If you know how to swim, chances are you love it. Most people take a dip in the pool to relax, take some time to themselves, and get some exercise without the pressures of the gym. Swimming is one for the greatest all round exercises; strengthening muscles, mobilising joints and improving cardiovascular fitness; all without any harmful impact that you may find with other sports or activities.
However, as with all exercises it is important to know the most effective and efficient way of performing the exercise, to ensure you get the necessary results for your personal goals. Bodies are highly adaptable; it doesn’t take long for a once impossible task, to soon become copable, due to our own body’s incredible memory and evolutionary skills.
Swimming is different from all other sports and activities, as it involves breath timing. For correct alignment, positioning, mechanics and for the best work out, you need to have learned appropriate breathing techniques. On all front strokes (front crawl, breast stroke & butterfly) this should involve your face being in the water and just edging out to breathe, in time with the strokes. The longer you can keep your face in the water the more streamline you are, the more effective your swimming, but the greater impact this has on fitness levels and the individual ability to raise heart rate while controlling breathing.
If you are looking to use swimming as a weight loss method, then endurance at a manageable pace is not going to achieve desired results very quickly. It is better to use interval training, getting the heart rate as high as possible, with short recoveries to be able to do it over and over again until you are unable to continue. Pushing yourself to your own limit.
If you are more interested in using swimming for strength, conditioning and mobilisation; then try a variety of drills and strokes. Start with using single arm techniques or separate arms and legs; then bring in other drills to test your body. Remember to alternate exercises to challenge the body and go beyond your known potential.
Professional swimming teachers, instructors and coaches are there to help. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice, or for some new moves to try out!
More importantly… Enjoy your swim sessions! Your time away from chaos and reality!
Salaams Ladies ❤
Safiyah Esack – 14/05/2013