Swimming is an excellent form of exercise and low impact because it’s ideal for those who are athletically inclined as well as for those who aren’t. If you’re physically fit and looking for an alternate workout, the natural resistance that occurs while moving through water tones muscles and gets your heart pumping. Those who haven’t exercised in a while will also find swimming to be ideal because the buoyancy of the water supports body weight, making exercise easier and gentler on the joints. Whether you’re a novice or a water fitness buff, learning to swim better makes the activity more effective and enjoyable. Here are five means and methods that can help you improve your swimming technique.
- Swim More. Without regular practice it’s difficult to improve anything. Swimming at least three times each week keeps you acclimated to the water while providing you with the opportunity to practice and improve your technique. Don’t be tempted to substitute frequent water workouts with one or two long ones. It’s better to swim for three or more short sessions per week than it is to try to squeeze all your swimming workouts into one long one.
- Swim Smarter. Swimming laps is a great workout but after doing the same thing time and again the workout becomes boring and less effective. Organize your swimming workouts and make them more effective with Swim Planner, an app for iPhone and iPad created by Tri Faster. Enter the distance you wish to swim along with your swimming ability and, within seconds, Swim Planner generates swim workouts for you to use so you can plan your exercise in a more organized manner. You can also use the iSportsCalendar to help you organize a swimming schedule.
- Improve Technique Before Speed. It does you no good to be a fast swimmer if your technique is sloppy. While you’ll still burn calories, swimming with poor technique is a waste of energy. Study up on one or two techniques you’d like to improve, such as your kick or backstroke, and spend five to ten minutes of each workout on drills to help you improve these techniques.
- Use Proper Swim Attire. It might not sound important but what you wear while swimming will affect how you’re able to swim. A bikini or your favorite board shorts might be perfect for sunning or surfing but they’ll inhibit you in a swimming workout. You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on a professional-type swimsuit, but purchase one that allows you to move through the water unencumbered and without worrying about your swimsuit falling off.
- Get Organized and Get Feedback. Even if you don’t take swimming classes it’s wise to work with a coach or teacher once in a while to make sure you’re technique and form are correct. With many other types of workouts you can observe yourself and make sure you’re doing the exercises correctly. It’s hard to do this while swimming. Once a month, enlist the help of a teacher, coach or expert swimmer to observe you as you swim and provide you with helpful feedback and advice.
As your form and technique improve you’ll find that your stamina and speed naturally follow. In addition to being an effective workout, swimming can also be very peaceful, making it a great stress-buster. Use one or more of these techniques to learn to swim better to increase physical fitness and enjoy your time in the water.