One of the best ways to keep active this holiday season is to swim! Amidst the Halloween loot, Thanksgiving dinners, and Christmas get-togethers, our health and fitness levels may begin to dip, but luckily swimming is a family activity that all can enjoy, whether for fitness or recreation. Here are a few must-know Swimming Tips from the AquaMobile team!
Swimming Tip 1: Pick a Great Bathing Suit
Do you ever buy a brand new bathing suit only to find that it is showing signs of wear and tear after only a few uses? This is mostly caused by the chlorine in the pool water, as well as external forces like the sun, pilling, tears, and stretching. The fabrics of the bathing suits that stretch, sag, and lose elasticity are usually made of a nylon, lycra, or spandex composition. This material is quickly deteriorated and leaves you looking tattered and feeling self-conscious.
Your solution? Polyester! Ensure that you check the tags on all of your bathing suit purchases to ensure that both layers (outer and liner) are ideally composed of 100% Polyester. Polyester PBT is also quite durable but does not offer additional perks like being UV resistant, or an exceptionally strong lifetime of holding shape. Although poly suits are a bit pricey, they deliver your money’s worth – you’ll be able to wear your bathing suit for multiple seasons without worrying about any changes in its shape or color!
Take a look at some of our favorite suits for some inspiration:
Little Dolfins (check out their holiday themes for little swimmers!)
Swimming Tip 2: Grab Your Must-Have Training Gear
Heading to the pool to do some laps and wondering what your basic equipment needs are? Take a look at Aquamobile’s list below!
- Good quality goggles can make or break a swimming experience. Invest in a good pair to ensure that you are not constantly stopping to clear your goggles, or veering off path and accidentally colliding with other swimmers. Click here for some goggle inspiration!
- Swim Cap
- A swim cap is great for keeping pesky hair away from your eyes, nose, and mouth while swimming laps. It also protects your hair from an intensely saturated chlorine dose, as well as helping to maintain the cleanliness of the swimming pool itself. (Tip: Soak your hair in chlorine free water and towel dry before putting your swim cap on. The fresh water will preemptively saturate your hair and allow less chlorine to embed itself)
- Kick-board & Pull Buoy
- Just like its gym counterpart, the swimming pool boasts many different ways to workout targeted body parts. Using a Kick Board (also known as a Flutterboard), you can do workouts that are specific to legs-only or arms-only drills. (Tip: For some drill ideas scroll down for our Build a Workout section below!)
- Mesh Swim Bag
Swimming Tip 3: Build a Motivating Custom Workout
So you finally got into the pool to swim some laps, only to realize that swimming back and forth can get a bit repetitive and boring. Use this guide to create a personalized workout that can help give your swimming workout more structure and make it more motivating!
- Warm-Up. Choose 1 of the following items for a warm-up. Get your cardio up and prepare you for the speed and strengthening section.
- 100 Freestyle
- 2 x 100 Freestyle
- 2 x 50 Freestyle / 2 x 50 Backcrawl
- 200 Breaststroke
- 100 Freestyle / 100 Back Crawl
- Speed & Strength. Choose 2-3 of the following to work on speed and strength. Work on your speed in the water, or your strength in certain aspects of your stroke.
- 4 x 50 Freestyle sprint on the minute
- 50 Legs only flutter kick/ 50 arms only Freestyle / 100 combined
- 100 Legs only choice / 100 arms only choice
- 4 x 25 pace + 25 sprint Freestyle / 4 x 25 pace + 25 sprint Back Crawl
- 2 x 50 Freestyle sprint on the minute / 2 x 50 Backcrawl Sprint on the minute
- Endurance. Choose 1 of the following to work on endurance. Work on long-term cardio and lower intensity distance swimming.
- 3 x 100 Freestyle
- 100 Freestyle / 100 Backcrawl / 100 Breaststroke / 100 choice
- 50 Choice/ 50 Back / 50 Choice / 50 Freestyle / 50 Choice / 50 Breaststroke
- 50 Breaststroke / 100 Freestyle / 100 Backcrawl / 50 Breaststroke
- 300 Choice
- Cool-Down. Choose 1 of the following for your cool-down. Bring your heart rate down, and conclude your workout.
- 100 Freestyle
- 100 Choice
- 25 Freestyle/ 25 Back Crawl / 25 Choice / 25 Freestyle
- 50 Breaststroke / 50 Choice
- 100 Elementary Backstroke
Remember, workouts can be altered to your ability and swim level. Feel free to tweak the distances and expectations within each workout element. Understanding some terminology can also be challenging.
Here is a glossary to explain some of these terms:
- Freestyle – term used for Front Crawl
- Pace – this means to swim at a comfortable pace at which you can swim endurance.
- Sprint – swimming as fast as you can for short bursts of time.
- Choice – your choice of stroke.
- “On-the-Minute” – completing a set number of laps or meters within a specified time period, such as a minute. Pace clocks at competitive training venues make it easy to note your times, and can be easily substituted with a regular clock as long as you can see the second hand. Use of a stop-watch or waterproof wearable fitness tracker is also an effective means of keeping times.
Tip: Check out our 7 Awesome Gift Ideas for Swimmers for some great fitness tracker suggestions!
Swimming Tip 4: Relax!
Some of the basic mistakes beginner and intermediate swimmers make is tensing up while swimming. “Relax” seems like easy advice to follow, until you actually start swimming. It can be tempting to tense up while doing all strokes, as you try to exert full energy to move through the water.
However, you cannot fight the water, so instead relax and let your body focus on gliding with the water as opposed to pushing against it. Try doing some simple front floats to help you loosen up your limbs and start practicing your relaxation techniques.
Swimming Tip 5: Set Realistic Expectations
When starting out in the pool it might be surprising to most that swimming a few lengths poses a challenge for even the most fitness savvy candidates. The reason being is that swimming is a task that requires sport specific training. You can be very fit as a runner or weight lifter, but if you go to a pool you probably can’t swim that far. The way to overcome this is through patience and practice.Setting realistic goals makes it easier to create milestones that help you feel accomplishment. Start off by giving yourself the goal of completing one lap without stopping. Once you are successful, add on some more laps!
Setting realistic goals makes it easier to create milestones that help you feel accomplishment. Start off by giving yourself the goal of completing one lap without stopping. Once you are successful, add on some more laps!
Swimming Tip 6: Swim With a Buddy
Swimming with a friend or workout buddy is as motivational as it is safe. Whether it is to go for a swim workout, an aqua fitness session, or just for fun, swimming with a friend is always motivation to get out there and enjoy the water.
So whenever you’re heading out for a swim, make sure that you are with someone else. You’ll have someone you trust nearby in case of emergency, and having your friend will make your swimming experience twice as fun for both of you!