There are numerous sports which can be done throughout the year like cycling, running or going to the gym. However, swimming is usually associated with the few months of summer only, except if one lives in San Diego. Therefore, it’s an ideal time to seek out some interesting swimming exercises for the coming months. Earl Walton, head coach and owner of Tailwind Endurance (a sports coaching center) states that swimming is an impeccable combination of HIIT (high intensity interval training), cardio, flexibility, and strength. Additionally, it is useful for revitalizing one’s energy without injuries from swimming excessively. Despite the significance of swimming, easy free style laps are dreary.
Interestingly, following these 9 types of workouts are worth giving a try:
1. Swimming Skills For The Pool
Total Immersion Swimming founder, Terry Laughlin, considers human swimmers “the machines of wasting energy”. His company deals with adults to become buoyant and effective swimmers while starting swimming very late. The average human swimmer uses only 3% of his energy to move forward, whereas, dolphin utilizes 80% energy for the same purpose. It is recommended to specialize in the following skills to enhance lap swimming output. This exercise is developed for pools of 25 meters:
- Perform four laps in a pool for warming up your body. Keep a stroke count and efforts record on the scale of 1-5 in every lap. The objective is to maintain the stroke count and effort at 3 or below in each lap.
- In this workout, five rounds each with four laps will be performed, each concentrating on a new skill. Each round will begin by doing 4-6 strokes away from the wall and swimming back towards the wall, both with no breathing. This boosts concentration. Repeat this four times and go ahead with the skills.
- In round one, you have to perform four laps of 25 meters and the first five strokes are to be done without breathing (keep yourself concentrated after you start breathing). Concentrate on dangling your head with full water support in these laps. You will see yourself watching the pool’s bottom view instead of the front view and the head will be weightless.
- In round two, you have to perform four laps of 25 meters and the first five strokes to be done without breathing (keep yourself concentrated after you start breathing). Concentrate on the way your hands go into water in these laps. You can attempt to make a space on water’s surface with the hand and put the forearm in it just like sliding hand into the mailbox. It will make you feel that the arm is going steeper in the water. Do not make a splash or noise as your arm enters the water.
- In round three, you have to perform four laps of 25 meters and first five strokes are to be done without breathing (keep yourself concentrated after you start breathing). Concentrate on tall swimming in these laps. After sliding the arm into the water, maximum farther. Try not to cross your arms and move it straight towards the shoulder; a little downward in a way that your hand is below your body and work on excluding bubbles.
- In round four, you have to perform four laps of 25 meters and first five strokes are to be done without breathing (keep yourself concentrated after you start breathing). You are prohibited from kicking in these laps. Keep your legs to follow you from behind with small effort. Your upper body will perform all the work.
- In the fifth round, choose your most favorite style from the previous four rounds, redo them, or repeat each one of them for laps of 25 meters.
- Lastly, redo the warm up process while concentrating on the skills from this workout and observe the comparison among your stroke counts and effort percentages.
2. Sprint/ Power Workout In The Ocean
Walton suggests utilizing waves, currents, sand and surf present in the ocean into the workouts. However, it is recommended to take a friend along or notifying lifeguards about the nature of your workout.
- Do 10 minutes of jogging in sand to warm up your body.
- Do a walk in the ocean, perform 50 straight strokes and come back towards the shore. Repeat thrice.
- Reach the ocean by running and do 50 hard strokes, then come back softly towards the shore. Repeat thrice.
- Reach the ocean again by running and take a deep dive, come to the top and do 50 hard strokes. Then come back softly towards the shore. Repeat thrice.
- Swim along the shore of the ocean for about 10 minutes. Come out, take rest, and repeat.
3. Workout Using Alternating Currents In The Ocean
Walton states that the swimmer has to check the direction of current in this workout. For this purpose, enter the ocean by running, do 50-65 strokes and observe the direction of the current (right or left). Start the workout after this.
- Initially, swim hard against the current for about two minutes, then softly with current for 90 seconds. Repeat this four times with no break.
- Take one minute rest.
- Swim hard against the current for about four minutes, then softly with the current for three minutes. Repeat this four times with no break.
- Take one minute rest.
- Final push: 20 minutes swimming with normal effort against the current, and softly go back to the starting point.
4. Sprint Pyramid In Lakes
Although lakes lack big waves or currents, identical rules are applied as those in ocean swimming. Walton suggests to be attentive of the environment and to always take a friend along.
- Do a simple swim for 5-10 minutes parallel to the shore to warm up your body.
- Do five strokes expeditiously, then five slow long strokes.
- Do ten strokes expeditiously, then ten slow long strokes.
- Do fifteen strokes expeditiously, then fifteen slow long strokes.
- Do twenty strokes expeditiously, then twenty slow long strokes.
- Move towards the ladder for your return and do five strokes expeditiously, then five slow long strokes to end.
5. Racing In The Lake
In this workout, you need a friend for a racing competition with best from seven as suggested by Walton. Select a target on shore and record who arrives at the target first, but do follow the instructions for every race.
Remember these points:
- Hands cannot be used.
- Feet cannot be used.
- Only swimming on the back is allowed.
- Head must be kept outside the water throughout.
