Aqua jogging as a full body workout: tips for its implementation

To the water, go!
Water Jogging: Why Full-Body Training Is More Than Jumping Mindlessly

Aqua jogging: men and women with aqua dumbbells in the pool

Gone are the days when old people used to jump through the paddling pool wearing a flowery swimming cap. Aqua jogging is now a popular training variant in mass and competitive sports.

© FatCamera / Getty Images

Once frowned upon as water aerobics for seniors, aqua fitness has established itself as a full-body workout for everyone. Read here why water jogging, water boxing and co. are the perfect alternative to the gym.

Water jogging was frowned upon for a long time. Both among swimmers and among runners. Like jumping pointlessly into a warm, hip-deep wading pool. Nothing half and nothing complete. Treading water for older people with too much time. These and other clichés were everywhere about the fitness method, which seemed a bit strange at first glance. Admittedly, the lifestyle factor in water jogging is manageable. However, water aerobics has not only established itself in rehabilitation, but is recognized as a full-body workout that is not only extremely easy on the joints, but also particularly efficient, both for amateur, recreational and competitive athletes. .

Read why aqua jogging is more than jumping into the wading pool and why top athletes and many team athletes trust it too.

Water beats dumbbells and sneakers

Swimming is one of the most demanding endurance sports out there. If you don’t master the technique, regardless of the style, you will never really be satisfied with the water element. The problem (or the advantage): water is 800 times denser than air. Therefore, the body has to expend much more energy in the pool to move forward than when jogging in the park. Anyone who has ever tried to walk in water, even knee deep, will have noticed that the strength of it decreases rapidly. Labeling aqua fitness in general and aqua jogging, aqua zumba, aqua box and much more as a hobby for seniors is complete nonsense. To the contrary: Instead of dragging tired, stressed bones across the asphalt or throwing weights uncontrollably from A to B in the gym, water is almost preordained as a fitness device, for young and old, fat and fat. skinny, couch potatoes and elite athletes. .

Water jogging: who invented it?

A certain John Glenn McWaters – no, that’s not a pseudonym – developed the world-renowned training method in the 1970s, calling it “Deep Water Running.” More specifically, the ingenious US Navy officer experimented with training aids that would make it possible to walk in deep water. The result was the so-called “Wet Vest”, a vest made of neoprene. Athletic trainer McWaters recognized the benefits of water jogging early on and tried to use it to get his soldiers into shape. The tools have been further developed. Nowadays, when you water jog, you wear a so-called foam buoyancy belt around your upper body or put on a foam vest. Both tools are light and comfortable and, in addition to buoyancy, help balance in the water.

In Germany, movement therapist Margot Zeitvogel-Schönthier is considered a pioneer of aquatic training. She has been caring for and advising winter sports enthusiasts in particular for many years, including athletes from the German, Swedish and Canadian ski associations. The author of numerous specialized books has also established various water training methods in tennis, handball, soccer and climbing, including aqua jogging.

Why go water jogging instead of running in the park?

First of all, water has a resistance several hundred times greater than that of air. This makes the training a little more strenuous in the long run, but the effect of the training is much greater. Due to the increased hydrostatic pressure, more blood is pumped to the heart: the stroke volume increases by up to 20 percent. Rather, the heart rate drops. Maximum heart rate is supposed to be eight to ten beats lower than when running on land. With water jogging, you can achieve the same training effect as a run in the park with much less stress.

Also, due to the buoyancy effect, you only train with a fraction of your own body weight (in chest-deep water, 70kg of body weight on land becomes seven kilograms). Which, and this is one of the great advantages of aqua jogging, has a positive effect on the joints, muscles and tendons. They are exposed to considerable stress when operating conventionally, whether on park paths, paved highways or elsewhere, due to permanent compression. “The risk of injury is almost zero,” agrees Ingo Froboese, a professor at the German University of Sport in Cologne.

Zeitvogel-Schönthier also relies on the massaging effect of water. “Caresses and kneads the skin like a thousand tender hands.” This is ensured by the already mentioned hydrostatic pressure and the natural frictional resistance of the water. The more intense the movements, the stronger the effect. And that is also reflected in body weight. Froboese: “Because of the slower movements in the water, the muscles draw primarily on fat stores rather than sugar stores.” Due to the improved blood circulation, the connective tissue is also tightened. Cellulite is also a problem with aqua jogging.

What types of aqua jogging are there?

There are two ways to water jog. In variant 1, especially recommended for older people, the legs are in contact with the ground (running water). The training takes place in a pool with a water depth of less than 1.50 meters. The advantage: no tools required. Important: With each step you push yourself off the bottom of the pool with the balls of your feet. Variant 2 involves training in deep water. (Deep Water Suspended Race) A foam belt provides buoyancy. Important: the upper body bends slightly forward and the slightly bent arms swing freely with the running movement. The basic rule for both forms of aqua jogging is: the higher the step frequency, the more strenuous but also the more effective the workout.

How many calories does aqua jogging burn?

On average, you burn 450 kilocalories during a one-hour aqua jogging training session. According to Froboese, that’s about 150 less than biking or running. The pressure of the water literally helps the circulation of the water corridor. The effect: The heart is able to pump more oxygen-rich blood into the arteries with each beat. The pulse remains in the moderate range.

Water jogging: how often and for how long?

Two to three sessions per week of 45 minutes each are recommended. Ideally under the guidance and supervision of a trainer. Many public baths and gyms with swimming pools offer regular classes. You do not need to bring anything other than a swimsuit. the foam belt are mostly provided. If that’s not enough for you, you can purchase buoyancy aids yourself. Important: They must be infinitely adjustable and adapt to the body. Otherwise, the belt will put too much pressure on your chest and interfere with your breathing. Also, the belts and the arms could get in the way of each other when running.

Sources:“fit for fun”; “”; “”; star Special “Healthy Life” (3/2004); “Runner’s World”

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