Aqua Jogger

By admin

In this article, you’ll discover what will make you an effective aqua jogger. In addition to technical aspects like proper form, you’ll learn about the relationship between traditional running and aqua jogging, and the timing of your workouts.

Further, we’ll introduce you to the three most important elements that comprise an effective aqua jogging workout …

Let’s start with these three elements, and then progress into proper form and other helpful tips …

The Effective Aqua Jogger: Three Crucial Factors

For many people, aqua jogging is a replacement activity, something to maintain fitness levels due to injury. This is typically the case with runners, who turn to water based exercise to minimize impact to an injured joint or muscle group.

Being injured is frustrating. Runners in particular are used to being outdoors, and the thought of being “cooped up” in a swimming pool adds to the frustration. Happily though, the vast majority of runners become very pleased with aqua jogging as a rehab or alternative activity, to the point of adding a water session as a cross training activity.

In a way, this speaks to mindset. While you won’t experience the benefits of being an aqua jogger until you try it, rest assured this is a very effective workout – whether it’s a replacement for running or a chosen fitness activity. To see a summary of benefits, visit our page on aqua jogging benefits …

With that underscored, let’s talk about the first key element of an effective aqua jogger …

Relax Your Muscles …

Being in the water will promote relaxation of your muscles. There’s a feeling of weightlessness, and your lower body isn’t bearing any weight or pounding on a hard surface. This helps your body move more freely and actually more quickly, once you become acclimated.

For runners, being in the water allows you to concentrate on your stride, since you don’t need to focus on any external obstacles. You can even use aqua jogging workouts to help improve your stride for standard running …

Take advantage of being in the water and allow your body to relax …

Be Aware of Your Range of Motion

This element is somewhat related to proper form, which we’ll discuss in a few minutes. For this workout to be optimally effective, be conscious of your range of motion in a forward direction. Move everything forward, particularly your arms. You do not want them to move across your body … just forward and back, like the pistons on a train wheel.

You can actually improve your range of motion on land by focusing on it in water based running. Since there’s no impact with the ground, your range of motion is greater in the water. This helps you carry over proper form to standard running workouts …

Get Into A Rhythm

As any athlete will state, getting into a rhythm is crucial to good performance. As an aqua jogger, your rhythm in the water dictates the effectiveness of your workout …

Start slowly at first, and concentrate on relaxing your muscles and a long, fluid range of motion. Once you’ve mastered those two elements, you can pick up speed. Obviously, the faster your rhythm, the effort you’ll expend. So, the effectiveness of your workout hinges directly on sustaining a comfortable, productive rhythm …

Proper Aqua Jogging Form

Let’s talk specifically about optimal form for an aqua jogger. Granted, there are differences between running outdoors or on a treadmill vs. running in the water, but the principles are the same. Think of good running form, and you’re well on your way to becoming an effective aqua jogger …

There are three specific elements to proper form. The first is the angle of your body, the second is your legs, the third is your arms. Let’s examine each …

Proper Body Angle

Again, think of proper running form. When running, your posture is erect and your torso is square over your hips. There may be an ever-so-slight lean forward, but not a noticeable bend … just the slightest of angle. Resist the temptation to lean forward with your upper body, like a sprinter lunging to cross the finish line.

Leaning too far forward is the most common mistake for beginning aqua joggers. You may find it helpful to have a workout partner stationed outside the water to watch your form. Ask them to alert you if you’re leaning forward and correct your posture if necessary …

Simply put, the easiest way to maintain proper body angle is to imagine yourself running outside. You run with an erect posture to keep from losing your balance and falling forward. The same is true with aqua jogging …

Using Your Legs

Start your stride slowly, as this helps you develop your rhythm as well as warm up your muscles. Your stride should be similar to a normal running stride, although there are subtle differences since your feet aren’t impacting the ground.

The top range of your knee’s motion is 90 degrees … no higher. Your foot should be directly underneath your knee, with the bottom of your foot facing downward as if you were going to stop on an aluminum can to flatten it.

Push the water downward with your foot. Once your leg is fully extended, bring your heel slightly upward toward your rear end. This will work your hamstrings!

Arm Action

Let’s start with a “don’t” in regard to proper arm action. What you DON’T want to do is move your arms across your body, as if you were doing the breast stroke. Your arms should move forward and back only, not sideways.

Start with your elbows an inch or two in front of your hips. Your forearms should be at a 90 degree angle to your upper arms, perfectly perpendicular. We like to use a loosely closed palm (sort of like a fist) to avoid having an open palm paddling water, which leads to your arms crossing over your upper body …

Your thumbs should be just below the water line … an inch or two or three. From there, bring your thumb down so it’s even with your hip, then bring it back to just below the water line. You’ll get the hang of it in no time!

The main point to remember as respects arm movement … forward and back only – not across your body.

Summary

Being an effective aqua jogger depends upon proper mindset and form. Even someone who’s never exercised in the water before can become acclimated to aqua jogging in a few short minutes …

Be sure your muscles are relaxed and your range of motion is long and fluid. Develop a rhythm by starting slowly and gradually increasing speed to your desired exertion level.

Practice proper form by focusing on your body positioning along with arm and leg movements. Stay as erect as possible and avoid leaning too far forward. By staying erect, you won’t waste motion and diminish effectiveness of the workout.

At the beginning of your stride, raise your knees no higher than a 90 degree angle and keep the bottoms of your feet downward so you can push down on the water. When your leg is fully extended, bring your heel slightly up toward your rear end to engage your hamstring …

Finally, make sure your arms are moving forward and backward only, and not side to side. Keep your hands closed into a loose fist to avoid paddling water with your palms, which will ultimately cause your arms to move side to side.

Remember, practice good form and you’ll be a more effective aqua jogger!

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Category: Aqua Jogging Tips

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