WHATS GOOD ABOUT SWIMMING
10 tips on better swimming
Swimming is good exercise (that's obvious). Swimming is a lifetime sport that benefits the body and the whole person! But what is it that makes swimming good, specifically? That depends on what you are trying to accomplish.
Swimming is a healthy activity that can be continued for a lifetime - and the health benefits swimming offers for a lifetime are worth the effort it takes to get to the pool. If you are looking for a break from the heat of the summer, then a dip in the water is exactly what you need; swimming is a way for you to cool off.
Maybe you are a runner, training on a regular basis, and want to find an activity that keeps your heart rate up but takes some of the impact stress off of your body. Perhaps you have been doing some other form of land exercise, and now an injury prevents you from putting weight on a knee or ankle. Swimming can help you. Kicking workouts, water aerobics, pool running, or a regular swimming workout can all give you a great exercise session without the weight of your body pounding you with each move.
Regular swimming builds endurance, muscle strength and cardio-vascular fitness. It can serve as a cross-training element to your regular workouts. Before a land workout, you can use the pool for a warm-up session. Swimming with increasing effort to gradually increase your heart rate and stimulate your muscle activity is easily accomplished in the water. After a land workout, swimming a few laps can help you cool-down, move blood through your muscles to help them recover, and help you relax as you glide through the water.
Swimming does burn calories at a rate of about 4 calories a km per kg of bodyweight. If you weigh 75 kg and it takes you 20 minutes to swim one km, then you will be using about 900 calories in one hour.
Spending time in a group workout, whether water aerobics or a master's swim practice, is a great social outlet. Exchanging stories, challenging each other, and sharing in the hard work make swimming with others a rewarding experience.
There are other psychological benefits to swimming, if you allow it to occur. Relax and swim with a very low effort. Let your mind wander, focusing on nothing but the rhythm of your stroke. This form of meditation can help you gain a feeling of well-being, leaving your water session refreshed and ready to go on with the rest of your day. Many swimmers find an in-direct benefit from swimming. They develop life skills such as sportsmanship, time-management, self-discipline, goal-setting, and an increased sense of self-worth through their participation in the sport. Swimmers seem to do better in school, in general terms, than non-swimmers as a group.
10 TIPS FOR BETTER SWIMMING :
Do swim frequentlyIf you don't average about three swims a week you will lose your feel for the water and your technique will begin to deteriorate. No feel, no technique, no speed. If the option is between one or two long workouts or three or four shorter workouts, swimmers seem to do better when they swim more frequently as opposed to only doing a few longer workouts each week.
Do swim with good techniqueMaintain the best possible technique at all speeds during a workout. If you try to go fast with bad technique, you are wasting energy. If you can teach yourself to go fast while using good technique, you will make bigger gains.
Do drills as part of every swimming workoutEarly in your workout, in the middle of your workout, or at the end of your workout (or any combination of the three!) do some specific technique work to reinforce good swimming skills.
Do challenging workoutsOne or two times a week (depending upon how frequently you swim) do part of your workout with oomph - push the effort, go hard, whatever you want to call it. If all of your workouts are focused on technique, your technique will improve. But what will happen when you try to go faster? You will get tired, your technique will deteriorate, and you might as well call it a day. If you are doing either some hard or challenging workouts mixed in with technique work, as different workouts or as part of the same workout, you will learn how to hold good technique while going faster.
Do easy workoutsDepending upon your swimming goals, there may be no reason to do more than one or two tough workout sets a week, as long as you do one or two easier workouts, too. Work hard on the hard things, and easy on the easy things, and each kind of work will give better results.
Do streamlinesIt might be a start, a push-off, or a turn, but you should always do things the same way - streamline, then into the transition between the streamline and swimming. But first, always a streamline.
Do leave the wall the same way every timeAlways push off the walls the way you would if you were coming out of a turn. When you start a set, you should push off the wall exactly the same way that you would be pushing off the wall if you were coming out of a turn. Most races have more turns than starts, and getting some extra practice with any part of a turn is a bonus.
Do wear a swimsuit made for competitive swimmingThis doesn't mean spend exorbitantly on the latest and greatest skin piece of swim wear. It means don't wear baggy beach shorts if you are trying to improve your technique or learn how to hold technique when going faster. There are times to wear a swimsuit that gives you some extra drag, but not before you have mastered good technique.
Do ask someone to watch you swimBetter yet, get someone to video you. Getting some eyes to watch what you do (or using your own via a video review) while you are moving through the pool can yield some great feedback on your swimming technique that you may have not realized.
Do use flippers occasionallyAmong other benefits, swim fins or flippers can help you achieve (artificially) a better body position and you will learn what that position feels like while moving. Then, when the flippers are off, you can try to recreate that position by feel, since you will already have a better idea what it will feel like when you get there.