Tips and Benefits of Water Running with Craig Stuart at Rancho La Puerta - Rancho La Puerta
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Tips and Benefits of Water Running with Craig Stuart at Rancho La Puerta

Tips and benefits of water running or aqua jogging with Craig Stuart.


Have you just completed a marathon with 30,000 of your closest friends and need to reduce your training load? Or are you seeking a great workout that is gentle on the body and delivers great results?

Come on in, the water’s warm at The Ranch. Water running or deep water running is great for race recovery and is a good cardio workout.  It mimics the muscular and cardiovascular workout of running without the impact of pounding the road, trail, or treadmill. 

This high-intensity and low impact workout allows you to build fitness or recover from an injury without losing your fitness momentum. It’s great for working on hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, and core muscles.

With over 20 years experience as an aquatics fitness pioneer Craig Stuart is a certified fitness instructor with AEA and ACE.  He and his team lead the Water Program at The Ranch. They offer over 16 water low impact swim and water resistance classes a week through summer.

Aqua Jogging

Get the Most from Your Water Running Time— 5 Training Tips from Craig:

  1. Skip the snorkel and keep your head above water. Wear comfortable and secure flotation. The water level should be at shoulders, not neck.
  1. You shouldn’t look like your bobbing for apples. Focus on maintaining proper posture. Keep your hips squared under your shoulder. No more than 5% forward lean.
  1. Keep hip flexion below 90°.  Push forward with your thighs as opposed to just lifting. This will help maintain bio-mechanics specificity and produce more training benefits to improve your running performance on land.   
  1. Incorporate the use of your arms as you run to build upper body strength and assist movement through the water. Drive your arms with your shoulders and with your hand closed or wear a water mitt for resistance.
  1. Pay attention to cadence. Water is 25 times more resistant than air. It’s easy to slow down. Push harder and use more muscular effort with both your arms and legs.


Craig and his team offer 16 water classes a week.  See more of The Ranch’s activities or find the right fitness class for you.

Illustration courtesy of Hydro-Fit.