Best Swimming Workouts for Weight Loss

Swimming is the perfect exercise for burning tons of calories. If you doubt this, then athletes from other sport who become tired after only a few lengths of swimming can testify.

Swimming is considered as a great exercise for the mind and the body for so many reasons for example; aside swimming no cardiovascular workouts that can work your entire body putting little or no pressure on your joints.

You don’t need to worry if you are still a learner. Beginners can also do themselves a good pool exercise that provides a lot of health benefits. You become stronger and lose weight while giving your body the perfect workout it’s ever had in as little as 30 minutes a day.

Why Water Works

Swimming exercise results to perfect body shape due to the storm of calorie burn and muscle conscription. A leisurely swim burns about 500 calories an hour, while enthusiastic effort can burn up to 700. For the fact that water is nearly 800 times denser than air, each kick, push and pull is like a small resistance exercise for your body –particularly your core, hips, arms, shoulders, and glutes. Swimming does not only burn calories, but it also helps you to build lean muscle, which ignites your metabolism to help burn more calories after you have showered and dried off.

One interesting thing is that while swimming makes you lean and mean, it’s also good for your body. Water neutralize gravity, and so when immersed, you become nearly weightless giving your joints a much-needed rest. Joel Stranger, Ph.D., director of the Councilman Center for Science of Swimming at Indiana University at Bloomington, who had studied the effects of swimming for years once, says “You can swim every day without risking injury.” “This is not the same with running or strength training.”

Swimming is an exercise you can do for a lifetime; hence, one additional benefits of swimming is to help you stay younger. By our research it has been observed that those that fund of swimming is biologically up to 20 years younger than their actual age, Stranger says, “The data, which was presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Conference, shows that a swimmers blood pressure, cardiovascular performance, cholesterol levels, central nervous system, and cognitive functioning are all comparable to someone far younger.”

For newbies

“Most novices smash the pool with high expectations. They jumped into the water all gung-ho planning to swim for a good 30 minutes. After few minutes, they are unsurprisingly hanging onto the edge, feeling completely defeated, “says Joel Shinofield, heads swim coach at Washington and Lee University in Virginia.

That’s because training in water requires your cardiovascular system and muscles to work contrarily than they do on land. Your lungs have to adapt to a way of breathing (you cannot breathe in the air anytime you wish like with dry-land exercise, and unlike any other form of exercise, swimming necessitates every muscle in your body to work together to keep you moving and staying afloat.

Try this beginner’s workout: make a leisurely swim to the four lengths of the pool (if necessary catch your breath at the wall between lengths). Relax for half a minute. Repeat for five to ten times. Put this practice two or three times a week during the first two weeks. Robert Pearson, a head swim coach at Macalester College in Minnesota, recommends the use of a kickboard for someone who hasn’t swim for a while. It will assist you to catch to swimming without having to coordinate your arms and legs.

Pro Tip: before you start swimming for a workout, it is advisable to have a competent coach look at your stroke to ensure apt technique, which averts abuse injuries, as with all sports: if something is something is painful, stop.

Warm up (5-10 minutes)

Start your exercise slowly to give your muscles the chance to warm up. Concentrate on your techniques: long, powerful strokes propel you through the water at a steady pace. Your swimming experience can determine your distance cover; you can either do a longer swim (400-500 yards) or breaks it up into shorter distances, resting every few lengths. Make sure to start gently and build your speed throughout, which increases your mood and prepares you to swim fast.

Kick (5-7 minutes)

A good kick set helps you to continue to warm up and also to light up your mood. Some swimmers use kickboards; however, you can only extend your arms in an efficient position or kick on your back.

Start your kick at the hip and not the knees; it implies you are providing momentum with your entire leg. Keep your boot narrow and balanced. Too much of up-and-down motion slows you down as it creates drag and reduces your power.

Main set (10-15 minutes)

This is the center of your exercise. The set should allow you to keep up high heart rate over an extended period, which helps you burn maximum calories. (Compare it to the fat burning qualities of energetic break training, or HIIT)

Here are possible structures to follow:

  • Cover two lengths of the pool at a faster pace
  • Relax for 5-10 seconds
  • Repeat

Assuming you can do a 50 (two lengths of a standard, 25-yard pool) 45 seconds. Your break would be 50-55 seconds, meaning you should get like 10-15 repeats in.

