Swimming is one of the best exercises for keeping fit and it can also help you to lose weight. There a number of different swimming strokes which all work different areas of the body, therefore it is important to recognise the mechanics of each one to determine which is best suited to your training regime.
Below, Newitts takes a look at the four different swimming strokes and provides a detailed outline of how each stroke can help you to get fit and lose weight.
Freestyle, otherwise known as front crawl, is the fastest swimming stroke there is and a great exercise for burning calories. Front crawl uses all of your major muscle groups to propel your body through the resistant water, whilst it can also help to tone your body and improve your overall cardio-vascular health. Good front crawl swimmers can burn as much as 100 calories every 10 minutes whilst swimming at a moderate rate.
How do I acheive the best front crawl?
- In order to swim faster you must master the correct kicking technique.
- You can also increase your speed by stabilising your torso to help you to glide through the water.
- Engage your core muscles to keep your torso as straight as possible and remember to breathe properly by exhaling evenly and constantly whilst your head is underwater.
Breaststroke is one of the most popular swimming strokes for amateur swimmers. Although it burns less calories (on average 60 per 10 minutes), it has lots of additional benefits and is a good choice of stroke for long-distance swimming. Breaststroke helps to expand the lungs and works the chest muscles and the inner thighs as well as toning the back, shoulders, triceps, legs and hamstrings.
How to achieve the best breaststroke?
- To obtain maximum speed use a shorter action, making sure your hands never pass below your shoulders.
- Stretch out your arms as far forward in front of you as you can and practice at keeping your heels together for as long as possible whilst you perform the exercise.
- Swimming with your head above water can be bad for your neck and back so make sure you are carrying out the stroke correctly. Ask a professional to check for you and guide you if needed.
The ease of breathing and the different use of muscles are two of the reasons why back stroke is so popular. Backstroke is also an excellent swimming stroke for toning various parts of the body such as the stomach, buttocks, legs, arms and shoulders. In addition, it helps to elongate the hip flexors - a great way to alleviate the effects of sitting in a chair all day. You can burn roughly 80 calories per 10 minutes whilst performing back stroke.
How to achieve the best back stroke?
- Remember to look at your feet and not at the ceiling as this will help you to achieve the maximum speed.
- Keep your head very still and put your arms deep into the water lifting the little finger out first.
- Focus on lengthening the spine which will help open out your joints.
- Don't lift your head too high as this will lower your hips and create a greater drag through the water, which will slow you down.
Butterfly is also the most strenuous swimming stroke you can do, burning an average 150 calories per 10 minutes. Butterfly is an excellent swimming stroke for working out the upper body, increasing strength and toning the chest, abdominals, arms, triceps and back muscles. Butterfly stroke can also stretch your body increasing overall flexibility.
How to achieve the best butterfly stroke?
- Ensure you have enough lift to get your upper-body out of the water to prevent shoulder injuries.
- Mastering the right technique to perform the rhythm of the kick is essential to avoid any back injuries.
Introducing the Speedo Fastskin Prime Swimming Goggles
The Speedo Fastskin Prime Mirror Swimming Goggle is the latest addition to the Speedo IQFit family, and it can be fully customised by you. Packed with the same features as the Elite Mirror goggles, the Prime offers 16 different FINA Approved colour combinations of goggle. Each pack contains the following:
- 2 x Lens
- 2 x Sets of frames
- 2 x Straps
- 2 x Strap tensioners
- 2 x Set of nose bridges
The Speedo Fastskin Prime Mirror Swimming Goggle has been designed to ensure a leak free, secure fit. Its hydronamic design enables maximum speed through the water whilst Anti-Fog lens technology reduces misting and provides excellent vision and clarity. The wide vision lens offers 180 degree peripheral vision whilst the Anti-Glare mirror coating reduces glare.
For more information about the Speedo Fastskin Prime Mirror Swimming Goggle, click here.