AquaJogger belts aren't new, but they are relatively niche products with use often spread by word-of-mouth. Made by Excel Sport Science, the flotation belts can be used by a wide variety of exercisers with goals that range from fitness and health to hard-core sports performance.
Basically, any one of the six different types suspends the body vertically in the water at shoulder level so the user can "run" in deep water, moving arms and legs in a sprinting motion, with no impact since the feet aren't touching the bottom of the pool or lake. So in addition to the benefit of eliminating impact (great for cross-training or for many injuries to the lower body), a user's hair stays dry, he or she can breath naturally and â€“ great bonus here â€“ one can converse with others or listen to a water-resistant headphone radio.
We've been using them for years and various members of the SNEWSÂ® team and some SNEWS friends and family have tried them over the years. Most are amazed at how such a seemingly simple activity can work the muscles and the heart and lungs. With the water resistance surrounding the body, all of your muscles â€“ not just one side of the other â€“ get a workout. We know one user who says it feels like a full-body massage.
What's great about the AquaJogger belt, compared to some other flotation belts, is how it snugs down so well around most users' mid-sections and doesn't float up annoyingly, which means it doesn't pinch armpits, limit arm motion, or bob around your chin or ears. It's oddly curved shape is designed to support your back and keep you vertical so you can focus on your workout, not the position of the belt.
The beauty of the six designs is how they fit various body types. We've used the "Classic" (the original, good for most folks), the "Shape" (for those with slightly stockier builds and less of a waist, or pregnant women), the "Fit" (for women who are more active, or those with more of a waist) and the "Active" (like the Classic, with toned-down aesthetics to keep the price down). Others include the "Pro," for those with more muscle or those who are heavier, and the "Junior," for exactly what you think (although less of a deep-water running belt as a learn-to-swim flotation belt). We have found that someone â€“ men, mostly â€“ with really no waist or a bit of a belly â€“ can find the belt a bit awkward, however.
Those with more swimming experience may find it odd to suck in the abs and actually TRY to stay vertical â€“ we've heard a few ask, "Why don't you just swim?" Well, for those who either don't like to swim, aren't good enough at swimming for a real water workout, who really don't want to get their hair wet, or have a lower-body or back injury that may prohibit swimming, the response is, this works and feels great too. And the ability to paddle along with others â€“ even in lakes â€“ makes it a refreshing hot-weather activity that is social too.
The biggest problem perhaps is that the belt can be hard to find at retail.
SNEWS Rating: 4.5 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)
Suggested retail: $20 to $57, depending on the model
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