- Racer 1 says three, two, one, discloses the stroke or rule of his preference and both will start.
- Racer 2 says three, two, one, discloses the stroke or rule of his preference and both will start.
- All the four strokes to be used while swimming in this race (back, freestyle, breast and butterfly).
6. Finning in Ocean/Lake
Coach of Canyons Aquatic Club and Speedo, Coley Stickels, says that this workout needs a kickboard and fins set.
- Perform 10 air squats and jumping jacks each and a sprint of 50 meters in water for warmup.
- Select a target such as buoy or pier at a distance of 75 meters. Swim towards the target and then return to shore. Get your kit, wear the fins, and get the kickboard and return to water. Do a kick swim while holding the kickboard towards the target and return. Repeat the process once more (swim with and with no fins).
- Stand on the knees in water, run for 15 seconds alongside the shore, and for about 15 seconds swim too. Repeat one time.
- Perform 10 burpees and pushups each after going to the dry area. Repeat four times.
- Return to pool, swim hard towards the 75 meter target and come back towards the shore softly.
7. In and Out Workout in Pool
This is a lengthy workout developed by Stickels and includes exercises both in and out of pool.
- Enter the water and use any stroke of your choice to swim for 100 meters. Come out of the pool and do 10 burpees. Return to the pool and perform 50 meters freestyle kick or flutter while keeping your arms ahead of you in order to utilize the feet to move forward. Put the hands on pool’s rack in such a way that your back faces the wall. Push yourself to come outside the pool and return to the water easily. Do this five times. Perform the complete process four times beginning with a swim of 100 meters.
- Perform a solo medley of 100 meters including 25 meters backstroke, freestyle, butterfly, and breaststroke each, and instantaneously do a very hard butterfly of 50 meters.
- Put the hands on pool’s rack in such a way that your back faces the wall. Push yourself to come outside the pool and return to the water easily. Do this six times.
- Perform another solo medley of 100 meters, and instantaneously do a very hard backstroke of 50 meters.
- Lie down on the back and straight legs on the pool deck. Engross the core and vertically lift the legs. Push them upwards and lift the hip from the deck. Bring the legs down slowly to the deck. Repeat six times.
- Return to the water, and do a solo medley of 100 meters, and instantaneously do a very hard backstroke of 50 meters.
- Perform six instant pushups on pool deck.
- Return to the water for the last (fourth) solo medley of 100 meters and end it with a freestyle hard swim of 50 meters.
- Hold the plank while moving towards pool deck for the maximum time. Take break, repeat the process, and calm yourself by softly swimming for 100 meters.
8. Numerous Laps in Pool
This type of workout requires a stopwatch so the swimmer can time himself / herself as recommended by personal trainer, Nick Iwaniuk, who works in Equinox Lincoln Park, Chicago.
- Do 10 spiderman step-ups (begin with plank state with elbows on sides, first lift 1 knee and bring it up to elbow, then lift another), 60 jumping jacks along with air-squats for 20 times. Repeat this thrice.
- Perform high knees of 10 meters while standing in the shallow side of the pool. Repeat this thrice.
- Make dolphin dives in the shallow end of the pool equal to pool’s length. In dolphin dives, the swimmer dives down, touches the pool bottom, joins the feet and hands together at the bottom, blow up on the feet, pushing body upwards, and outside the water. Repeat thrice.
- Kick yourself using a kickboard for about 200 meters.
- Do freestyle for 100 meters 5 times and take 15 seconds break during this. Record time for each time and then take 1 minute break.
- Do freestyle for 50 meters seven times and take 10 seconds break between each. Record time for every round and take 90 seconds break.
- Do broken IM for 50 meters, eight times including 50 meters freestyle, 50 meters butterfly, 50 meters breaststroke and 50 meters backstroke. Repeat this 8 times and take 20 seconds break in between. Record time for each round and take one minute break.
- Do 50 meter sprints of freestyle seven times, take 10 seconds break in between and try to do each round quicker than the previous.
- Do simple backstroke or freestyle for 300 meters to calm yourself.
9. Covering Long Distances in Pool
This workout is beneficial to cover long distances in the pool as recommended by Iwaniuk. Pool buoy and kickboards will be required to avoid kicking and allow using upper body only. They will be held between the legs.
- Do three rounds of warmup exercises on the pool deck including maximum air squats and pushups for 30 seconds each and rope jumping for 45 seconds.
- Jump into water and swim with dolphin dives three times across the pool.
- Use pull buoy to swim for 300 meters.
- Use kickboard to swim for 250 meters.
- Don’t stop at 60% effort while swimming freestyle of 150 meters on a stable speed. Repeat the process twice after stabilizing breath.
- Don’t stop at 75% effort while swimming 150 meters at stable speed. Repeat the process 5 times after stabilizing breath, shifting between backstroke and freestyle.
- Don’t stop at 50% effort while swimming freestyle for 500 meters at stable speed. Repeat the process twice after stabilizing breath.
- Don’t stop at 95% effort while swimming freestyle for 200 meters, stabilize breath and repeat the process but do it faster than the first time.
- Take a simple swim of 300 meters to calm down, any type stroke can be used.