Swimming offers several health benefits because it’s an activity that works out the whole body. Your arms, shoulders, back, legs and feet all have a role to play when swimming, meaning the workout is efficient.
You also exercise your internal organs because your heart pumps faster, and the breathing required is such that your lungs operate at their maximum capacity. It’s also an activity that helps relax your body and mind.
Not only is swimming beneficial to your health, but it’s also a life skill that may make the difference between life and death when you’re facing a dangerous situation.
If you’re planning to include swimming in your workout regimen or if you just want to be a better swimmer, it’s crucial to practice the right techniques. After all, when your movements are streamlined, the faster and less exhausted you’ll be.
Here are eight tips to help improve your swimming technique…
Learning how to breathe properly helps you swim faster, promotes more fluid strokes, and improves your mental clarity while you’re in the water. It’s best to train with a guide to address incorrect breathing and improve your performance.
Remember, breathing techniques vary depending on the swimming style or stroke. For instance, if you’re doing a freestyle swimming technique, your breathing rhythm will be different compared to when you’re doing a breaststroke or a front crawl.
Shallow breathing is breathing using the chest rather than the lungs. This cuts short the proper circulation of oxygen that is required to consistently move in the water.
Make sure that before you enter the pool, you practice deep breathing. This can be in the form of breathing in through the nose and into your lungs, and not your chest. Once your lungs are at their capacity, you slowly exhale through your mouth. These exercises will prepare your lungs for the workout.
Before you take a plunge, you need to warm up your body. This means doing gentle exercises before beginning your swimming sessions. This will help lower the risk of getting injured when executing the different strokes. It’ll help your body adjust to moving, instead of getting a sudden shock when you’re in the pool.
Warm-up exercises differ and include stretching, yoga, and light jogging. Try not to over-exert yourself when warming up as you need to reserve the energy for your swimming session.
Another tip to improve in swimming is to dive forward into the water. Diving forward means diving in increased speed and acceleration. This motion helps you gain momentum as you do your strokes.
Failing to dive forward means you’ll use more energy to cover the same length that you could have by gliding in the water. This is one of the reasons why swimmers may quickly get exhausted before completing a lap. Just make sure that you take a deep breath before you dive forward, as this will help you glide for longer periods.
One of the best ways to begin the process of improving your strokes is by circling. This entails circling one leg forward, then circling the opposite leg. You will need to alternate back and forth for the circling motion to be complete.
This drill will help develop both your leg and arm movements. You want to make sure to fully stretch your arms before each stroke. This will prevent the possibility of shortening your strokes during a race.
One of the most important tips to swim faster is to kick by exerting pressure to help you propel. If you kick your legs without applying pressure, you won’t be able to generate much speed. Kick your feet with your entire body while swimming, to give you more kicking power. Try using both of your hands while you kick your feet as this will also create more power.
Understand the Style
Different styles require various strokes for effective swimming. You’ll need less arm movement to breathe during the butterfly than the backstroke or the breaststroke, for instance. If you use too much arm action while executing this stroke, you’ll use more effort than you have to and get quickly fatigued. This doesn’t apply to other strokes such as the backstroke, which is why properly understanding the style is important.
Improving your swimming technique requires regular training. It’s a skill that needs patience and commitment. Make sure to train consistently so that the skills you learn become second nature.
Training can be in the form of hiring a personal swimming coach, practicing what you learn, reading books about swimming, and watching how swimming experts maneuver in the pool. The more you practice, the more the technique gets refined.
Invest In the Right Kit
You need to be as comfortable as possible when swimming so that you aren’t distracted. This means having to invest in the proper swimming kit. A swimming kit includes fitting, high-quality goggles for clear vision and a swimming cap, particularly if you have long hair that may fall over your face. The cap will also protect your hair from chlorine which may cause discoloring or breakage. A counting watch will assess your speed and help you analyze how to reach your goals.
The swimming costume that you wear will also make a difference in the way you move in the water. Polyester is recommended because it doesn’t retain water or sag on your body.
Improving your swimming technique involves determination and persistence. You need to practice your breathing techniques so that you avoid getting tired quickly.
Diving forward is another skill that will boost your speed when in the water. Circling and pressure kicking can also help propel you, and allow you to move efficiently.
Understanding the different styles of swimming means you get to master the various strokes and techniques needed for each.
Before you dive into the pool, make sure to warm up so that you lower the risk of injury. Train regularly to practice what you learn, and invest in the right swimming kit.