Swimming has been called the perfect exercise. After all, you can get all of the benefits of an aerobic workout without any damaging impact on joints, and it can be done by both the very old and the very young. It is utilized by athletes to stay strong and keep fit when recovering from injury, and there is no fancy equipment needed—just you and a good body of water.

However, swimming has many more benefits that those obvious advantages seen on the surface; its improvements to overall health go much deeper. Here’s a list of swimming benefits:

 

  1. Swimming Improves Muscle Definition and Strength

Swimmers gain muscle strength throughout the entire body. Where runners see muscle build in their legs, swimmers utilize more muscle groups to move through the water. While the legs kick, the arms pull. As the back reaches and rotates, the stomach tightens to power the legs and stabilize the core, making swimming one of the best aerobic exercises to give you a total body workout.

  1. Swimming Helps You Stay Flexible

Swimming requires you to reach, stretch, twist, and pull your way through the water. Your ankles become fins and are stretched with each kick as you push off against the liquid pressure.

  1. Swimming Reduces Inflammation

While swimming’s cardiovascular benefits of strengthening the heart muscle are common knowledge, aerobic activities, such as swimming, reduce inflammation that leads to atherosclerosis build-up in the heart. Benefits for the heart are therefore comprehensive.

  1. Swimming Holds Its Own for Calories Burned

Everyone knows that swimming is a great way to burn calories, but most don’t realize it can be just as efficient as jumping on the treadmill. Depending on the stroke you choose and your intensity, swimming can burn equal or greater calories than running.

  1. Swimming Can Improve Exercise-Induced Asthma

Nothing is as frustrating as trying to exercise and being unable to get your breath. Unlike working out in dry gym air or braving seasonal pollen counts, however, swimming allows you to breath moist air while you train. People who don’t have asthma benefit too, as swimming increases overall lung-volume and teaches good breathing techniques.

  1. Swimming Lowers Stress and Depression

Swimming stretches your body constantly. When combined with the deep rhythmic breathing of swimming, you can experience a relaxation rush that’s very unique to the sport. Swimming is also calming and meditative, as the sound of your breathing and the water rushing by helps you focus inwardly and drown out all other distractions. This effect lowers stress and depression naturally.

  1. Salt-Water Swimming Can Be a Beauty Treatment for Skin

Swimming regularly in salt water helps the skin retain moisture. The salt water also detoxifies the skin to promote new cell growth.

  1. Swimming Can Make You Smarter

Of course, all exercise is great for the mind, but can swimming actually make you smarter? There is research evidence to show that swimmers are able to master language development, and advance fine motor skills, confidence, and physical development, at a faster rate than non-swimmers.

  1. Swimming May Just Lengthen Your Life

While all exercise can produce greater health and longevity, swimmers have a 50 percent lower death rate than runners, walkers, or people who don’t exercise.

 

There so many benefits to swimming. But most of all it’s just so much fun to do.

There are many styles of swimming, but freestyle, also sometimes called the front crawl, is perhaps the most common stroke that recreational swimmers perform. The stroke strengthens your abdominal and gluteus muscles, and like almost any type of swimming, burns calories. Competitive freestyle is a fast-paced race, even in distance events. Rules and regulations for swimming the freestyle are upheld by governing body, FINA, the Federation Internationale de Natation. It is a fantastic style of swimming that brings peoples and nations together in the water.

 How does it work in competition?

Starts and Finishes

The rules regarding starts and finishes for freestyle are easy to understand and follow. The freestyle start is a forward start — you must be moving in a forward fashion toward the other end of the pool. You are allowed to keep your entire body and head submerged for up to 15 meters after your start and each turn, but after that distance, your head must break the surface of the water. The freestyle finish occurs when any part of your body touches the wall after you have completed the race. For most competitive swimmers, this is a one-handed touch.

Stroke Mechanics

The term “freestyle” means that you can swim in any style you like. In a technical sense, you are free to swim backstroke, sidestroke or any other stroke you choose in a freestyle race. The exception to this rule is during a medley event in which you are already swimming backstroke, butterfly and breaststroke. In this case, you cannot repeat a stroke and must choose a fourth, unique stroke. In competition, however, freestyle refers to the front crawl stroke. The stroke is performed on the stomach with an overhand arm stroke and a flutter kick. Unlike the butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke, competitive swimmers cannot be disqualified for performing the arms or kick incorrectly.

Turns

Freestyle turns are performed in either an open or flip-style. Both types of turns are legal as long as part of your body touches the wall before you return to the other side of the pool. The hand is usually the body part that touches the wall during an open turn. Your feet touch and push off from the wall in a flip turn. Touching the wall with any other body part, such as the back, buttocks, shoulder or elbow, is inefficient from a racing perspective, but is not grounds for disqualification.

