Are you just planning to learn how to swim? Are you striving for new achievements? Here you will find tips and personal success secrets from the world's best swimmers. We will help you with the following:
Building the basics;
How not to waste energy;
Get comfortable in the pool;
Prevent yourself from injury;
Let's dive in!
Basic Swimming Tips — Beginner's guide
Our simple swimming tips & tricks are going to make your aquatic journey easy and enjoyable.
Get essential swimming equipment
For a beginner, you should purchase basic swimming gear such as swimming goggles, a swim cap, and a kickboard.
You can get away with swimming without purchasing swim caps if you don't have long hair. Fins can be an excellent addition to your swim equipment collection. They can make your first workouts much more effortless.
To avoid injuries, you should always do a basic warm-up before diving into the swimming pool.
Anything from light work with the band, some push-ups, sit-ups, and a few ab-crunches will do. You shouldn’t get too tired before jumping in, but your heart and muscles should be ready for work.
Learn how to breathe
If you ask any professional swimmer, they’ll tell you that breath control is one of the most important things in swimming. Timing of breath and proper mechanics of breathing can make or break your swimming journey. Be patient and take some time to learn a correct breathing pattern before anything else.
Work on your body position
A proper body position in the water is crucial. Without it, you can muscle through a few laps before getting exhausted.
Control your posture, don’t let your hips sink, and never look forward. Your eyes should look at the swimming pool's bottom every time you exhale. That way, you can minimize the soreness of your neck muscles.
Build a strong kick
Every beginner thinks that swimming is a very shoulder-driven sport. While it’s partially true, your legs are not there to be a ‘dead weight’. With your brand-new kickboard, you should dedicate a few laps to kicking. A firm kick is a must for efficient swimming technique.
With some time and practice, you’ll be able to connect your pull and kick into a perfect sequence.
Learn how to relax while swimming
Swimming is a very complex activity that builds excellent body awareness. There are certain phases of the swimming strokes where you should apply force, like pulling underwater. But, for example, in front crawl, we have a phase called recovery, when you bring your arm up front above the water. It’s called recovery for a reason! You should be as relaxed as possible to save energy for a strong pull.
Explore different swimming strokes
While different people find different strokes more suitable for them, you shouldn’t limit yourself to one stroke. Instead, try exploring all four swimmings strokes!
While some might be more challenging, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dedicate a few laps to it. When you swim different strokes, you engage various muscle groups. That reduces the likelihood of injury from overuse.
Focus on what you are doing
No matter what stroke or drill you are doing, be focused. Try to concentrate on every movement. Don’t think about anything else. Be present in the moment and focus on swimming while keeping the best form possible.
Stretch after every swim
Swimming is just another type of workout. After a good workout, your muscles tense up, and lactic acid builds up. To speed up the release of lactic acid, you should stretch after every swim.
As a bonus, stretching will realize the tension in the muscles, limiting the strain on your joints.
Fuel your body
Working out is great, but don’t forget about fueling up after it! Get a good amount of protein, carbs, and fats after every swim. That will ensure your muscles get all the required nutrients to recover and grow.
If you are unsure how to structure your diet, search for a local nutritionist with good reviews.
Hydration goes hand in hand with the proper nutritional plan. Ensure you consume enough water in and out of the swimming pool.
You can also incorporate electrolyte drinks during swimming to maximize your performance and recovery. Electrolyte-rich drinks help regulate many body functions like nerve signaling, pH balance, and muscle contraction. (1)
As one of my best friends says, ‘Recovery is the best workout.’ Side note, he is a professional swimmer and triathlete! You can’t underestimate the importance of proper rest between swimming sessions.
Most of your muscle growth happens when you are doing exactly nothing! And on the other hand, just like a lack of nutrition and stretching, a lack of adequate rest can lead to a severe injury.
Get professional help
Whether you are a seasoned swimmer or a beginner, getting a professional swimming coach or instructor on board is always a good idea. And it doesn't necessarily mean you don't know what you are doing!
You may educate yourself online on the swimming technique and training programming, and that's very good! But sometimes, an unbiased professional opinion is necessary. Plus, your swimming instructor can see the mistakes you are making from the side, and you might be unaware of it.