AVAC has a fantastic Jr. Olympic sized pool for members to take advantage of. Not just for family entertainment but also for a great workout! Here are some tips if you’re just getting starting in the water.
What are the most effective swimming tips to improve swimming performance? That, of course depends on your swimming level and ambition. If you are a young swimmer looking for the best swimming tips to get better in competition, an experience competitor which looks for the latest swimming tricks and tips, or a recreational swimmer aiming at improving your swimming technique you would need different tips.
This post is the first of a series in which I will explain the best swimming tips for different needs.
To start with though, let’s talk about 8 tips everybody can benefit from.
Swimming tips #1: Warm up before you push hard
Starting any physical exercise with a well warmed up body is essential for an effective and injuries free training. Start your swimming workout with a few slow laps just to make your blood run through your muscles. Usually 400 meters are enough to make you warm. Start very low and increase gradually the pace. If you feel you need some more laps to get ready for the hard part of the swimming training take the time to warm up a bit longer. In this way you will make your body ready to get going without getting injured, but not only. The performance you will be able to put forward in the following workouts and exercises will depend upon how well the warm up was done. I usually add some swimming drills during the warm up to get the right feeling with the water and with my body.
Swimming tips #2: Swim three times a week
While competing I was usually swimming twice a day every day ofthe week excluding Sundays. That was indeed a very hard training program and it is not necessary unless you want to compete at a high level. For the average swimmer, and for you that want to do swimming fitness life would be easier. Remember though that, no matter what your goal is, losing weight, building up your muscles, or just general fitness improvement you need to exercise, that is you need to swim, at least three times a week for getting the most out of your time in the swimming pool. Do not get me wrong, swimming once or twice a week is better than nothing of course, but because of the way our body gets trained, exercising less than three time a week is less than optimal.
Swimming tips #3: Swimming interval training
Swimming interval training is the most effective among the swimming workouts to lose weight and to train your cardiovascular system. Interval training is build on a cycle of high and low intensity efforts. The low intensity activity needs to be tailored so that your body needs to work hard to recover before the next high intensity activity starts. Please, refer to this swimming interval training article to know more details about how much and why this workout is effective on your body.
Swimming tips #4: Focus on swimming technique
Whatever your reason might be for improving your swimming performance, the key is to get stronger and faster but never lose your technique. Only with the right swimming technique you can use all the strength and endurance you have gained training. In every swim workout session and with every swimming stroke you need to make sure you focus on your technique not matter how tired you are or how hard the training might be. Keep your strokes clean and maximize your track or you will soon reach the limit of your swimming performance and you will not be able to improve further.
Swimming tips #5: Always use tumble turn
Tumble turns, for backstroke and freestyle, keep the swimming rhythm and fitness training continuos. To optimized the effect of the tumble turn push away from the side, underwater and streamlining. After you push from the side try to swim flat with the least resistance against the water. Before starting with the stroke add a leg kick. When the push from the side is losing momentum and you are reaching the surface, start to pull. This is a great way to improve both fitness and speed.
Swimming tips #6: Improve swimming coordination ability and track, Do Drills
Swimming drills are a set of swimming exercises aiming at improving the technique and speed of swimmers. To get a better technique and to improve your coordination ability you should do swimming drills during every swimming training session. I love to start my training with drills during the warm up and finish of cooling down doing some more. To improve your coordination some drills, such as mixing legs kick from one stroke with arm movements from another stroke for example, can be done also during the hard part of your training.
Swimming tips #7: Ask someone to look at you and tape you
Having a clear feeling on how your body i moving while exercising is important to keep your technique right. The most experienced swimmers and athletes might achieve a good awareness of what their body is doing while swimming only after years and years of training and their individual level would vary greatly. The average fitness amateur would have an hard time to say what its little toes is doing while making a tumble turn for example. To improve your swimming technique, having control over your body is essential. This can be helped and improved by taping you training and reviewing it afterwards. If taping your swimming exercises is to much of a trouble try to ask a friend with a solid understanding of swimming technique to closely look at you and comment on the way you swim. This is one of the most important swimming improvements tips I can give you.
Swimming tips #8: Cool Down
As the warm up is a key to perform a successful training, cooling down is important to stretch your muscles and keep your body in shape for next swimming session. After and hard training your body might be tired and sore. Try to do some more laps on a low and relaxed pace, focusing on stretching and regaining the right feeling in the water. This will facilitate for your muscles to relax and to recover more promptly.
Keep healthy, Keep swimming!