Swimming can be an excellent way to exercise. All you need is water, some swimwear and the motivation to get fit! But depending on how advanced you want to take it, some competitive swimwear or swimming accessories like goggles wouldn’t go amiss.
How to Swim
Lots of people nowadays learn to swim when they are young so it is easy and natural for them. However, they still needed to be taught well on how to swim. The following steps can be fundamental and key to starting off in the world of swimming:
- Be confident – Entering a swimming pool for the first time can be daunting, but confidence in the water is key to ensuring a solid foundation for swimming and also for safety.
- Smooth actions – There are a variety of styles of swimming for you to learn but they all required smooth and consistent strokes and kicks to maximise speed through the water. All arm strokes and leg kicks should be controlled and fluid. This gives a good base to build upon to be more advanced.
- Practice – This is important in most walks of life to become better at something. Most people have had to practice to get to where they are today! Practicing swimming will help to make you become stronger and more mobile through water.
Different Styles of Swimming
Just like there’s more than one way to skin a cat, there is more than one way to get through water by swimming. Below are the main styles, from beginner level and Olympic standard.
- Front Crawl – This is the basic technique. Laying on your front in the water, you bring your arms round in a forward circle in an alternating fashion to provide momentum through the water. This is supplemented by kicking your legs, keeping them straight to help keep aerodynamic.
- Back Stroke – This is the same as front crawl, except that you lay on your back and take your arms in a backwards circle. This shouldn’t be for beginners due to the lack of vision ahead of you because you will be facing upwards!
- Breaststroke – Here, the swimmer is on his/her front and both arms come from beneath simultaneously and push through the water. The legs perform a ‘frog kick’ type of motion in which they bend backwards from the knee and kick out simultaneously.
- Butterfly – This is one for those with strong back muscles! The arms come out of the water simultaneously in a wide forward circle motion. The legs are used similar to front crawl, but move at the same time. This is considered the fastest stroke.
Benefits of swimming
The main benefits relating to swimming are, of course, the health benefits. It works most of the muscles in the body just to propel yourself through the water. Butterfly helps in regards to back and shoulder muscles and swimming in general helps to lose weight, helping you to get the bikini body you have always wished for. It is also a very calm and relaxing thing to partake in if swimming at a slow pace. This helps to relieve stress.
It depends how good you want to become to know how much training to put in! But Australia’s own Ian Thorpe – known as Thorpedo – has put many hours per week into his swimming career. Remember that it’s not easy to become a world record holding Olympic champion! Beginners should aim on style and form and not straining the muscles too much by over-exerting them. As you move up in ability and ambition, you need to include more sessions in the pool and try to push yourself even further. Better still, perform out-the-water exercises to build strength and your bikini body. Those looking to become advanced swimmers should aim to swim 5 days per week performing laps of the pool, ultimately aiming for a rate of swimming 1600m on 30 minutes.
Swimming is an excellent way to lose weight and tone your muscles. Just make sure you pick up some comfortable swimwear and then ogle over some designer bikinis because you will soon be wearing one and showing off your bikini body with pride!