Just Keep Swimming
TOP TIPS FOR IMPROVING YOUR SWIMMING STROKE
By Peckham Pulse Leisure Cente
Whether you’re 8 or 80, swimming is fantastic for people of all ages and abilities. But why is it so good?
Not only a lifesaving skill, swimming is a great form of exercise. Helping you to stay fit and healthy. The water supports up to 90% of your body weight, allowing you to exercise while limiting the stress put on your joints. Whether you have an injury or have just developed some aches and pains over the years, swimming can be a great form of exercise to stay fit without placing more pressure on your joints.
Regular swimming can also reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke. It can boost your mood and keep your weight under control.
‘Swimming can be such an enjoyable experience, with great health benefits,’ says Peckham Pulse Leisure Centre Swim Manager, Roxanne Lee. ‘I’m always being asked for my advice on how people can improve their swimming stroke and get more out of swimming for fitness. It’s less and less about playing in the pool and more about technique and fitness. The funny thing is, is that most adults haven’t had a lesson since they were children, if ever at all, and as such find themselves out of breath after one length. Like anything, swimming takes practice and learning the correct technique will make all the difference. It’s all about efficiency in the water.’
Roxanne Lee has put together some top tips on how to improve your technique.
When swimming front crawl aim to keep your body position as flat as you can to ensure your body remains streamlined in the water. A slight slope downwards from the hips ensures the kick stays under the water, this will ensure you have less resistance when moving through the water.
You should always keep your head, back and spine in a relaxed neutral position. Your head should only move as it rotates to take a breath.
Although your propulsion will come from your legs, core strength is essential for breaststroke. Try not to let your hips drop too far down in the water for the best stroke. Keep your neck and shoulders relaxed as you swim to ensure your arm action will be efficient enough.
Don’t forget to glide! Look down towards the bottom of the pool as you glide to relax your neck after the breath has been taken. Swimming with your head up will cause strain on both your neck and lower back.
By keeping your body close to the surface of the water you will reduce drag and therefore travel through the water more easily. Keep your head still and your neck relaxed. This will reduce the strain and help keep you in a more streamlined position. By holding your head up it will cause your legs to drop, as a result this will cause more drag and slow you down. A good head position can be held by ensuring your ears are pillowed in the water.
Remember when swimming try and use long slower strokes even when you are tiring, this will ensure your stroke is more efficient and you will move through the water more easily.
It is never too late to learn how to swim. Whether you’re a complete beginner or perhaps just looking to improve your stroke technique, stamina and overall ability, its never too late.
Everyone Active’s leisure centres across Southwark including Peckham Pulse Leisure Centre offer a range of dedicated swim lesson programmes including specialist adult courses. They also offer lessons in additional skills, including diving, water safety and distance swimming.
Visit https://www.everyoneactive.com/courses-lessons/swimming-lessons/ or pop into your local centre and speak to a member of the reception team.