Better Fitness: Streamline Your Swim Routine

As we vastly approach the middle of June along with July and August are high temperatures, crowded beaches and more and more opportunities to switch up your workout while getting some summer sun and vitamin D.

Swimming has always been an easy way to change your boring old gym routine. It's a low impact, high calorie burning exercise that you can do outside (in a pool or in the ocean), with no need for any equipment other than your body.

The purpose of any workout is to get the most out of each and every movement and exercise that you do. It may surprise you, that even those who have been swimming for a significant amount of time, often do it wrong, according to many swimming coaches.

In order to gain efficiency in the water, a swimmer needs to focus on balance, energy conservation and streamlining. That's a lot to think about for just one exercise. There are a few steps that you can take for the next time you decide to take a dip, that will give you the maximum amount of efficiency in your workout.

Relaxing the neck isn't something you generally think you need to do when swimming, especially because its being held afloat by the water and the rest of the body. However, if you're a swimmer that likes to hold their head up out of the water, you're doing a disservice to yourself, as doing this causes your legs and torso sink, which creates drag. By properly relaxing the neck and upper back muscles until your head feels like it's hanging your swim will be more about the swim and less about wasted energy. There are usually lines on the bottom of the pool to help with this; focus on the pool's bottom, directly under you. Visualize your head and spine alignment projecting parallel to that line.

The reach of the arms in any stroke is more important to propulsion than the pull back, even though it may feel like the opposite. Exaggerating your reach will help streamline your stroke. So, rather than chopping the surface with the edge of your hand, use your fingertips to slice a slot through the water.

Bubbles, splash, and the occurrence of zig zagging are all evidence of wasted energy. Gently kicking the legs behind you should be done with little to no major splash. It's usually easier to take the focus off your arms and shoulders. Over doing the reach forward with your whole body will lengthen you out and help you stay straight.

 

Consult your primary care physician or chiropractor for any medical related advice.

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