6 Ways to Be a Better Swimmer
By: Breeanna Tudda; Head Lifeguard
- Focus on your Form:When you are swimming front crawl, look at the bottom of the pool and press your chest down and keep your head, hips, and feet at the surface. If your head and chest are too high, your legs and hips will drop, creating drag. As you take a stroke, reach forward just under the surface, extending your arm from your shoulder when your hand enters the water. Pull the water toward you, then keep elbow high as you pull your arm back. Try to maintain a constant strong and fast kick with keeping your feet underwater instead of above. Avoid kicking from the knees and kick from your hips instead.
- Make sure to Breathe: Swimmers practice rhythmic breathing, or breathing alternately on right and left sides. To do it, turn your body to either side every time you take a breath. Make sure you are also blowing out bubbles under the water when doing any type of rhythmic breathing.
- Roll with it: Avoid lifting your whole head to breathe. Instead, roll your body on one side so your chest faces the side of the pool as your arm pushes down and leaves the water. Keep your ear in the water as you take a breath and the corner of your mouth at the surface.
- Hydrate: Drink at least a 500 ml of water before going for a swim. This doesn’t mean drink it all at once but drink it throughout the morning or afternoon before your swim. This will prevent cramping and you will have a more efficient swim if you avoid cramps.
- Add Protein to you diet: Make sure to have a balanced diet that includes all the food groups, protein being one of the most important ones. If you are going to have heavy carbs throughout the day, make sure to have it before your swim so you burn it off faster. Then have a protein shake or protein bar right after your workout to repair your muscles.
- Practice Makes Perfect: When you are starting out as a beginner with swimming, try to aim to go at least 2-3 times a week to lane swim. Once you build a tolerance to your work-out start going 4 times a week and keep progressing from there. If you have a busy life style, try to go fewer times a week but then longer work-out times.