Taking up swimming the first time is really weird though most of us especially kids love the water, pool day is always something to behold. But learning how to swim at first is really awkward, proper swimming techniques and drills need to be in placed in order for you to effectively use your swimming strokes.
There are a lot of swimming exercises and drills out there but finding the proper ones to start off with as a beginner is really hard to find. You often wonder how advanced swimmers do and how do they achieve that finesse in the water though as time passes by the harder you practice the better your swimming techniques will be.
So here I will list the optimal swimming drills you can use either as a beginner, remember that swimming techniques develop overtime and some aspects of it are learned by observing others.
First off we need to identify what type of swimmer are you.
- Rookie or Novice swimmer, this person may be able to swim or have not learned to swim at all.
- Beginner, advanced Swimmers though experience in swimming this generally falls into the category of they have not learn the proper swimming strokes or they don’t have the proper swimming drills to work with.
Swimming Tips for Beginners
- Communicate with experienced swimmers, there is no better teacher than experience talk with some advance or competitive swimmers you may know in your area they might have advice as to what they did when starting out you can get a handful of good advice on how to improve your swimming techniques.
- Practice your breathing, often this is the hardest part in starting out, but this is an essential part of a great swimming drill, including warm ups, have you heard the term Bubbles & Breathing? Is it also an important part use for swimming drills, it will help a swimmer be underwater for extended periods of time.
- Learn the different types of Bubbles in bubbles and breathing, Mouth and nose bubbles and try to learn how to make bubbles with your mouth and nose this is an important swimming drills to enhance your breathing.
- Learn some swimming drills, now attempting a backstroke the first time without any preparation will always result in failure, you have to prepare and do good with it, break down specific strokes in manageable task, breakdown the specific stroke you are practicing, do one part of the stroke repeatedly, once you have a feel for it move on to the next part of the stroke, do this until you have successfully done the entire swimming stroke.
- Purchase a good pair of swimming goggles and fins, picking up a swimming gear is essential, choosing the best goggles to use in your swimming lesson is also an integral part as you will be wearing this for an extended periods of time, not only should it be comfortable it also needs to deliver on comfort. Consider selecting a hydrodynamic, small design goggles to use in the pool as it is design to move in the water with less resistance. Swimming fins are designed so that swimmers will have a more powerful kick and allows movement in the water faster, though some swimming coaches do not allow beginners to use swimming fins as they wanted you to practice you kick, when you advance a little and speed is in consideration swimming fins.
Swimming Techniques for beginners
First and foremost any swimming beginners must be comfortable in the water, some might be afraid because they might drown or have cramps during swimming you are learning how to swim therefore this concerns will be addressed. Also be sure to communicate with your swimming coach, tell them that it is your first time, be honest about your swimming experience as it is easier for them to correctly assess your skills and progression in the best way possible they can teach you.
Research beforehand some basic swimming techniques, most common are floating and treading. Some people fear that if they go into the water they will drown, that is not the case, our body will float as long as it is filled with oxygen (buoyancy). Treading on the other hand is the means to stay afloat in the water, this will keep your head above the water at all times this is a very good skill to learn as it will help you observe things around you, there is no one technique that defines treading, as long as you stay in the upright position in the water it is called treading the water. As you gain more experience in swimming you will develop you own technique on how to tread in the water some may incorporate sculling and flutter kick.
Credit: Lance Cpl. Erin F. McKnight
Another fun and useful swimming technique to learn is how to float like a starfish and jellyfish, starfish float like the name implies imitates a star where you float on your back with chest horizontal and both arms and legs spread apart.
Credit: Wikipedia Starfish
The Jellyfish float also often times refer to as the deadman float, this is the opposite of the starfish float, in this technique you are floating with your stomach, to do this start by standing this can be done easily in shallow waist deep water, now put your face in the water, spread your arms and lift your legs and allow the water to support the whole body this along with water treading is an essential skill to learn.
Swimming drills for beginners
Now that we have the basics out of the way, we will now continue to learn some swimming drills to help us further improve. In this section we will tackle the basics again like staying afloat, balancing and swimming on either side on your body.
We will list in no particular order some swimming drills you will need to learn, after this you will be able to swim easily and actually enjoying it.
Balance Swimming Drills
There are a lot of balance drills to learn;
First of Head-Lead Supine Balance, this is a front crawl swimming stroke drill, the person doing this have himself completely balanced in the water in which case your body will be perfectly horizontal in the water. As someone who is just a beginner this is usually done first and with you back against the water to avoid having difficulty breathing.
That drill starts us off with our back in this next swimming drill we will be face down in the water.
Head-Lead Prone Balance unlike the first swimming drill, this will teach us to balance face down in the water or flat on your stomach. The point of this exercise is to keep your hips and legs in the surface of the water in a relax and calm manner without the need to kick.
Now we have learn how to float on our back and front, we will now learn to float in our sides.
The Head-Lead Side Balance this at first is the most weird position in the water to be as you will need to swim on your side instead of swimming flat on your back or upright in the water. But it is a necessary drill that needs to be address early on as having learn to float on several sides helps you in the long run as you will notice you will float better on one side and this is normal, just practice float on each side to improve it. And in order for you to propel use the flutter kick in a relax motion to avoid drag also at first your breathing might be forced if your instructor allows it use a snorkel but for now practice the correct breathing technique in swimming.
In this section we will detail the basic swimming workouts for beginners, it is essential that you master the basics before moving to intermediate and advanced swimming workouts.
Just like any exercise, whether on the gym or at home the foundation before starting is warming up, this is the most crucial and integral part of any exercise but often neglected, you will often see specially in the gym people directly going and lifting without even warming up the muscle.
Don’t be that guy or gal we will do a proper swimming warm up not only will it improve you muscle control but also prevent injury during your swimming session. This principle will apply not only to swimming but any forms of exercise.
Before starting do several squats for about 10 reps for 2 sets, next do a shoulder shrug for about the same as the squat, 10 reps for 2 sets.
That is all about I recommend, though you can add some of your own variations like rotator cuff exercise or do a lap around the pool, but I stress enough to warm up the muscles before even using them in any form of exercise this will ensure longevity and prevent injuries, nobody likes to be injured and be away from an exercise they so love and enjoy.