Whether you’re cross training, triathlon training or simply swimming for fitness. Here are five training tips that can benefit your aqua workout:
1. Tailor Your Workout.
Swimming laps is good. You’re getting your body moving and that’s a good thing, but after a while you’re going to want to start tailoring your workout to fit with your personal goals. Swimming is one of the most diverse sports for fitness training, you can target specific muscle groups and work on different aspects of your physical fitness such as strength or endurance by using different exercises and workout plans in the pool. Part of the reason swimming is such a diverse sport is that there are so many ways to swim! There are four different strokes which all engage different muscles. Then there’s sculling, dolphin kicking, sidestroke, aqua aerobics, resistance training and so many more opportunities for fitness!
2. Warm up and Cool Down.
Arguably the most important parts of your swim fitness routine. Make sure to stretch and warm up before your swimming session begins. You’ll want to stretch and prepare all your major muscle groups ready for the challenge ahead. Stretching not only prevents injury, it can alsomake you a better swimmer. Stretching increases flexibility which increases efficiency in the water. After stretching you’ll want to warm up your body with some gentle swimming, don’t jump in and go full power straight away! That’s a good way to get an injury. You’re workout should start off slow and build in intensity. Always remember to cool down too. Swimming a few laps at gentle speed at the end of your workout will allow your body to wind down and reduce the chance of injury or muscle soreness afterwards.
You could start out with something basic like: 50m Freestyle, 50m Backstroke, 50m Breaststroke, 50m Kicking (using kickboard), 50m Freestyle. Then an easy swim-down to cool off. When you’re current workout outlives it’s usefulness (or becomes too easy) then try something new! Add a new element to the plan and let it evolve with your fitness levels.
3. Join A Group Or Club.
The best way to get the most out of your training sessions is to join a club or find a coach. Enquire at your local pool about any fitness swimming classes available. Or join your local "Masters" swimming club, here you’ll be able to pick up tips from other experienced swimmers. Swimming with a group or club will allow you to learn from others, and adds an extra social element to your fitness regime. You might even make some new friends. Even if you just attend a few sessions with a coach it can be highly beneficial to your swimming. They can help open up new workout routines as well as sharing their knowledge to help you become a faster, stronger swimmer.
4. Make Use Of Training Equipment.
There is a tonne of swim training equipment out there for fitness swimming. From the basic stuff like kick boards and pull buoys to the more advanced kit such as hip rotation belts and posture training devices. Using training equipment helps to open up your workout with new and more specific exercises to target areas that you want to work on.
5. Swim Regularly.
The benefits of fitness swimming become more noticeable when you’re down at the pool regularly. A good swim fitness regime requires some level of discipline. When you’re confident with your routine, start going to the pool more often. If you’ve been going once a week, try going twice and see how you feel. Then once you’re comfortable with your two weekly sessions, try adding another day to your routine. Make yourself get up early and go to the pool even on the days when you’re not enthusiastic about it. You will thank yourself afterwards. Regular swimming is proven to reduce risk of chronic illness such as diabetes and heart disease. Studies have also shown that you’re likely to be in a better mood, keep your weight under control and even sleep better!
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