Deep water running is a great exercise for all athletes. It’s been thought of primarily as a cross training exercise for those who are injured but everyone can benefit from it. Running in deep water is a total-body exercise that works your legs, trunk and arms, and helps to improve the cardiovascular system without the impact of running on hard services. For those who are injured it helps maintain running fitness, while healing from the injury. For everyone, it provides a great workout.
The density of water provides resistance, which causes all your muscles to work equally. The water provides less stress to your joints and at the same time, helps to increase range of motion. There is no impact, allowing injured muscles to maintain fitness, and all athletes to improve strength and cardiovascular system. Strap a flotation device, such as an AquaJogger, around your waist to help keep you afloat.
Robert J. Valentin, is founder of Blue Ocean Swimming Inc. Robert is a Level 3 ASCA (American Swimming Coaches Association) Swimming Coach and the only Deep Water Running Coach advancing the unique form of Deep Water Running, advanced by his mentor the late great swim coach, Doug Stern. Robert says that using this technique creates a a great way to maximize resistance. According to Robert, the form is to point your toes like a ballerina, keep your legs straight like a pencil (with a slight bend in the knee) and work through the hip. “The legs should be like a pendulum, move them equally back and forth, to gain the most resistance from the water, “ said Robert. The arms should be at your side, elbows should have a slight bend to them and your palms should face backwards.
Robert says to “Make sure to keep your torso erect. It will help your form on land. Do not lean forward, keep your core strong and engaged.” Try and stay in place, rather than move forward, to do this you really have to engage the core. Check out the attached video to make sure your form is correct.
I have to say I’ve been adding Deep Water Running to my own workouts, and it is serious. Following Robert Valentin’s instructions makes the workouts a challenge! Many athletes have found that adding deep water running to their weekly training has increased their strength. Give it a try.