting to just stay healthy.
Basically, water jogging simulates the normal running posture while being in a pool. The pools used in water jogging are typically deep enough to prevent the foot from touching the bottom. Water jogging also requires the use of a flotation device to keep the “runner” upright during the whole sequence. There are commercial products specifically intended for water jogging although any vest or flotation device that stabilizes the runner and maintains upright posture is more than adequate.
Water joggers begin by floating in a pool while allowing a flotation device to keep them in the desired position. Afterwards, they assume an upright stance and begin moving their feet as if they are running on a hard surface except that in this case, they are not hitting the ground. As they move, they are kept suspended by the flotation device around the hip area much like anyone would in a normal jogging stance. The movement is then repeated until such a time the runner feels that he or she has completed a successful workout.
Water jogging is common among those nursing injuries who are not able to resume their normal running routines. Its main advantage is in the fact that the routine offers the same level of cardiovascular workout without pushing the injured body part – most commonly the legs – to experience strain while hitting a hard surface. Consequently, many runners who wish to improve their running posture and leg muscles are also already beginning to train via water jogging routines.
The improvement in performance comes from the fact that the hamstring, quads and calves – muscles that are indispensable to long distance running – are being worked out and strengthened in the process. In deep water, these muscles work harder because of the resistance offered by the water. That is equivalent to being in the gym and lifting weights that specifically target these muscles.
Likewise, the use of the flotation device also helps to improve balance and coordination. The lower back carries the brunt of the load during movement but not in a way as to promote injury; in fact, with water jogging, the lower back is adequately supported with the flotation vest while maintaining an upright running posture. This is also essential to ensuring that the body running mechanics is maintained, enhanced, and improved for maximum benefit to the jogger.
Water jogging is a novel idea, one that promises to revolutionize the way training is done for both mid and long distance events. Of course, it is not meant to replace running workouts altogether; rather, it is a form of cross training that works out muscles to boost strength and performance in a fun and enjoyable way.
So, check to see if you can gain access to a swimming pool that is deep enough to allow you to do water jogging. This might just be just what you need to get your body in shape or lose that excess weight.