Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, and Katie Ledecky are some of the big athletic names in the swimming arena that you might know. And rightly so since these legends have not only helped pave the way for future swimmers and dreamers, but also for the sport to be recognized as one of the most competitive and highly anticipated events around the world. In order to join the ranks of these competitive swimmers, it’s essential for beginners to learn how to get started.
Swimming offers a wide range of health benefits. As a low-impact sport, swimming can keep your heart rate up without the extra stress and physical toll on your body. More than the physical benefits, this sport also offers a relaxing space for those looking for peace and quiet. At the same time, it also fosters a spirit of competitiveness not only with yourself but also with your peers.
Before you reach pro levels, acquiring skills and knowledge can help you. To help you achieve this goal, we have compiled the non-negotiables you need to get started in swimming. Take a look at them below.
Prepare Your Equipment
You wouldn’t go to war without the proper equipment, right? To help you prepare for your battle underwater, make sure to arm yourself with the essential swimming gear. Your swimsuit is important in helping you move through the water, so get a suit that fits your body like a glove. This helps avoid water dragging into the suit and further dragging you in the water. A cap will also come in handy as it keeps your hair out of the way.
In the same way, invest in a quality pair of goggles. These allow you to see well underwater to determine where you are going. For individuals who are just starting, your trainer or coach might require you to work with fins, a kickboard, and pull-buoys. These three pool tools not only help beginners learn how to properly paddle and kick their legs but also allows users to strengthen their core and boost their endurance while learning the strokes.
Master The Different Swimming Techniques
No one begins by knowing all the techniques. While it’s easy enough to paddle on your own, swimming in itself is a science. Instructors can help you learn the ropes of the game and assist you with mastering the strokes and even the basics of kicking and propelling yourself. The great thing about swimming lessons is that they can be catered to your level and your needs. Whether you enjoy learning by yourself or in a group setting, there are programs and tools that can readily address such concerns.
The four strokes and techniques you need to master over time are freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, and the butterfly technique. Each of these techniques requires different strengths and approaches. Though most of these techniques mainly rely on upper body strength, lower body strength and cooperation still remains essential.
Build A Routine
Allowing the body to get comfortable and more attuned with the water is comparably more difficult than on land, especially as humans are more adept at walking on land. Give yourself time to practice and adjust to swimming – from its required breathing patterns to the new hand and leg coordination needed. Not to mention, the body’s weightlessness in the water is something beginners have to familiarize themselves with.
If you are doing a workout or taking a lesson, chances are your instructor will be in charge of your routine for the first few days or weeks. To avoid shocking the system, starting slowly at around two to three days a week is more than okay. Gradually increase training and duration and amp up the intensity of your routine.
Train Regularly And Improve Your Time
Consistency is key to becoming a full-fledged swimmer. Once you get the hang of all the swimming techniques and you have perfectly mastered the form, it may be time to track your exercises and see if you can try your hand at competitive swimming and other water sports.
There are numerous meets and races available – even for beginners. To have a successful meet, make sure you watch your time. The lower the time, the better chances you’ll have of winning the race. As you gain more confidence and experience, you may also move up to more challenging events and races to help further your skills.
The Bottom Line
If you are fond of the water and keen on becoming a swimmer, remember to take note of these guidelines. While your journey towards becoming a swimmer may not be easy, your hard work in this sport will certainly go a long way.