You can increase the distance or reduce your interval after you have built strength.

Cool-Down (5 minutes)

Swim an easy 300 yards; take a break of the 50s or 100s. This phase is essential because your body needs to recuperate from the main set. Keep up your pace with that of the warm-up, and ensure to concentrate on proper techniques for your body to be able to repeat it more easily when it’s exhausted.


Benefits of Swimming Everyday

Swimming has been regarded as the best exercise. After all, you will be able to derive all the benefits of an aerobic exercise without any harmful impact on your joints. Both the old and the very young can take part in swimming.

Most athletes use this exercise to stay strong and keep fitness especially when recovering from injury, and no elaborate equipment is needed, just themselves and the deep blue.

The benefits of swimming are far more than those apparent advantages seen on the surface: the most pronounced of its benefits is its overall importance to the health. However, let’s relax a little and take you through the 10 benefits of swimming.

It’s great for your lungs

Oxygen is at a premium when your face is beneath the water. In turn, your body gets acclimatized to use oxygen more expeditiously, Walton says. Additionally, your body learns to take in the more fresh air with each breath, and give out a lot of carbon dioxide with each exhalation. A study in the Indian Journal of Physiology and pharmacology reveals that swimmers had better tidal volume (the quantity of air inhaled and exhaled during relaxed breathing) compared to runners. This leads to lower resting heart rates, lower pressure, and, as you will see next, improved running performance.

It makes you a better runner

Swimming increases your endurance capacity by improving your ability to respire and effectively use oxygen, Walton says. This could be great news for those hoping to complete their first half-marathon this year. It also implies that you can run a long distance without getting tired. Scandinavian Journal of drugs & Science in Sports, 2013 shows that swimmers who followed a controlled breathing technique (taking 2 breaths per pool length) improved their running economy by six percent once twelve swim sessions. Aside air-fueled advantages, swimming trains your glutes and hamstrings, your core, and your shoulders—all that is required for better running form and performances, Walton says.

Anyone can do it

Whether you are recuperating an injury, pregnant (Walton has trained ladies within the pool on their due dates), a new mom, or ironman competitor, swimming will offer you a proper exertion (um, as long as you can swim). You keep up the pace, intensity, and what you get out of each session, he says.

It Slashes Major Stress

While exercise-induced endorphins can do wonders for your stress levels, entering into the water for your exertion could have its special brand of mood-boosting advantages, Walton says. When you are immersed in water the amount of sensory information that bombards you is reduced, helping to bring the feelings of calm, according to a study published in Pain Research & Management. Researchers found that regular flotation tank sessions were effective at relieving symptoms in patients full of conditions associated with chronic stress. It’s not surprising you love soaking in the bathtub.

It Turns Back the Clock

According to research from Indiana University, regular swimmers are biologically 20 years younger than their actual age. Scientists say that, even up till your seventieth birthday, swimming affects pressure, cardiovascular performance, cholesterol levels, central nervous system health, psychological feature functioning, muscle mass, and blood chemistry to be somewhat more just like that of your younger self. Who needs night cream?

It Hits Otherwise Underworked Muscles

“You do not sit at your table along with your arms over your head,” Walton says. However, once you are in the pool, your arms are all over the place, that means you need to figure your often-neglected lats, deltoids, and traps, he says. And in which you are not targeting those once you are on a motorcycle or pounding the pavement. Additionally, since most of the swimming is regarding staying balanced and level within the water (while both your arms and legs are moving, mind you), swimming helps you develop the deep stabilizing muscles in your core and lower back that ladies usually miss.

It makes you Smarter

According to the Journal of Physiology study, the flow of blood to the brain is increased by 14 percent once men immersed themselves in water up to the hearts. Researchers believe the pressure of water on the chest cavity could be a factor to it, and that they are currently studying whether or not water-based exercise improves blood flow to the brain higher than do land-based ones.

