Swimming is a great way to stay in shape. Not only does it work for all the major muscle groups, it can also be done year-round. If you’re going to take the time to swim, however, you might as well get the most out of it you can. Here are ten tips to help improve swim workouts.
Keep a steady routine.
Like any workout, you need to keep a consistent routine and practice regularly. If you want to prevent the skills learned in the water from deteriorating, practice at least three times a week.
Learn Proper Technique.
Many new swimmers unnecessarily limit themselves with poor technique. Learn to swim the right way and technique will be your friend for life. Strokes done improperly are time and energy wasted. Even if you have to take a few refresher courses it would be worthwhile.
Wear the right attire.
If you’re looking for speed, wear a swim cap and tight-fitting swimsuit. Swim trunks will not cut it- you need something designed for competitive swimming. You may also want to wear goggles to maintain visibility without worrying about getting water in your eyes. The right gear can make a substantial difference.
Exercise on land.
You can do a lot to improve your muscles by exercising on land. Running and weight training will be of great benefit to your swim routine. Talk to your coach about various land exercises you can do.
Have someone watch you swim.
Not only is having someone else by the pool with you a good idea for safety, but the eyes of an experienced swimmer can help you improve your form, catch mistakes, and provide encouragement. In the pool, you can only see what’s in front of you. A spectator gets a bird’s eye view and can see exactly what you’re doing.
Combine easy and hard workouts.
Do not just strain yourself with hard workouts, but know when it’s time to leave the kiddy pool. A good combination of light and hard workouts is often a good way to train. Do a few strenuous sessions each week and then fill alternate days with light exercise.
Get adequate rest.
Muscles need time to restore and rebuild after heavy activity. Swimming every day for a week could actually be a hindrance rather than a help. Give your body at least a day between workouts to ensure it is ready for your next session.
Push to the max.
Congratulate yourself whenever you finish a workout, but always know there is room for improvement. Gradually increase the level of your workouts so you can become a stronger and better swimmer. While everyone has their limits, do not set for less if you can get more.
Keep a swim log.
Buy a small notebook and log your swims. Write down information such as the number of laps swam, time in the pool, etc. This will give you a sense of accomplishment and help you and your trainer track goals and progress.
This is common sense. Always follow the rules at your local pool. Stay in your swim lane and do not fool around. If you get tired, stop, and always watch out for other swimmers. Injuries are the largest hindrance to any workout routine.
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