May 042010

Battling an injury and feeling worried that you can’t keep up your fitness while you’re out? After facing a broken ankle, these were my thoughts. Fortunately, I discovered a cross training exercise that allowed me a rigorous challenge during the injury: deep water running.

What is deep water running?   The term mostly describes the exercise.   The activity entails floating in the water and using the motions of running without touching the ground. Here’s the equipment required for the exercise:

• Deep water running belt (e.g. aquajogger)

• Swimming location with depth more than your height

Optional equipment:
• Music
• Floating dumb bells

Here’s what you do to complete a deep water running work out.

1. Place the deep water running belt (a floatation device) around your waist. The belt serves to keep you buoyant in water.
2. Step into the pool and walk to the deeper end.
3. Start jogging while suspended in the water.

This video demonstrates the exercise.

I like to run in a box pattern in the deep end of the pool. I’ll run clockwise for the first lap and then switch to counter clockwise for the next lap. I do this until I’ve completed my desired minutes of exercising. I also find that larger steps and arm movements help me to increase my heart rate during the activity and slow my lap pace significantly. Longer time spent on a lap with large strokes translates to the largest calorie burn for me.

photo credit:


  2 Responses to “Fitness Without Impact”

  1. A few suggestions: Start slowly to get used to the somewhat strange feel of deep water running. Once we get good at it, deep water run with fast music in the backround. Keep up with the beat. For extra cardio, lift knees high as if running upstairs or uphill and swing arms high too.
    If you did just do something like break an ankle, give it a week off. Then, after that, deep water run with a brace on (not your cast, that won’t work!) and take things slowly.

  2. Great article! I wish I would have had somewhere to do this while my foot was messed up! Oh well, back on skates and working out now! :) But if I ever need this in the future, awesome advice!

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