Swimming has never been my strong point, with hindsight, I wish I'd spent more time as a child getting to grips with what is essentially a life skill.
Becoming a stronger swimmer later in life is not an impossible goal to achieve and it can have very positive effects when it comes to your overall health.
If you would like to brush up on your swimming skills, why not take a look below at Newitts' tips on how to become a stronger swimmer.
Plan your visits
In order to really progress, you'll need to take time out from the office or your evening to dedicate to swimming practice. It's all too easy to set yourself goals which are ignored and finally forgotten, but ensuring you have a proper swim plan in place will guarantee you reach your goals and become a better swimmer in time. You need to be swimming at least 3 times a week to see a significant improvement.
If you can run a marathon, it doesn't necessarily mean that you'll be a whizz in the swimming pool, but it will certainly help. Like any type of physical exercise, your body will cope better if it is regularly subjected to it, so making sure you visit the gym or take a run regularly will ensure that you're in the best shape possible when you enter the pool.
"A lot of people swim like a spaghetti noodle - their front half isn't connected to their back half (Gold medalist - Tom Malchow)"
Recognise the correct body position
Humans are not naturally designed for the water, and it is therefore wrong to assume that you'll be able to move through it easily. The ability to float is very important alongside an efficient stroke and kick. The way to achieve these 3 basic elements is to begin with a proper body position. This means that you should be able to draw a straight line from the back of the head, across the neck and down the spine to the hips. If you can achieve this one thing, it will help.
Tighten your abs
Core body strength is very important in swimming. Pilates and Yoga are good exercises to help build up your inner core strength in preparation for swimming. Olympic gold medal swimmer Tom Malchow recommends that swimmers keep their abs tight. “A lot of people swim like a spaghetti noodle — their front half isn’t connected to their back half,” he says. “You want to be rigid like a pencil.”
Focus on one skill
If you're a weak swimmer, it's very easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of skills you need to improve, but if you work on one skill at a time, you will avoid getting too frustrated or tired.
Watch other swimmers
Watching good swimmers is a good way to improve technique, equally, asking a good swimmer or a coach to watch you will have a similar affect. In this way, you can find out if what you think you're doing is what you're actually doing which can be two totally different things! Taking a video of yourself swimming is also an effective method for improvement - you can replay the footage and recognise where exactly you went wrong.
Enter a race
When you feel competent enough, why not enter a competition or a race? Experts believe it is a good way to ascertain what you are capable of in the water, and is a good drill for practicing faster paced swimming.
Wear the right clothing
Choose swimwear that's designed for competitive swimming. You don't have to spend a fortune, just avoid wearing baggy trunks or a skimpy bikini - both of which could hinder your performance. Newitts offers a wide range of excellent swimwear from a variety of top brands, to suit all swimming levels. For further information on our large range of swimwear, click here.
Wearing swim fins or flippers can help you achieve (artificially) a better body position and you will learn what that position feels like while moving. Then, when the flippers are off, you can try to recreate that position.
Manage your diet
Maintaining a healthy balanced diet is a good idea when you're undertaking any type of physical sport. Not only will it provide you with the necessary energy levels required to carry out training successfully, if you're aiming to lose weight at the same time, you can combine your diet with regular swimming sessions to achieve your goal sensibly.
What tips do you have for improving your swimming technique?