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.