Swimming is a great way to stay fit and improve your health. It’s also an excellent workout for your mind, and can help you reduce or manage mood disorders such as depression.
Getting started with swimming can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. There are a few simple steps you can take to get started and become a strong swimmer in no time.
Breathe properly and turn to breathe
Whether you’re swimming freestyle or breaststroke, breathing is key to your success. The more you breathe, the more oxygen your body gets and the more efficiently you swim.
Start by standing in the shallow end, holding onto the wall with your arms outstretched and facing down into the water. When you need to inhale, gently turn your head and allow one goggle/eye to come out of the water.
Once you’re comfortable with breathing and turning your head, you can move on to kicking on the wall. This will give you a little more movement and help you learn how to swim in a different way.
Rotate your body correctly
A proper rotation helps your shoulders and hips work together. This makes it easier for your arms to pull, and will increase the power of your stroke.
Try to rotate your body as much as you can, but don’t rotate too far. If you’re too far from your body, it will be difficult to reach forward and backward with your arms, and you won’t have enough torque to pull.
Use fins when you’re first learning to swim and keep them on throughout your practice sessions. Fins will give you a little more movement as you learn your strokes and can be a handy tool if you need to move faster while still keeping your balance in the water.
Stroke judges and finish judges
Judges of stroke are positioned on each side of the pool to observe the correct stoke being used for each event, so they can make sure each competitor is using a consistent stoke. They also check that each stoke is performed consistently for the entire duration of the race.
Inspectors of turns
There are only a few inspectors of turns on each lane in a pool, and their role is to make sure that each competitor is starting and finishing the race as required by swimming rules. If an inspector notices a violation of the rules, they will report this to the chief inspector of turns who will pass it on to the referee.
The basic rules of swimming are:
Floating on your stomach
You can practice floating on your stomach by putting your feet flat on the floor, and doing a flutter kick with your legs. Alternatively, you can use a fin or kick board to help you glide across the water.
If you have trouble gliding, try doing this in a rip current, as it will make it easier to stay in the water. This will also help you avoid wasting energy by heading back for shore before you’re out of the rip current.