Disqualification

Competitive swimmers may disqualify themselves from a freestyle race if they do not adhere to additional rules regarding their activity in the pool. Swimmers who walk with their feet touching the bottom of the pool during a race, or forcefully pull on the lane lines are disqualified from that particular race. Accidentally bumping into the lane lines is not grounds for disqualification. Refraining from touching the wall during a turn also disqualifies you from a freestyle race.

That’s all you need to know for competitive freestyle swimming. Of course, for just pure pleasure in the water, it’s unbeatable for movement, speed and fun.

 

When exercising comes in our mind, if you are not a working out lover, it may seemed like boring, or too sweating, or the closed to tight, exercising inside a Gym is not everybody’s favorite. Some people enjoy better other activities that also can help with their body health and also with its mind health, like, Bicycling, mountain climbing, walking, running, jogging, and off course, swimming. The magic of swimming is that besides being healthy, is also fun, you can workout that body fat you want to lose but also have fun inside the pool while you are taking care of yourself. Swimming workout is actually an activity that burns calories, boosts metabolism, and firms every muscle in your body, like no other exercise.

Water as a medium of exercise, is very helpful tool. The body that it benefits of swimming workout is the result of a perfect storm of calorie burn and muscle recruitment. A regular easy swim burns around 500 calories an hour, while with vigorous effort can torch almost 700. Because of water’s density, each kick, push, and pull is like a mini resistance workout for your entire body, particularly your hips, arms, back and shoulders. Swimming can be a daily activity “You can swim almost every day without risking injury,” says the director of the Counsilman Center for the Science of Swimming at Indiana University. But also, ones you become a daily swimmer should take into consideration swimming exercises, which are done outside the pool to stretch the muscles and also win a better performance inside the pool, either you are a competitor or just a person who loves to swim these exercises will help in your routine.

Single Leg Stretch

For this exercise you’ll need a mat and your regular bathing suite it’ll be ok. Sit on the mat with both legs pulled into the chest, then place the inside hand on the knee to support your knee and the outside hand on the ankle to support the lower part of the leg and roll down with control as the free leg straightens. Keep the leg at elevation that allows the low back to remain stable. Try to keep the head up. It works for develop pelvic stability and core control and also for strengthen the abdominals.

Single Leg Kicks

Lie horizontal with the head and torso lifted up, the hands together and the forearms on the mat. The legs are straight and as close together as possible. Press the forearms into the mat, fall the shoulders down the back and lift the torso up. Keep the head align with the spine. The main point of this exercise is: Strengthen serratus anterior, stretch the quadriceps, improve scapular stability, teach abdominal support in extension, and strengthen the hamstrings, among others.

Swimming

Could say is the easiest one, the position is to lie prone on the mat with the arms reaching overhead and the legs straight. Reach one leg and the opposite arm out and up toward the upper limit. Switch the arm and leg quickly without missing the balance on the center of the torso. The main point for this exercise is to strengthen the back and hip extensors including the erector spinae, hamstrings and gluteus maximus. Also helps improve pelvic stability.

Either you are competitor, a swimming enthusiast or just a beginner swimming exercises are a very good option to help out in our swimming routine.

 

Swimming is a great sport, but to start you first need to know what the swimming strokes are. This article will tell you everything about swimming strokes. In a planet made of 70% of water, human being has a deep relationship with water, needed for us to live, and in our daily life in coast places like beaches, islands, coast cities (New York), etc. We humans can develop the ability of swimming, which is repeating a specific motion of the body to push the forward or backwards. All of that depends on the swimming stroke that’s applied. Many styles have been discovered. These styles are called strokes, and they mostly depend on the intention of the swimming. Sports have lots to do in it. There many styles, depending on the position of the person to the water and the direction and manner of swimming on itself.

Some people can swim for fun by passing a good time with family or friends. There are also others who actually take this very seriously as a profession. Swimmers, needs very good training in order to maintain competitive in the swimming field, or pool. This sport is very physically demanding. They need a very good level of oxygen in their bodies, and inside the pool, the water is limited so they need to push their bodies harder, and learn how to manage the little oxygen they have to keep going with the same strength. Swimmers that participate in competitions take in one breath and gradually let it out over three or four strokes. In here we have the swimming strokes styles:

 

Breaststroke

Is the most popular swimming style, especially because is the oldest. It’s the slowest official stroke used in swimming competitions. Is performed with your head looking the water leaning or the chest with the arms breaking into the water and pushing the body forward with the legs under water constantly, the body should be aligned    with the water surface and the shoulders and hips leveled to the water. The arm motion is circular and the legs need to kick to push even harder in a synchronized manner.

Butterfly

In this style the hands start in the water in front of the shoulder, then, they’re pulled towards the feet until they reach the thighs and back again in the same position repeating the circular motion, with a big part of the body inside the water this style is very demanding because more strength is needed, the position of the head needs to stay in the water at all times, except for when a breath is needed in order to be able of lift the arms out of the water and make the impulse.

Backstroke

            This style is officially the only one to be swum on the back. Backstroke style mostly uses the arms to move forward. To stabilize the body the legs has to make a kicking in an up-and-down motion. The benefit of it’s that it makes breathing easier but it also means that is harder for the swimmer to see where they are going.

