Training After an Injury: A Water Workout

By June 11, 2018workout

Training After an Injury: A Water Workout

An injury is one of the most challenging experiences you can face as an active person. When you’re injured, you almost certainly can’t exercise in the way to which you’ve become accustomed—and you’re often not able to exercise at all. It happens to almost everyone, and it’s often our body’s way (or the Universe’s way) of saying you need a break. As frustrating as it is, it can also be an incredible learning experience, and may even open new doors to things you haven’t tried before. The key to recovery is to truly give yourself the rest you need and listen to your body.

So what to do with all of that extra time and energy you otherwise spent exercising? I like to think of it as your chance to pursue other interests such as painting, catching up with friends, learning a new language, reading all those books you never had time for or whatever else you’re interested in pursuing, but never seem to have the time for.

+   An aqua belt (Really great if you’re doing this workout in the deep end — most public pools have these readily available)
This workout is a low impact, full body cardio circuit. Even if you’re not recovering from an injury, you might try this as a way to jump start your fitness or as a change of pace from your regular workout. Runners – this is an excellent substitute for a speed or interval workout, without all of the strain on the knees!


After you’ve taken time to rest, it’s important to overcome the fear and get back to moving and trying new things. With many injuries it’s even recommended you shake things up by cross training in order to maintain a fitness level and relaxed state of mind.

For me the pool was the key to my come back. I actually learned to walk and run again in the water. Since there is no impact, it helped me get fit while rehabilitating my muscles by strengthening my femur and the muscles around my hip so I was able to get stronger faster. When I began I didn’t even know how to swim, but after months in the pool I was not only doing full running workouts in the pool, I was swimming laps.


Duration  30 min   |  Type  cardio, mobility



To begin, hop in the pool and find a spot in which you feel comfortable and have enough room to get moving. Start jogging in place, at an moderate pace, for a brief 5 minutes.


Step 1 //

1 minute of fast aqua jogging. For the first 30 sec continue at a moderately pace, increasing your effort to push even harder for the last 30 seconds.

1 min easy/active recovery.

Repeat this jogging burst for total of 5 rounds.

Step 2 //

30 seconds of faster paced, high effort jogging.

30 seconds of easy/active recovery.

Repeat for total of 5 rounds

Step 3 // 

15 seconds of faster pace, high effort jogging.

15 seconds of easy/active recovery.

Repeat for total of 5 rounds.

Cool Down //

3 minutes of lower effort, soft jogging to cool down.


First Set //

30 seconds of leg flutters. Keep your arms on the side of the wall and kick your legs in a scissor fashion.

Second Set //

30 seconds of vertical jumping. Slightly bend your knees and burst straight upward, returning to a neutral landing position. 

Third Set //

30 seconds of bicycle arms. Try to keep yourself afloat by just using your arms in a bicycle motion — it’s like treading water with your arms!

Complete each drill/set twice.


5 minutes of free swimming or low intensity wading. Have fun with it! Our only objective here is bringing your heart rate back to a more neutral zone, and giving those muscles a small burst of active recovery.

You did it — enjoy! Keep watching for other drills and fitness tips that you can use no matter where you are in your fitness or recovery journey. Remember: do only what your injury permits you to do. If it hurts or something doesn’t feel right — don’t do it!

Leave a Reply