Novice Swimming Workouts

Novice Swimming Workouts

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Even novice swimmers can complete this beginner swimmer's workout with ease.

Swimming works out both your upper and lower body without stressing your joints. However, many people find swimming for longer periods of time intimidating. If you are just starting out as a swimmer, ease into the water as a regular form of exercise and improve your overall swimming skills with novice workouts.

Warmup and Cool-Down

Like running or any other exercise, you want to begin and end your workout with a warmup and cool-down period. A beginner workout would be roughly 600 to 800 yards, so you want to swim about 100 yards as a warmup and 100 yards at the end as a cool-down. This is four laps in a 25-yard pool. Don't feel the need to rush through these - the whole point is to "warm up," so take your time swimming the first four laps. When you're cooling down, slow your heart rate by taking it easy.

Adding Short-Distance Swimming

Swimming in intervals is a good way to time yourself and keep up your pace while not overdoing it too much in the water. Start with five reps of 50 yards each, or swimming to the end of the pool and back five times. Take a breath every three strokes instead of every other stroke to help improve your time and technique, as breathing can slow you down. Try to swim the 50-yard length in 60 seconds or less, taking 15 to 30 seconds between each set if you need it. Follow up this vigorous pace with two reps of 50 yards each, taking 60 to 90 seconds to swim each set. Slowing down in this way will help maintain your endurance for the rest of the workout.

Adding Drills to Your Workout

So far, with a warmup and reps, you've swum 450 yards. The next step is adding drills that go beyond just swimming freestyle laps. For 50 yards, or two laps, flutter kick on your side. Swim the length of the pool and back by just kicking. Use a kick board to help with this, or extend your arms outward, with your head turned to the side to breathe. Kick from the hips and not the knees, as this is where you'll derive the most power. Then repeat the drill, but on your other side. After that, kick with your arms straight out in front, breathing on both sides or keeping your head above water while you use a kick board.

Building Endurance in Your Workout

At this point, you've swum 600 yards. If you're training for a triathlon or just want to go the extra few minutes, add a slight bit of endurance training into your workout before cooling down. Although 50 yards might seem like a lot, you'll probably get used to it quickly. That's why it's good to incorporate a slightly longer distance, like 100 yards. Swim at a moderate pace, breathing every three strokes. Try to swim two reps of 100 yards, which would bring your grand total to 800 yards.