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▷ What is the aquatic walk ?

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▷ What is the aquatic walk ?

Some say it started with horses. For decades, trainers have used ponds and pools to give Thoroughbreds a superb cardiovascular workout without straining the animal's legs.

If you like walking but want to spice it up, aquatic walk is ideal for improving your physical condition. This rather gentle activity provides great cardiovascular exercise, but also helps you burn calories, while strengthening almost all of your muscles.

Here's an overview of what aquatic walk is, how to do it safely, and variations you can try to improve your fitness.

The basics of aquatic walk

Aquatic walk was born about twenty years ago on the beaches of northern France and is now practiced on all of our coastline. Aquatic walk is also called aquatic hiking. The aquatic walkt consists of following the shore while being more or less submerged.

Longing the coast is practiced in groups. So you can make new acquaintances and develop your team spirit. Even if everyone advances for themselves, techniques exist to energize the group and regulate the speed of advance thanks to leaders and methods to approach waves.

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What are the advantages of the aquatic walk ?

Water is denser than air. Executing movements in water requires more effort than the same movements on land. This added resistance of water walking allows you to engage and strengthen your muscles in ways that you might not be able to do with exercise on land. It also allows you to burn more calories, which can help you lose weight. When you walk in thigh-deep water at a pace of 5 km per hour, you burn almost twice as many calories as if you were doing the same thing on dry land. You can burn up to 250 calories by walking for 30 minutes in chest deep water!

Longing is a low impact cardiovascular activity. It is therefore softer" on your joints, making it a perfect activity for people with arthritis, osteoporosis or fibromyalgia.

Plus, because your cells are 65-95% water, blood circulates better when submerged, which means your heart doesn't have to pump as hard to circulate water. oxygen.

The aquatic walk also has advantages for your skin. You will benefit from the virtues of sea water, and sea salts, to erase cellulite and tighten your skin.

Thanks to Marine Iodine and the fresh water effect, your immune system will also be strengthened and you will be less prone to illness. Indeed, seawater recharges us with energy and purifies our organism.

By practicing the long coast in the middle of nature, you will promote good oxygenation of your lungs and your muscles. Your brain will calm down during an outing. The anti-stress side of the aquatic walk is often praised.

Aquatic walk is beneficial for pregnant women

Aquatic walk classes are on the rise as people of all ages and fitness levels seek effective cardiovascular activity. Aquatic walk classes are especially popular with the elderly, overweight people, people with arthritis and people with mobility issues. Pregnant women and people with lower back pain are also often adept at this exercise.Even Serious Athletes Reap Benefits For athletes, water drills can be used as a form of active recovery between intense land workouts, allowing form and speed to be refined.

Ideal for lower back pain

Aquatic walk can be practiced in a river, a lake but more often in the ocean or in the sea. However, aquatic exercises are carried out in indoor swimming pools, which allows people to train by hot or cold weather. You don't have to know how to swim to practice Aquatic walk. Flotation devices such as arm bands or belts can be used to help non-swimmers stay afloat in the water.

Recommended for overweight people

Aquatic walk can be practiced in the shallow end, a few meters from the beach. For beginners, the shallow end is often used as the deeper water allows for a more intense workout. The basic movement of the aquatic walk is to move forward, just like the classic walk. Participants stand waist-deep in water and stride forward, striving to put their whole foot on the ground with each step. Core muscles are engaged with every movement, and arms move back and forth to engage the whole body.

A US study found that hill running can increase your heart rate more than land walking. This can allow your heart and lungs to push the exercises harder.

Another study concluded that aquatic walk contributes to the reduction of blood pressure, particularly for people with a sedentary lifestyle. Finally, a third study in patients with spinal stenosis demonstrated that 12 weeks of aquatic walk improved their balance and muscle fitness.

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What equipment to practice aquatic walk ?

That said, you don't need a whole lot of equipment to do aquatic walk. Just a swimsuit and water shoes (walking in the sea or ocean can cause foot pain due to rocks, shells , etc...). In cold weather, it is necessary to equip yourself with a neoprene suit.

How to walk in water ?

For a less intense but no less effective practice, more and more people are choosing to walk, not run, in the water. Just as walking on land is gaining ground, so is walking in water!

Aquatic walk far outnumber swimmers on most French beaches. Many people can't swim, don't like to swim, or don't want to get their hair or face wet. Almost anyone can hill climb to keep or get in shape.