Front Crawl

Front Crawl, it is the fastest stroke, however can be difficult to learn. This is mainly because it is hard to find a good breathing point. In this style, the body should be as close to the water surface as possible with the hips and legs at the back of the shoulders all times. The leg movement requires a long and fast kicking motion, making sure the whole leg is moving up and down. The knees should be bent slightly and the feet should make a small splash. Also, the arm movement in front crawl consists of a push and pulls stroke and a recovery stage.

For the swimming workouts that suits you the best, you should first choose in which group of swimmers you belong:

Beginner

You have learned to swim when you were a child, but have never done a real swimming workout since.

Novice

You have done some swimming workouts, but you lack the endurance to continue. You need swimming workouts that will improve your technique and help your endurance to improve.

Master

You know how to swim and have done some races. You are ready for some real swimming workouts.

 

In this article we are going to focus on novice swimmers. As most of the people will be in this group. If you are in one of the other groups, don’t worry there will be articles for you soon! Also have you seen our article about different techniques? You can read it here!

 

So you are a novice swimmer and want a swimming workout. Good news we got a perfect workout for you to reach your goals! We will be working with a 14-week program so you can peak at the race were you are training for or if you just want to improve your swimming.

Basics

First of all you will need some gear. We have linked some here:

Kickboard   Pull buoy   Paddles   Fins



Now that you have everything we can start with the swimming workout. The first thing we need to improve is are the kicks, so you will see this come back a lot in the workouts. A good exercise for this are side kicks:
This is how the side kick works. You kick with your hips with your shoulders staring to the side and you keep your head still. make sure that your head is facing down to floor of the pool. The arm which is closest to the bottom should extend forward and the other arm should be against the side of your body. If you are out of breath you simply rotate on to your back. On your back you can take a few good breath before returning back to your side. After every lane you switch sides.

The workout

Weeks 1-2

Only do the side kicks and shark-fin drills and no swimming. Try to do it as long as you can, with as goal to cover greater distances every time.

Weeks 3-4

Combine the drills from weeks 1-2 with some more advanced drills. You can find these on our site later. Also you can combine swimming with the drills. The ratio should be 75% drills and 25% swimming.

Weeks 5-6

Drills and swimming should be in a ratio of 50/50. Try to build yardage slowly.

Weeks 7-10

More yardage and swimming to drilling ratio should be around 75/25. Also try and do some interval exercises.

Weeks 11-12

The same as the weeks before, but the ratio should be around 80/20. These are the hardest weeks, so try to finish them. After these weeks the taper begins so you can do some intense swimming workouts.

Weeks 13-14

Taper weeks. This means no more intense swimming workouts and no long distances anymore. Take your rest and do some short distance exercises with much pace.

Tweaking your swimming technique can make you a way better swimmer without it even consuming more energy. Which will result in faster times and the exercises being way easier. For beginner swimmer this may will make you feel a lot better, because you will feel that you go forward instead of struggling every time.

Tip 1

Make sure that you reach as far as you can with each stroke. It may seem obvious and easy to do, but in reality it is way harder than you think. Also try to push your shoulder forward with each stroke. This will make your stroke just that bit longer. A good technique exercise for this is to place your hand in front of you two times instead of one. This will help with making your stroke longer, but you have to do it slow and with a lot of attention.

Tip 2

Almost everyone shortens their stroke at the end of each stroke when they get tired or exhausted. This is understandable since it is very heavy and takes lots of efforts, but if you can make it work you will be able to make longer strokes. You can do this by just simply put. Tell yourself that you have to finish every stroke. This will take a lot of willpower, but you got to do it if you want to go faster.

 

Tip 3

With freestyle kicks make sure you use your hips and relax your knees and point your toes to improve your swimming technique. This also will help with avoiding cramps and will make you faster. Also keep your legs close together, otherwise it will result in drag and that is something you want to avoid. Same counts for keeping your legs high. Your heels should just touch the surface. Keeping them too high will make your upper body sink and keeping them to low will result in drag. So try to find the best of both worlds.

 

Tip 4

Your head is like the steering wheel for your body. When you are underwater and you tilt your head up you will go up and when you tilt it down you will go deeper. So it is logical that you should think about that within your stroke. Your head should be in line with the rest of the body. This means that the water line must be between your eyebrows and hairline. If you have the equipment or connections, try to let somebody film you when you are swimming. When you see it you can change your mistakes easier and also see where you are not laying straight this will improve your swimming technique by a lot.

 

Tip 5

Keep calm and do not try to swim like your life depends on it. You should be in control even at higher speeds. Try to swim at a slower pace if necessary. Keep your swimming technique! Also try to keep your breathing in control. Do not breathe too much but also do not hold your breath to long, because that will cause your body to make lactic acid. This will get in your muscles and make your muscles feel a lot heavier. You should always breathe to the side by the way.