Aqua jogging is an alternative to running that preserves your joints, especially your knees. The activity takes place in water, as its name suggests, and practically eliminates any jarring effect of running. The exercise can be performed if you have knee or other joint pain, if you're going through rehabilitation, or if you simply want to switch up your workout routine with something different. Some special aqua jogging equipment can help optimize the exercise.
Cross Training and Rehabilition
Aqua jogging is an exercise that practically anyone can take part in, but it is especially useful if you are a runner. The buoyancy of the water spares the knees, ankles, back and hips from the jarring and pounding your body experiences during normal running, which allows you to add extra time running without the negative effects of the impact of the road. The water's support also makes aqua jogging ideal if you are recovering from an injury. Aqua jogging allows you to go through all the motions of regular running without the adverse effects on your joints and bones. The exercise can be performed in two ways: non-impact deep-water jogging and low-impact shallow-water jogging.
Non-Impact Deep Water
As the name indicates, non-impact deep-water jogging is performed in a pool's deep end or in an area where you cannot touch the bottom. The objective is to go through the motions of running without making any type of contact, except with the water. If you have severe joint pain or are just beginning rehabilitation, this type of non-impact aqua jogging is more suitable for you than low-impact aqua jogging. Deep-water aqua jogging typically requires a buoyancy belt to help you stay afloat. Leaning slightly forward during aqua jogging makes the exercise more effective. To optimize the exercise, you should exaggerate the movements of your arms and legs.
Low-Impact Shallow Water
Low-impact shallow-water jogging requires that you be able to touch the bottom of the pool. The impact your body experiences with this type of aqua jogging is minimal, but it should be taken into account if your joints are especially sensitive. As opposed to deep-water jogging, the running motions should not be exaggerated -- they should closely resemble those of regular running. You should focus on mimicking your normal running style as much as possible and also focus on contracting your muscles throughout the exercise as you move through the water. Good posture entails a straight back with your head up and shoulders back.
Aqua jogging can require some special equipment. If you perform deep-water jogging, a buoyancy belt is useful to help keep you afloat and balanced. For shallow-water jogging, a pair of aquatic shoes is typically recommended to help you grip the bottom of the pool as you push yourself forward. The shoes are not required to do the exercise, but pool floors are often slippery and difficult to grip with bare feet. Special aqua gloves can be worn for both styles of aqua jogging to help propel yourself forward. The gloves are webbed, which helps displace more water when moving the arms.