Summer may be over but swimming is for all seasons. Tips for becoming a great swimmer.
As the rainy season begins to pour in, the days of endless sunny hours spent in the pool start to find themselves overcast by other activities. But if you want to be a great swimmer, there are things you need to do maintain and improve your skills, regardless of the season. Here are some essential steps you can take to streamline your way to becoming an excellent swimmer:
EXERCISE ON LAND.
Even when you’re not in the pool, you could still be bettering your swimming ability. A lot of other sports, ones that don’t even involve water, train the same muscles used in swimming. Baseball for example trains the same shoulder muscles used in breaststroke and basketball uses the same arm muscles used in freestyle strokes. Aside from these sports, simple exercises such as squats, jumping jacks, and weights can help with your performance in the pool. Cardiovascular activities like running and biking also improve your skills by increasing your endurance.
DO THE DRILLS.
While dry workouts and sports have their benefits, swimming exercises in water still make the best practice. Swimming drills are the building blocks to mastering your skills. Different drills train different aspects of your swimming technique such as balance, speed and endurance. It’s good to have a regular swimming workout routine and take note of your performance to find out in which aspects you have improved and which ones need more training. Drills also vary with the types of stroke you practice so a set of laps covering each type of stroke is ideal.
HAVE THE RIGHT FORM.
As with any sport, martial art, or dance, you will always be told that form is of the utmost importance. Its good to practice a lot, but you won’t get as much out of the practice if you aren’t sustaining the right form. Remember to relax, align your spine, avoid straining your neck, and glide through the water. Follow the proper rotation and make sure your head and chest aren’t too high. Each stroke should feel like you’re stretching forward and pulling the water towards yourself. Don’t forget that your legs and feet should have the proper form as well. Your flutter kicks should start from the hips and not the knees without stiffening your ankles.
RIGHT BREATHING TECHNIQUES.
Working on breath control is another important part of swimming and should be
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practiced as well. There is a type of breathing technique called “bilateral breathing” that involves alternative breathing for both sides. In order to do this, it is recommended to inhale once for every three strokes. Also, it’s important to exhale while your head is submerged to prevent carbon-dioxide build up in the lungs.
PRACTICE THROUGH COMPETING.
A great way to test your maximum swimming ability is to challenge yourself through competition. Even with friends or family, racing laps across the pool is a good way to push yourself. A competitive spirit is always good motivation test your limits. If you feel confident enough you can join teams and competitions in your school or in your local community.
If you are able to consistently follow through with these swimming tips all throughout the year, you will no doubt see yourself become a great swimmer. Don’t waste what you’ve learned this summer, take a cue from Finding Nemo, and just keep swimming.