Aqua exercises may be thought of as rehabilitation activities, but replicating your running technique in the water can provide you with some great cardiovascular and cross-training benefits, particularly if you want a break from running on the road. If you have an injury, water running can help reduce deconditioning for a few weeks while you recover. Water running is a great low-impact water activity which can relieve stress on joints, increase mobility and maintain strength.
Getting started is simple, you’ll need access to water deep enough that you can’t touch the bottom and the only equipment required is a buoyancy belt. The belt is designed to keep you upright in the water and preserve normal biomechanics. Use the same running technique you would use on land to propel yourself forwards in the water, ensuring your feet come underneath your body during your strides. The water will provide resistance against your arms and legs so you’ll need to increase leg turnover in order to raise your heart rate and to keep you fully afloat. When in the water, you’ll move slower so it’s a good idea to time the sessions rather than measure by distance. A good starting marker is to use the time it would normally take you to complete an average run on land and train for that amount of time. Try some sprint intervals with the belt. If you’re keen for a challenge, try without the belt to increase difficulty; you’ll have to work twice as hard!
Why not add some water running to your normal exercise routine for some variety? If you would like a specific programme or some more information on how to implement water running into your routine, contact one of our friendly Accredited Exercise Physiologists by emailing email@example.com or head to our website www.absolutebalance.com.au.
Bianca Dobrich (B.Sc. – Human Movement, Grad Dip. Exercise Rehabilitation)
Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) (ESSAM)