Swimming is a wonderful way to cool off and stay fit. Using flexibility, muscle strength, agility and cardio, this sport is easy on your joints and keeps you active into your senior years!

1. Warm-Up: Get the blood pumping and heart beating with one of these low-impact exercises.

  • 100 Freestyle
  • 2 x 100 Freestyle
  • 2 x 50 Freestyle / 2 x 50 Backcrawl
  • 200 Breaststroke
  • 100 Freestyle / 100 Back Crawl

By moving around slower at first, you can prepare your body for more strenuous activities. By loosening up the muscles, you ensure that you do not tense up in the water. Each part of the body should be ready to move. Swimming uses all of your muscles.

2. Speed & Strength: Get faster and strengthen your stroke using 2-3 of these training strokes.

  • 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

Both of these aspects are important in the sport of swimming. Speed is what gets you across the finish line first. While strength is used to stay above the water’s surface to reduce drag. A strong and speedy swimmer is often a successful one.

3. 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

Learning how to swim for longer periods is helpful in a variety of situations. Long-distance races are not the only times when endurance is needed. It can also help in emergencies. Depending on your skill level, you can swim back to shore or tread water until help arrives.

4. Cool-Down: Doing one of these workouts lets you focus on long-distance swimming at a lower intensity.

  • 100 Freestyle
  • 100 Choice
  • 25 Freestyle/ 25 Back Crawl / 25 Choice / 25 Freestyle
  • 50 Breaststroke / 50 Choice
  • 100 Elementary Backstroke

Take the time after a workout to chill out with some slower exercises. This will gradually bring your breathing and heart down. This is also a big part of planning for your next water workout. Being well-rested is an important part of strong performances.

Glossary: Here’s an explanation of each term used in this article.

  • Freestyle – Another 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. You can use a pace clock or regular clock where you can see the second hand. A stop-watch or waterproof wearable fitness tracker (i.e. FitBit) are options too.

Tip: Check out our 7 Awesome Gift Ideas for Swimmers for some great fitness tracker suggestions!