Swimming is a wonderful exercise for kids and adults, providing a great full-body and cardiovascular workout. It’s also a low (or even no) impact sport that can be done year-round, indoor or out. As a result, it’s a great cross-training activity for many sports, and is perfect for those who want to maintain or improve their fitness level without the pain of pavement pounding.
Whether you’re an experienced swimmer or a complete beginner, there’s always room for improvement and new skills to learn. In this article, we’ll share a few tips to help you get the most out of your swim workouts.
1. Focus on a long, relaxed stroke.
One of the most common mistakes made by swimmers is trying to overpower their stroke with too much speed and force. This can lead to cramping, so it’s important to slow down and focus on a long, smooth stroke.
2. Don’t forget the recovery phase.
The arm in the air after a stroke is called the “recovery” phase, and it’s important to remember that this part of the stroke doesn’t contribute to propulsion. It’s crucial to spend time practicing this part of the stroke so that you can build strength and speed with minimal effort.
3. Practice the “frog kick.”
The frog kick is a powerful leg movement used in freestyle, breaststroke and butterfly. It requires a strong core and a good feel for the water, but once you master it, you can use it to propel yourself through any distance. Practice the frog kick on your front, back and side to build up your power and efficiency.
4. Avoid lifting your head too high when you’re breathing.
It’s common to lift your head too high when you breathe in the pool, but this can cause your body weight to sink in the water and waste energy. To breathe efficiently, it’s important to lower your head to just above the surface of the water when you push off from the wall.
5. Keep an eye on the clock.
Swimming is a timed sport, so be sure to keep an eye on the clock when you’re in a race or practice. This will prevent you from getting caught up in the moment and forgetting to count your laps.
6. Don’t be afraid to take a break.
When you’re training in the pool, it’s normal to need a break every once in a while. When you do, make sure to take a deep breath and get back to focusing on the basics of the swim, like your technique and form. It may take a while to regain your confidence in the water, but don’t give up! With persistence, you’ll be swimming laps in no time. And who knows, maybe you’ll even be able to beat your time at the next swim meet!