Running regularly places an immense amount of pressure on our joints, muscles and muscle tissue. The way to relax these core areas while also maintaining a healthy fitness routine is to cross-train. As we have gone over a few times, cross training helps you develop muscles ancillary to running, which helps you gain overall, not lopsided, strength.
One of the best ways to cross-train is to dive into a pool and start swimming. Initially, swimming by itself will help you gain overall strength, but over the course of time, as you become more invested in running, pool workouts. will offer results that are more suited for your running. If you have already started running with FirstRun, give these simple pool exercises a shot on your rest days.
Not all that different from your usual run, but instead the water’s resistance will improve your stability, balance and running posture. Don’t adopt a different running gait just because you are in the pool. Remember to run just as you would on land. While running, you can even add some variations such as high knees and spot running.
The great thing about being in water is that you can stretch your muscles a lot more than is possible on an everyday basis. One way to do this is holding on to the pool steps or edge and sweeping your feet behind and in front of you. A great stretch for glutes, adductors, and your hamstring.
For best results, try swimming in a bunch of different styles. Regular swimming works out the back and shoulder muscles, but backstrokes take it up a notch higher. Butterfly stroke makes your pectorals and wing muscles work harder than regular swimming while trudgen style helps you work out your legs thanks to the scissor motion.
Hit the pool on your rest days and in addition to running marathons, you could soon be competing in triathlons as well.