Swimming is an activity that has been scientifically proven to boost overall energy levels, improve sleep quality, and increase fitness levels. Apart from boosting several aspects of physical health, as a recreational activity, swimming can also aid mental health as regular swimmers tend to be more positive in their approach toward life than people who don’t.
If you’ve always wanted to incorporate swimming into your daily routine but haven’t done so simply because of your limited technique, then read on. In this post, we’ll share some tips that are guaranteed to significantly improve your swimming technique, facilitating more confident swimming than ever before.
Relaxation, and not overexertion, is the way forward
Swimming is an endurance sport, just like running and cycling. However, unlike running and cycling, where exertion plays a key role in improving performance, good swimming has more to do with relaxation than exertion.
New swimmers often tend to become tense in the water and this tension results in a lot of energy being wasted. The trick to swimming for longer durations is to keep your body as relaxed as possible and focus on maintaining balance and a relaxed stroke.
Improve your breathing to be more efficient in the water
You can only breathe out underwater and once you do after a few strokes, your head has to go above the water to breathe in. It is at this point where most beginners make an extremely common breathing mistake. With their heads tilted to one side, they breathe in and immediately head back underwater, resulting in inefficient swimming.
The best way to ensure that your swimming remains efficient by way of your breathing is to tilt your head towards both sides and breathe in across both positions before going back underwater.
Combine proper body position with fast leg action
Maintaining balance is imperative if you want to swim as efficiently as possible and you can do this by consciously keeping your body position (from head to hips) straight and completely horizontal. Once you have achieved this, combine it with fast leg action as the faster you kick, the more your body’s balance is maintained even more.
However, remember to keep the kicks small. If you’re trying to kick too fast and extend your legs too much, you’re going to end up overexerting your body.
Focus on timed technical improvement
If you want to improve your swimming technique, you need to take your training seriously and incorporate your time management skills into your swimming routine.
Too many people fail to realize their swimming potential simply because they spend too much time going up and down when they’re inside the pool, which is essential of no use, especially if your technique is poor. Instead, it’s a much better practice to break down your time in the pool to 20-minute sessions in which you focus solely on your weaknesses.
Warm-up and warm down
If you plan to really push yourself to your limits in the pool, then you need to prepare your muscles for the onslaught beforehand. Not warming up before hitting the pool can result in various muscle injuries that may prevent you from swimming for some time.
So ensure that you’ve warmed up enough to relax any tense muscles in your body. Once you’re done swimming, spare a few minutes for a warm-down as well, which can reduce the effects of any minor muscle injury that you may have suffered in the water.
Seek professional training
If you know about all the basics of swimming, there’s no reason why you can’t train on your own. However, if you’re unsure about them, it’s best to invest in professional training where you’ll be guided by experienced trainers who can improve your swimming skills by leaps and bounds. Professional swimming lessons are also recommended for those who already know swimming and want to pursue it as their profession.
Eat healthy food and smaller meals
If you want to take your swimming to the next level, you can’t just be reliant on what you’re doing inside the pool, because what you’re doing when you’re outside the pool also counts. For starters, if you smoke, quit immediately, as the extent of damage that cigarettes inflict on your lungs is well known, and if you want to swim well, your lungs have to be in tip-top shape.
You should consume foods rich in carbs, proteins, healthy fats, minerals, and vitamins on the food front. It’s also recommended to break down large meals into a few smaller meals, as eating too much at a time can induce lethargy and severely reduce performance.
If you’re training on your own, you need to measure your swimming performance to understand the extent of your improvement. Once you learn a new technique, keep practicing until you think you’ve mastered it, and once you get that gut feeling that you have, indeed, mastered it, do timed tests to see how well you can employ that technique when you’re up against the clock.
Keep noting the numbers down to clearly understand where you’ve improved and the techniques that need to be worked on even more to be mastered. If you’ve mastered the basic swimming techniques in a pool, you should find a larger water body such as a lake to try your hand at some long-distance swimming. Be sure to check with the local authorities if it is permitted to swim in the lake that you pick for the task.
Improving your swimming technique is the best way to make swimming more enjoyable for you, and it also reduces the chances of you sustaining an injury owing to improper techniques. While there are numerous swimming techniques, it’s the basics that you need to focus all your efforts on first, and once you master them, you can move on to the more complex techniques. So, keep improving using the helpful tips that we’ve just shared with you, and let swimming become a lifestyle for the sake of your health and well-being.