Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise for you because it works your whole body while being very easy on your joints because there is no impact in the water. The weight of the water against your body provides resistance for your muscles, and you will find that you both build muscle and develop more cardiovascular ability as you work a fitness swimming routine into your schedule
These tips are effective in any setting, from people swimming in fancy Olympic size pools in fitness clubs to those who work out in above ground pools in backyards. The most important thing to remember is that you need to make swimming a consistent part of your routine, working out at least two to three times per week for visible fitness benefits.
1. Take a swimming class to focus on your stroke form if you do not know how to swim the front crawl, also known as freestyle. This is a stroke where you are positioned face-down in the water, kick your legs up and down in a flutter kick, and move your arms one at a time in a motion where they enter the water ahead of you and you pull them back to about your waist. As soon as you have the basics of the stroke down, you can start swimming for fitness.
2. Stretch your major muscle groups before you begin each workout. Swimming works out the whole body, so you should stretch your quads, calves, hamstrings, biceps, triceps, back, and shoulders. This will help prevent injury and keep you flexible.
3. Warm up by swimming freestyle for about 5 to 10 minutes. Depending on your fitness level, this could be anywhere from a couple of laps to 500 yards or more. This step is important for slowly getting your muscles used to the activity and raising your heart rate to a point where you can keep it for the rest of the time to burn calories and get a good cardiovascular workout.
4. Swim at least 20 minutes after you warm up, using a wide variety of workout plans to keep you interested in the workout and to target different muscle groups and goals. One of the best ways to do this is to develop about 10 different sets, each taking about 5 to 10 minutes to complete, and choose a few sets to do at each workout. The following tips are ideas for potential sets you could incorporate into your workouts.
5. Choose a distance you can swim comfortably and swim it once at your regular pace, using a stopwatch or pool clock to time it. Rest 10 to 20 seconds and swim it again, slightly faster, checking your time with the stopwatch or pool clock. Repeat the process, trying to swim it faster each time, until you are too tired to do so.
6. Place a pull buoy between your thighs, which allows you to isolate your arm muscles for a while because you don’t need to kick your legs. When focusing on your arms, work on your form for the front crawl stroke. Make sure your elbows are the first thing to leave the water, your arms extend fully in front of you, and you engage your core as you pull your arms back through the water.
7. Hold a kick-board in front of you as you swim to isolate your leg muscles. As you kick, focus on creating power through your hips, not your knees, and keeping your legs just below the surface of the water so you are driving yourself forward, not just splashing a lot.
8. Swim different strokes to engage other muscles and add more variety to the workout. Options include backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly. For a fun set in your workout, swim an individual medley, which is a length of each stroke.