To get started, walk with water waist high. Concentrate on walking while respecting your posture.To do this, hold:

  • the trunk and back muscles engaged,
  • back straight and stretched,
  • shoulders back,
  • chin up, gaze straight ahead,
  • head well off shoulders,
  • When walking, try to make sure you keep your torso straight without leaning forward or sideways,
  • take a long stride,
  • press your heel first then roll your weight onto your toes,
  • feel free to rock your arms as you walk,
  • Once you master the sideline with the right posture, you can try it in deeper water

Once you've got the right attitude, you can evolve your routine with a few variations. Start with one round of each variation and work your way up to multiple rounds of each variation.


Raise the knees will add intensity to the aquatic walk. It also works the lower muscles, as well as the glutes and hip flexors.

To perform this variation:

  • Engage your core and raise your right knee as high as you can,
  • At the same time, raise your left arm,
  • Switch and do the same with your left knee and your right arm,
  • Lunges while walking,
  • Lunges work your quads, hamstrings, calves, and glutes. For this variation of the exercise, walk in water at waist level.

To do this exercise:

Step forward with your right foot. Lower your front thigh so that it is parallel to the bottom of the pool. Make sure your right knee is in line with your ankle, without going over it. Keep your back leg straight. Bring your left foot forward, and continue stepping forward with your left leg. Another variation of this exercise is to do side lunges rather than forward lunges. Side lunges work the adductor muscles, located on the inside of the thighs.

Side walk

This variation of water walking targets the inner and outer muscles of your thighs.

To do this exercise:

  • Stand to the side, right hip forward,
  • Step sideways with your right foot,
  • Bring your left foot to meet your right foot,
  • Continue like this until you get to the other side of the shore,
  • Walk back, left hip forward.

Advice for beginners in aquatic walk

Train in deeper waters

To be able to replicate walking form on land and walk fast enough for your heart rate to reach the moderate to high heart rate zones, you need to be in water deep enough not to touch the bottom. For many people this means a depth of at least 1.6 to 1.8 meters.

Pay attention to upper body posture

Postural cues include raising the head, tucking the chin, bringing the shoulder blades together and down, and bringing the belly closer to the spine. The arms should be bent at a 90 degree angle and swing in the water like a pendulum.

Use lower body basics

To mimic the biomechanics of land walking with the legs, it is helpful to start the lunge-side session with a vertical kick, then gradually open up the stride.The knee bend is slight and the quadriceps pushes the water forward, not up, then the heel directs the back part of the stride The foot should act like a brush and be relaxed, sweeping back and forth back.

Consider reducing the duration of your outing

Aquatic walk increases your metabolic rate and energy expenditure. Therefore, you may tire faster with aquatic exercises than with land activities.

For example, replace a 45-minute treadmill walk with a 30-minute hill climb. Above all, remember to stay hydrated.

Consult your doctor if you have heart problems

Your heart rate increases with higher summer temperatures (water and ambient). If you have heart problems or high blood pressure, you should consult your doctor before starting the aquatic walk.

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Specific lanyard safety tips

  • Stay hydrated. You might not notice how much you sweat when you do aquatic walk. It's important to stay well hydrated, especially in the summer,
  • Ideally never go out to sea or ocean alone,
  • Cancel your trip in case of bad weather or strong sea currents,
  • Be careful of the seabed. You can come across all kinds of creatures there. To avoid injury, wear water shoes.
  • Wear a flotation device if you're just starting out. This is particularly useful if you are not a strong swimmer or have balance issues.
  • Stop if you feel pain. Don't try to force a move if you don't feel comfortable.
  • Stop immediately and get help if you feel lightheaded or dizzy, unable to breathe, fainting or feeling faint, have chest pain or pressure or upper body and if you are nauseous or confused.

Consult your doctor before starting the aquatic walk, especially if you have any medical conditions or are taking prescription medication.

What to remember about the aquatic walk ?

Lunging is a great form of cardiovascular exercise and resistance work. It helps strengthen and tone a large number of muscles, while burning calories and taking care not to overwork your bones and joints.

Start slow and gradually increase the pace as you go. Make lunging fun and interesting by varying the exercises and trying out different equipment. This way you will find that hill climbing is not only good for your body but also perfect for your morale !

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