I started my adventure with swimming when I was a child. I joined group swimming lessons for kids where I learnt different swimming styles. And I loved it! My fitness level improved a lot! I noticed that I was stronger, faster, leaner and even more confident. Unfortunately, since I moved to UK, I’ve started to swim occasionally, only for fun (plus most of the time I spend in Jacuzzi or sauna). I always found some excuse – too many people, too many kids, too cold water etc. However, this year I promised myself that I will start proper swimming workouts again. We are going once a week in the morning (adult-only) to swimming pool and then to relax in sauna or steam room. It is hard to wake up in the morning, but it is definitely worth it. I feel fresh, more energetic and even more optimistic.
Why swimming is good for us?
- It is an incredible sport that can be enjoyed by men and women of all shapes and sizes.
- It’s low-impact on the body, so it is great for those who want to recover from an injury.
- It’s great for weight loss – depending on your stroke and intensity, swimming can burn anywhere from 500 – 800 calories per hour.
- It’s a great way to build muscle strength, endurance and develop cardio-respiratory fitness.
- It helps to improve your posture, balance and flexibility.
- It can be relaxing form of exercise.
How to keep your swimming fun?
Swimming workout are great for your health and general well-being, however endless laps can get boring and you may lose enthusiasm to work hard. There are few ideas how to stay motivated, keep your swimming fun and make progress.
- First of all, learn all the different swimming strokes to make your workouts more interesting.
- Use a kickboard, buoy or fins to focus on specific elements in your overall stroke. The pull buoy helps you to focus on your upper body stroke. The kickboard allows you to focus on your kick. Fins makes you to move through the water easier and faster.
- Prepare your swimming workouts to stay focused and motivated. You can swim for endurance – e.g. set a goal that you swim for 30 min. You can do speed training – e.g. complete six 25 m swims for speed, after each 50 m take a two-minute recovery. My favourite is an interval training – swimming at a high and a low intensity.
- Get your swimming buddy – you can motivate each other.
Which swimming style is the best for you?
- Breaststroke uses a frog-style kick and it is often the first swimming stroke taught to beginners. It helps to work and tone the chest muscles thighs, upper back, triceps, hamstrings and lower legs. However, it’s slower than the other strokes and in result it is the least beneficial stroke for burning calories.
- Backstroke is an excellent workout if you have back problems. It helps to improve posture and balance, lengthen your spine and tone your stomach, legs, arms, shoulders and buttocks. However, it can be uncomfortable, because you are not able to see in which direction you are swimming.
- Crawl is the fastest and the most efficient of all the strokes. It tones your stomach, buttocks and shoulders. You can burn around 300 calories for 30 minutes swimming.
- Butterfly is the hardest to learn, but it burns the most calories of all the strokes. You can burn around 450 calories for 30 minutes swimming. It helps to tone your chest, stomach, arms (particularly your triceps) and your back muscles.
Example for workout on 25m pool
Freestyle 4 x laps
2 x crawl
2 x backstroke
2 x frog
Rest for 2 minutes
Use pull kickboard for this round
2 x crawl legs only
2 x backstroke legs only
2 x frog legs only
Rest for 2 minutes
Use pull buoy for this round
2 x crawl arms only
2 x backstroke arms only
2 x frog arms only
Rest for 2 minutes
Freestyle 2 x laps
Swim slowly and relax
Swimming is great overall workout for your body and mind. It can even save your life. Remember it’s never too early or too late to start swimming.
Jump in, have fun and repeat after me:
“I swim because I am too sexy for sports that require clothes”.
Watch on YouTube:
Breaststroke Technique https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1va9qsH-ow
Backstroke Technique https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JghqyliWwb4
Freestyle (Crawl) Technique https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLyrsyCNu50
Butterfly Technique https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H16wDdWw3Cc