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5 Reasons All Athletes Should Train Underwater

5 Reasons All Athletes Should Train Underwater

Michael Johnson PerformanceWe may not all be professional athletes, but any level of athlete can benefit from underwater running. Whether you are a weekend warrior, a collegiate all-star, first-time 5k runner, professional baseball player or high school lacrosse player,  incorporating water into workouts can provide powerful physical and psychological benefits. Here are just five of the ways that training underwater can improve your conditioning:

1) Active Recovery is Effective and Efficient

While it is important to let your body rest from difficult training days, “off” days don’t have to mean doing nothing. Using a complementary exercise that is less stressful on the body, such as underwater treadmill training, can be even more beneficial to an athlete. Specialists at Michael Johnson Performance set aside one day a week for active recovery sessions including yoga and underwater treadmill training.

2) Daily Recovery Using Contrast Therapy Reboots Muscles

The experts at Michael Johnson Performance also believe in the power of daily recovery using hot and cold plunge pools to reboot muscles after a hard workout. They have found that their athletes’ muscles are better prepared for the next day of training after using contrast therapy.

3) Running Underwater Improves Land-based Running Function

Underwater treadmill running requires the use of different muscles in order to push through the viscosity (drag) of the water. This, in turn, provides additional power when on land.

4) Running on an Underwater Treadmill Increases Aptitude Without Increasing Injury Risk

Even elite runners, such as those of the Oregon Project coached by Alberto Salazar, can run “too much.” Each runner has a threshold where the risks of extra mileage are not worth the potential benefit. Using underwater running is a way to increase mileage without increasing risk of injury.

5) Running Underwater Increases Strength and Lean Muscle Mass

According to a research study from Texas A&M University, underwater treadmill training combined with resistance training increases lean muscle mass more than land training combined with resistance training.

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Want to learn more about the benefits of running underwater? Here is a FREE DOWNLOAD of the Underwater Treadmill Running Book. Read Underwater Treadmill Running to learn more about the advantages of underwater treadmill running for training and conditioning. Download the book now>>

Page updated on: September 30, 2022


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