Why Average Healthy Athletes Should Train Underwater

Why Average Healthy Athletes Should Train Underwater

Do you enjoy to run? Are you finding yourself running 20, 40, 60, or even 120 miles in one week alone? If you are, we don’t need to tell you that the impact to your joints and tissues is significant and, at times painful!

By putting all the pressure on your tissues and joints, they are unable to tolerate all the impact of running on land or even a treadmill. So what can you do to relieve some of that stress, but still reach your weekly mileage?

Lance Walker, Director of Performance at Michael Johnson Performance, explains that as we age, even if you have been an active adult your whole life, your body can’t take all the impact. We want to train like we used to when we were younger because we think we still can. But in reality our tissues and joints don’t respond like they used to, which requires our bodies even longer time to recover from a workout

By training on an underwater treadmill you are still meeting your mileage for the week while putting less stress on your body. Many elite athletes, weekend warriors, or the average runner looking to stay in shape, should be supplementing their land workouts with water running if not everyday, at least a few days a week to reduce the wear and tear on your joints and help prevent injuries. Galen Rupp from the Nike Oregon Project has utilized an underwater treadmill since high school to increase his weekly mileage and decrease his risk of injury. He also uses underwater running nearly every day after his land training sessions as a way to recover his muscles and joints. Rupp’s coach, Alberto Salazar, believes in the benefits in underwater treadmill running for all of his runners: “We don’t consider it an alternative to running outside. We consider it as important as running outside. It helps us become stronger by running against the resistance of the water and it helps us recover from our dry land training.”

At Michael Johnson Performance, water running has become an integral part of their athletes routine. Walker explains:

HydroWorx allows me, personally a) to bring my tissue back, make it more responsive to the training that I’m doing and b) I’m able to add volume to my training in the water that I otherwise couldn’t do on dry land.

To learn more about the aquatic principles applied at Michael Johnson Performance and the outcomes they see, watch the below video.

Register for Free Webcast on Sports-Related Foot and Ankle Injuries:

On July 15 from 11am-12pm EDT, Jason McVeigh MS, PT, SCS, ATC, LAT, Director of Sports Medicine at the University of Tennessee will be presenting on Aquatic Rehab Progressions for Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries. The webinar will provide treatment ideas using the benefits of hydrotherapy for common sports-related foot and ankle injuries such as 5th metatarsal fractures, Lisfranc injury, “turf-toe,” ankle sprains and high ankle sprains. This 1 hour webcast will be broadcast live from the HydroWorx 1200 Series pool at University of Tennessee in Knoxville, TN. Live attendees will have the opportunity to see the HydroWorx 1200 Series pool as well as Thermal and PolarPlunge pools.  Register Today!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *