Improve Your Swimming Fitness
With This Free Guide
Use this swimming fitness guide to make the water fun and effective.
Swimming is about using the added resistance of water to your advantage. It's best to have the basic equipment too, see the tips for these essentials.
I'm guessing you know how to swim? No? Beginners should learn with some swimming lessons from a certified instructor.
The main advantages of regular swimming fitness are:Anyone of any age can swimNo pressure or impact on your joints - great for injury rehabStrengthens the whole body and all major muscle groups in oneGreatly and quickly improves aerobic fitnessCan be relaxing and cooling for the bodyHas many health benefits - such as a reduced risk of heart disease
Either as a sport or just recreation, swimming has all sorts of benefits. For me the best thing is that it's easy on my knees! I find it fun to swim even on my own, and even better if I'm with friends playing a water sport, like water volleyball.
Swimming fitness and weight loss..
What a combination! Your muscles will be strengthened and your aerobic fitness greatly improved - the best combo for weight loss.
I've actually found that my body reacts so quickly to swimming fitness, that within a couple of weeks of regular swims my abs tend to peek out again! Well that's just my body. All my fat rests on my stomach. Your's may rest elsewhere, and swimming is the fastest way to get rid of it.
Tips to get going..
Getting to the pool is just as hard as getting to the gym. The problem is, most of us don't have any other choice. Unless you've got the money and space to build your own pool, you're going to have to get your butt down there.
My motivation is that I see results so quickly, it gives me a boost! Find your motivation. The first time is the hardest, it does get easier there after.
Are you worried about how your body will look in a swim suit or trunks? My advice is, don't be. Whether it's because of fat, acne or any other marks, blemishes or moles on your body.
99% of us do have a combination of such things. Chances are that other people at the pool will be worried about the same thing, and will be relieved when they see someone in the same boat.
Before you get to the pool, you should have the basic swimming equipment,
a range of swimming equipment is explored here.
I suggest it is essential to own a pair of swimming goggles. Accessories such as paddles and floats or kickboards are usually available at the pool.
Oh and another thing before you jump in. Write down what you want to achieve by swimming - your end goal! You may have a few but write them all down.
And the last thing before each session, write down your workout plan. Let's do that next!
So you get in the pool and just swim? Can't remember how many laps you did last time? Or for how long you swam? Well it'll still do you some good, but if you're going to put the effort in, why not put some structure into it as well!
All it takes is a simple swimming fitness workout plan. This is nothing fancy. No hard sums, don't worry! It is a combination of a warm up, swimming laps at varying intensity and using the 4 main strokes (techniques explored next), and cool down.
Click here for swimming workouts.
Like any other workout start slow and build from there. I recommend to do between 2 and 5 sessions a week, depending on your starting fitness level. Build gradually from your base level.
If you have any health problems or just aren't sure, then see your GP before starting any workout plan.
I like to dedicate at least 1 session per week to technique. No hard swimming at all in this session. My sole focus is on the technique of each stroke. Important? Yes!!! We'll see why now.
Better swimming tips and technique..
Great technique is important for efficiency. By this I mean you don't want to waste energy. Poor technique will lead to a waste of energy in your workout. This will mean that it may take longer to achieve your end goal. Not good.
It's good to know the basic principles of each of the 4 main strokes - Butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle.
Click here for swimming technique tips.
A good way to improve is to ask a friend or instructor to watch you swim. They can give you some advice or record you swimming.
Then you can look back over your own video and improve from that. It's freaky how you can think you're doing a movement correctly, and then watch it back to see it looks totally different to how you imagined!
Try and stick to your workout plan. Swimming regularly will improve both your swimming fitness and technique. After all, practice makes perfect!
Also called aqua aerobics, this is basically any sort of exercise in water. This is my personal favourite. Great because the risk of injury is minimal. The added resistance of water (12 times more than air) is the key.
Over the years, recovering from injury, I've jogged, star jumped, sprinted, cross-country skied, kicked in water. And I've done it forwards, backwards and sideways.
There is no limit! If you can do it on land, you can do it in water.
Check out these water aerobics routines.
True aerobics is done along with music. You can get this in a water aerobics class. Great for motivation to push yourself further whilst supervised.
Read how my 51 year old Mum takes a water aerobics class to lose weight because she has arthritis. A story that is close to my heart and keeps me going everyday.
Relaxed swimming and pilates..
These two go hand-in-hand for me. They compliment each other with the breathing control and relaxation aspects of both. Very low intensity swimming before or after work is a great way to unwind.
Combined with a pilates workout twice a week - mind, body and soul would never have seen such happy days!
Swimming fitness has so many advantages, as we've seen. There should be no reason why you can't get down to the pool.
Let go of the excuses holding you back. Think about your improved body and health, better well being and ultimate happiness when you achieve your end goal.
Make a splash and do it with swimming fitness!
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