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Make a Splash This Summer: 5 Swimming Tips To Help You Get Fit

male swimmer under water

As summer approaches and the weather gets warmer, many people are exploring new ways to workout.

If you’re looking to cool down and achieve a full-body workout, jumping in the pool is an excellent way to get in shape for the summer season, whilst allowing you to add variety to your routine.

Plus, if you’re planning on hitting the beach this summer, what better way to prepare than being water confident?

Whether you’re an experienced swimmer or just starting out, Dean Zweck, Product Development Manager at Total Fitness, has got you covered with his top five tips to help you maximise your swimming workouts and achieve your summer fitness goals.

1. Swim at Different Speeds

Swimming is not only a great way to cool off during the hot summer days, but it can also be an amazing full-body workout. You don’t have to be a professional swimmer to reap the benefits of this exercise.

While swimming at a relaxed pace can be calming and a form of low-intensity exercise, if you’re aiming to burn more calories, it’s time to turn up the heat and add some variety to your swim routine.

Bring High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) to the pool by mixing up your swimming with different speeds, try to alternate between long and slow sprints and incorporate high-intensity laps with periods of rest and recovery.

2. Switch Up the Strokes

Swimming is a fantastic full-body workout, however, if you really want to target all your muscles, it’s important to use a variety of strokes.

Different strokes work different muscle groups, so switch things up and incorporate front crawl, breaststroke, backstroke, and butterfly into your swim sessions.

Front crawl will work your triceps and glutes a little harder, breaststroke will hit the chest and quads, whilst backstroke will target the shoulders more, which pairs swimmingly alongside any resistance training you might be doing on the gym floor – a fun way to prevent boredom from creeping into your workout. These strokes will also allow you to build up strength throughout your body and increase your endurance.

3. Try a New Technique

Learning a new swimming technique can be challenging, but it’s also a great way to keep your workouts fresh and interesting. Once you’ve got the hang of a new technique, you’re bound to feel a real sense of achievement.

When you master a new stroke, your body becomes more efficient whilst you burn more calories, they’re also great for improving cardiovascular health.

Each new technique comes with its own set of challenges and nuances, and as you learn them, you’ll be building strength and flexibility in your muscles.

Incorporate a range of drills into your swim sessions, these allow you to focus on a particular technique, from kickboard, sculling, one-arm and bilateral breathing – allowing you to develop at your own pace and personalise your workouts to suit your areas of focus.

Don’t worry if it doesn’t come naturally at first – remember, even Adam Peaty had to start somewhere.

4. Incorporate Swimming Equipment

When it comes to swimming, you sometimes need a little extra push to challenge yourself, add some resistance, and take your workout to the next level.

Enter swimming equipment, no, not your Micky Mouse armbands, but those that can be used by swimmers of all abilities to improve technique, build strength and increase endurance.

Paddles can help improve your catch and pull technique, while fins add extra resistance and help with ankle flexibility. And let’s not forget the trusty kickboard, which is great for isolating and building strength in your legs.

By incorporating these tools into your swim routine, you’ll be surprised at how much stronger and more confident you feel in the water.

5. Swim in Baggy Clothes

When it comes to swimwear, the go-to is usually a swimsuit or shorts, however, adding baggy clothes can create what’s known as ‘viscous drag’.

This resistance means you’ll be pushing against the water with every stroke, engaging your muscles even more – it’s similar to adding weights to your workout.

Think back to swimming lessons in School when they made you tread water in your pyjamas. So, throw on some loose-fitting clothes for a challenging and effective workout.

Now that you have some tips to help boost your swimming confidence this summer, here are a couple of workouts you can add to your fitness routine to mix it up:

Workout 1: The 2-Minute Swim Challenge

Try to swim 100 metres in 2 minutes – most pools are 25m long, so that would be 4 lengths of the pool. After you finish the distance, the time remaining is your rest.

Repeat this 6 times. For example, if you swim 100 metres in 90 seconds, you’ll get 30 seconds of rest. If it takes you 1 minute 50 seconds, you get 10 seconds of rest.

Workout 2: The Multi-Stroke Workout

Swim four lengths of front crawl, eight lengths of breaststroke, four lengths of backstroke, and eight lengths of front crawl.

This workout can be adapted to fit your workout needs, it’s a great way to keep things interesting by incorporating a variety of strokes, designed to challenge your endurance and work your different muscle groups.

Remember, swimming is a fun and effective way to get in shape, and with these tips and workouts, you can shake up your fitness in time for summer.