Marines Magazine

The Official Magazine of the United States Marine Corps

Subscribe by RSS

Running With A Splash

Marines and other athletes who work out on a regular basis often experience burnout and possible injury. Breaking up normal workout regiments with cross-training exercises, like swimming, can offer relief for overworked muscles and joints. For many Marines, the thought of swimming laps may not be appealing. What they may fail to realize is there are a plethora of fitness opportunities at the pool other than swimming laps that can aid in increased fitness levels, assist with muscle mass, and decrease the chances of injury while providing much needed muscle recovery.

Jeff Kuhland, YMCA fitness director in Lynchburg, Va., and a National Strength and Conditioning Association specialist, suggests that runners engage in water running as part of their normal workout routine.

Many cross training activities, like biking, are not comparable to running because they do not work the same muscles, Kuhland said. Water running is the exception.

Water running builds and strengthens the same muscles used in running on land, but in a low-impact environment.

“Water running keeps runners from straying too far from their normal running pattern,” Kuhland said. “It has the same stride pattern as running, making it functional to running.”

There are two ways to employ water running. The simplest form is to enter waist-deep water and jog in place for 20 to 30 minutes. The more advanced version of the exercise requires the use of a swimming belt or flotation device, and is performed in the deeper end of the pool. The swimming belt or flotation device goes around your waist and as you run in place, it keeps you afloat and upright, Kuhland said.

Water running not only works the same muscles as land running, it does so in a more effective manner.

“One of the biggest differences that sets aquatic exercise apart from other exercises is that the energy requirement is much greater than running or cycling,” said Jamie Dalecki, Semper Fit director at Marine Barracks Washington.

In fact, water workouts require four times the energy expenditure as running or walking for the same distance or time duration, Dalecki said.
This is because water provides constant resistance throughout the whole running stride. In land running you simply have to fight the weight of the leg, while in water running you combat the force of the water as well. This resistance could actually improve your running stride as well as build more muscle than land running alone.
“Many people try water running and come out as stronger land runners,” Kuhland said.

Water running can also be an important tool for those who are recovering from an injury or hoping to prevent an injury from occurring due to its low impact characteristics.

High impact activities are those in which both feet leave the ground at the same time, such as running and jumping. Water running offers a break from this pounding while working the same muscles. This allows Marines to continue to meet workout goals while protecting and healing their bodies.

“Water running is a nice cross-training day in your normal work out week,” Kuhland said. “You get a fitness workout while letting your joints and muscles recover.”

Whether you’re an avid runner that needs a break from the stresses of running on land or are recovering from an injury, water running is an ideal way to increase in running shape while at the same time offering relief to muscles and joints.

    Related Posts

9 Responses

  1. jonathan yohe says:

    wish i could be a marine but im only 16 soone to be 17

  2. Isaiah says:

    Even nowing im 10 im going US MARINES

  3. Vincent says:

    That looks like fun!

  4. USMC flyboy says:

    December 31st, 2011  //  By Lance Cpl. Chelsea Flowers, Photo by Lance Cpl. Sharon D. Kyle
    right at the top of the page

  5. Cat says:

    This is amazing! ( :

  6. Drjrob says:

    because the author is the photoagrapher

  7. Gloria Fernandez says:

    Vaya pasada Runing debajo agua la leche..

  8. spazz says:

    wtf that looks hard as crap

  9. Danielle Kyle says:

    Why don’t yall post the photographers name?