Swimming is a popular, fun, and healthy exercise that’s great for anyone. It helps you get fit and improves your endurance, and it doesn’t require a lot of equipment or costly lessons. However, if you’re just starting out, swimming can be challenging. It takes time and practice to learn to swim well, but you can make progress by following these tips.
The first step is to get accustomed to the water. Initially, you should only swim in deep enough water that you can stand up in. This way, if you lose control or fall off the side of the pool, you can easily get out. Eventually, you can work your way up to swimming in deeper water, but it’s best to start in shallower water so that you can remain safe if you should have an accident.
After you get comfortable in the water, you can try bobbing up and down. Do this until you feel like you can stay afloat for at least a minute. Then, move on to kicking. This is a good way to build up your leg muscles and improve your balance. Once you’ve mastered this, you can move on to freestyle swimming.
When you’re learning to swim, one of the most important things to keep in mind is that you must exhale continuously. This helps you avoid holding your breath, which can be very difficult. Ideally, you should breathe once every two or three strokes.
Another key tip for swimming is to maintain a level body position. Floating on your chest with your head in a neutral position can help you glide through the water faster. It’s also a good idea to keep your legs together and kick them as if you were a dolphin.
A common mistake among swimmers is to raise their heads too high while breathing. This causes their shoulders or torso to sink lower in the water, which can negatively impact their speed. In addition, it can lead to back pain and shortness of breath.
The butterfly stroke is a powerful form of swimming that uses your arms to push through the water in a scissor motion and propel you forward. To do the stroke, you start by floating on your stomach. Then, you bring your arms simultaneously over your head to push yourself into the water, similar to how a dolphin moves its tail and body to move through the water. You then bring your arms down again and alternate them to move forward again.
If you’re interested in competing, you should know that there are many different strokes to choose from. Generally, you can choose from butterfly, breaststroke, and freestyle. The most common competitions feature a series of timed races against 7 or 9 opponents, with the winner receiving a medal. If you’re interested in swimming competitively, be sure to research the rules of the competition that you’re entering before you sign up. It’s also a good idea for you to stay within the age range of other competitors, since it can be dangerous to swim outside your skill level.