The elements of peak performance are wrapped up in endurance, conditioning, injury prevention, recovery, rest, nutrition, skill development in preparing your mind for competition. You may be surprised at some of the ways you can combine water based programs into your training program to address these elements and raise your level of performance to new heights. The following information is illustrated and covered in more detail in the video "Take it to the Water" with water running specialist David Brennan and Dr. Stan James.
Improve endurance and conditioning
Impact and stress on your muscles and skeletal system take their toll on your body and set up injuries that put you on the sidelines instead of in the competition. By combining the best of land and water training you can maximize training levels while minimizing risk.
Your cardiovascular, respiratory, muscle and skeletal systems all adapt to training at a different pace. The cardiovascular and respiratory systems recover the quickest followed by the muscular system while the skeletal system lags far behind. Take the pressure off your skeletal system and give it a chance to recover while maintaining pressure on the cardiovascular/respiratory systems.
Suspended in deep water in a vertical position with the AquaJogger, you can apply the desired workload to your target aerobic and/or anaerobic level with no impact on your skeletal and muscle systems. In the process of training your cardio-respiratory system, the resistance of the water continues to provide a work load for your muscle system without the impact associated with land-based exercise.
Submerged under water, resistance to movement is applied to muscle groups through the entire range of motion in direct relationship to how quickly you move through the water and how much surface area you present to the water during the movement. Deep water workouts are a great way to cross train and gain strength through the entire range of motion of a joint in a way that is unique to the water exercise environment. Meanwhile, the massaging effect of the water on your muscles encourages flexibility and leaves you feeling tired but unstressed by the experience.
Work through a full or partial range of motion can be accomplished at whatever speed you chose and in any direction. Many injuries can be prevented by gaining strength through the full range of motion. Strengthen specific areas prone to injury without the stress of gravity and impact by in the forgiving environment of water.
Return to training and activity after injury can often be accelerated in the water where the impact and stress on joints and muscle groups is not a factor. Being suspended in the water takes the pressure off of these critical areas and provides a comfortable environment in which to adjust the resistance of movement on the muscles and joints.
Active recovery from training and competition
Speed recovery from the stress and impact from land based training and competition with a twenty minute easy water exercise routine. Going for a jog on land adds more stress to an already stressed body but taking a jog in the water removes lactate, relaxes and stretches muscles and relieves stress from both the mind and body.
This is how your do it: Immediately following your training or competition, put on your AquaJogger and take an easy aerobic run for about twenty minutes while suspended in deep water. Couple this with some full range of motion movements and a little stretching and you are on your way to recovery.
Research has shown that taking your active recovery session to the water is an effective way to remove lactate from your muscles, increase circulation and relax stressed muscles and joints. It accelerates your body's recovery process and prepares it for rest.
Taking a movement into the water is one of the ways you can slow the movement down and focus on the nuances and fine details that come into play. The resistance of the water amplifies any slight change in direction or form which can be used to check efficiency and direction of a move. The body's buoyancy in water is coupled with the buoyancy of the AquaJogger to suspend and support movements in ways not possible in gravity. A full range of motion can be obtained with legs movements without the limitation of striking the ground. Movements can also be performed at any pace, one limb at a time, or in partial movements that are not possible on land.
Sufficient rest is an often neglected by athletes and without it the training program is ineffective. Relaxation and removal of stress are key elements in setting up the rest phase of the recovery process. Many athletes comment that water exercise and active recovery sessions in the water help set up a good nights sleep. Without proper rest additional pressure on cardio-respiratory, muscle and skeletal systems is building a weakened foundation and sets up a step backward in your training and conditioning program.
Your body needs fuel, and a wide array of nutrients to recover from the stress of training and competition. Nutrition and rest are key elements in making the most of all the effort put into your conditioning program. Without the needed nutrients, your body misses the window of opportunity to maximize gains from your efforts. Nutrients also encourage your body's recovery mechanisms and immune system to do their jobs.
A well balanced, multi-vitamin, and mineral supplement such as The Foundation™ can provide vital assistance to your immune system in protecting your body and its nutrient level. The timely use of a metabolic recovery drink, such as Exceleration®, provides rebuilding nutrients in a timely and efficient manner and can help speed the recovery from the stress of training and competition. We highly recommend both of these nutritional supplements to help you get the most out of your training.
Preparing your mind for competition
Focus is the key to peak performance and focus is the absence of distraction. Sports psychologists know that rehearsing the movements you are perfecting in a relaxed atmosphere where you are doing it perfectly in your mind as well as with your body sets the stage. Learning to focus on specific movements is aided by the relaxed atmosphere of being suspended in water. The water's buoyancy provides a unique environment to attune your body and mind. With an AquaJogger buoyancy belt holding you up and your head above the water breathing normally, you get the feeling of being in outer space without the stress of gravity and the pressures that distract your mind. You can move in slow motion, carefully imagining each part of your move over and over at varying speeds until it is imprinted in your mind.