Ten Ways to Improve Swim Workouts
Article by Dan Weisman
Swimming is a good way to stay in shape. Not only does it work every muscle in the body, it can also be done year-round. If you’re going to take the time to swim, however, you might as well everything you can out of the experience. Here are ten tips to help improve swim workouts.
Learn good 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.
Keep a consistent routine.Like any workout, you need to keep a steady routine and practice on a regular basis. If you want to prevent the skills learned in the water from deteriorating, practice at least three times a week.
Wear the right swimwear.If you’re looking for speed, wear a swim cap and tight-fitting swimsuit. Swim trunks won’t cut it- you need something designed for competitive swimming. You might also want to wear goggles to maintain visibility without worrying about getting water in your eyes. The right gear makes all the difference.
Ask someone to 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.
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.
Combine easy and hard workouts.Don’t 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 enough rest.Muscles need time to restore and rebuild after heavy activity. Swimming everyday 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.
Go as far as you can.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, don’t settle for less if you can get more.
Stay Safe.This is common sense. Always follow the rules at your local pool. Stay in your swim lane and don’t fool around. If you get tired, stop, and always watch out for other swimmers. Injuries are the biggest threat to any workout routine.
Maintain a swim log.Buy a small notebook and log your swims. Write down information such as number of laps swam, time in pool, etc. This will give you a sense of accomplishment and help you and your trainer track goals and progress.
About the Author
Dan is the owner of Swim-Cap.net, the largest swimming cap resource on the web. It has a wide range of useful information and advice regarding caps and the various options available, including latex, silicone, and lycra swim caps.