Swimming is an amazing, low-impact exercise that burns major calories and tones your entire body. It can also strengthen your heart and lungs, increase flexibility, and even prevent osteoporosis. And it’s a great choice for people with injuries or those who need to be gentle on their joints. But, swimming requires a lot of skill. That’s why some people have trouble with the sport, and others never take up swimming at all. This article will show you how to improve your technique and get the most out of this awesome workout.
The first step to swimming is learning how to float. This isn’t always easy, especially for adults who haven’t swum since childhood. But, it doesn’t have to be! The key is understanding that it’s not just your body type that determines how well you float. Factors like water characteristics and even the weather can make it easier or harder for you to float.
To start, try floating on your stomach in a pool or bathtub. Once you feel comfortable, move on to flutter kicks and the front crawl, which is an essential part of swimming. To do the front crawl, float on your stomach, then use your arms to “crawl” forward. When you’re ready, add in a breath. As you crawl, lift your head enough to breathe in the air, then turn your head to one side to exhale out of the other. Repeat as needed.
A common swimming error is called a low-elbow catch. This is a biomechanical fault that results in you not using the powerful muscles on your back during the pulling phase of your freestyle stroke. This can lead to plodding along and not getting the results you want. Thankfully, it’s an easy fix. Keeping your elbow high until you reach your forearm’s peak, or 90 degrees, will allow you to power up your stroke and maximize your propulsion.
The most common mistake that swimmers make is not maximizing the amount of water they’re pushing against. This is usually caused by not reaching full extension with their catch. Practicing the patient catch in your swims will help you achieve this. In order to do this, you need to make sure that your arm extends fully before entering the water. This is something that the top distance swimmers do, and it can make a huge difference in your speed.