How To Improve Your Swimming
Whether you were a fish in your past life or a seasonal swimmer, the key to an effective swimming routine is to mix it up with a variety of strokes and drills at different intensities. Not only will it give you a better workout, it helps keep things interesting as well.
To help you take your swimming up a notch, we’ve pulled together a list of a few drills for aquanauts of all styles.
Use The Kickboard
This simple device is not just for kids, or an accessory for slow-lane dwellers. It’s a gateway to burning leg muscles and a core of steel. Adding a few laps of kickboard to your routine will help build leg strength and develop kicking skills. Just remember to flick your feet. For reluctant swimmers, it’s a great way to boost confidence in the water. And the best part is, your arms get a rest.
Try Side Kicking
Roll, kick and reach for the end of the pool in side kick. It might feel foreign at first, but this simple stroke is brilliant for perfecting the basics of swimming: balance and breath.
Top swimmers rotate their bodies slightly from side to side and reach forward with each stroke for maximum efficiency. To master it, kick on your side with your bottom arm extended out and your top arm by your side, keep your face down in the water and roll slightly to breathe.
Slow It Down
This drill slows down your tempo to focus on improving efficiency and developing technique. It’s similar to freestyle, but you wait for one arm stroke to finish before starting the next. In other words, one arm is working while the other is stretched out in front. After a few laps of ‘catch up’ you’ll start to feel a steadier tempo and find better body control.
Mix Things Up
Swimming a mix of strokes not only works and stretches different muscles and it can also help build confidence in the water.
After swimming freestyle, backstroke is great for reversing tension in your arms, whereas breaststroke can relieve tightness in your legs. If you’re less confident, try just legs for both strokes.
Working out your distance per stroke is a great way to track progress. Start with a lap of freestyle and count each stroke. Try it again slowed down and think about technique, breath and tempo. You may find your second lap uses less strokes. Focusing on technique before speed will help you travel further with each stroke and be a more efficient swimmer.
So there you have it, a definitive guide to getting the most from your time in the pool.