It Opens You Up to excellent experiences

Want to hop off the rear of a boat? Swim across the San Francisco Bay? Go snorkel diving within the Bahamas? Win each game of Marco Polo? Above are exciting experiences you can enjoy provided you can swim; hence, swimming is a life skill. It provides the opportunity of loads of fun stuff.

It Counts as both Cardio and Strength coaching

In swimming, constant moving is required of you so as not to sink. (Forced cardio!) Plus water is regarding 800 times denser than air, says swimming and triathlon coach Earl Walton, owner of the current of Tailwind Endurance in New York City; thus your muscles are under constant resistance. Lastly, no more of attempting to decide if today is going to be a strength or cardio day. (We recommend this pool exertion for every skill level)

Swimming can improve exercise-induced asthma.

It is very frustrating trying to exercise and being unable to get your breath. Swimming enables you to breathe moist air while you train unlike doing exercise in dry gym air or defying seasonal pollen counts. Research has shown that swimming does not only help alleviate asthma symptoms but can substantially improve the overall condition of the lungs.

In a recent study, a group of kids that completed a six-week swimming program saw enhancements in symptom severity, snoring, mouth-breathing, and hospitalization and ER visits. These benefits were still noted a year after the swimming program finished. People that don’t have respiratory disorder also benefits as swimming increases overall lung-volume and teaches good respiratory techniques.



Freestyle Breathing Timing

I learned something important during my Master’s swim class this morning. I wasn’t breathing at the right time! I was breathing when my hand started coming out of the water which was causing my other arm to cross in front of my head.

What you need to do is to start breathing when your arm is about 1/3 of the way through the water. Then start turning your head to breathe.

I also found a good YouTube video that shows the proper technique. Here it is:

What Muscles Does Swimming Work?

Swimming is an exercise that affects the whole body because it demands both power and cardio. When you swim, your heart as well as the muscles in your hips, arms, legs, and torso are worked. The resistance you create against water while swimming makes your muscle to contract and stretch thereby making your muscle fibers more resilient and flexible. So, what muscles does swimming work?

People enjoy swimming because when they go for a swim workout, they come out of the feeling great and refreshed. Also, people love swimming because it has incredible long-term effects such as increased lung capacity, willpower, endurance, flexibility, and strength are benefits of swimming.

However, if you want to know what muscles swimming work, well, let’s take a look.

Triceps Muscles

The triceps muscles are also known as the “tri” are those muscles found at the back part of your upper arm. They are the opposite of the biceps, and they enable us to carry out the backstroke, butterfly, and freestyle stroke with ease while swimming.

Whenever you pull, the tricep muscle gives you that final push which enables you to carry out a full stroke to your hips. Without this muscle supplying the energy, you will need to complete more stroke which would eventually slow you down.

The triceps muscles are often worked while swimming; hence, the stronger they are, the easier swimming becomes. Another excellent way of building these muscles for more effective swimming exercise is to engage in pushing weight down from your chest to your waist while tucking your elbow in front of your body.

Latissimus Dorsi

Also known as “lats,” the latisssimus dorsi muscle are the middle back muscles of the body. You can make these muscles more flexible and stronger by merely pushing your hands together in front of the lower chest part and extending them back and forth.

In swimming, these muscles make it easier for you to pull. You begin to use and flex the lats immediately you step into the pool until when your hand is just past your chest, which at this point your triceps takes charge of your pull.

Building the lats is vital in swimming, and an excellent way to do this is engaging in pull-ups. Pull-ups are easy to do, you only need to grab onto a horizontal rod above you and then pull up and down. Ensure you pinch your shoulder blades together while pulling yourself up.

Pectoral Muscles

The pectoral muscles are commonly known as “pecs” is a chest muscle which plays a vital role in the breaststroke and freestyle stroke. The muscles help to stabilize your strokes, so you do not have to expend too much energy while swimming.

One of the most effective ways of building your chest muscles is through bench pressing. You can do this by lying on a bench and hold a bar with both hands, then slowing moving it up and down to chest continuously.

Quadriceps Muscles

These muscles are also known as “quads” are located in the upper part of the leg. They are used for jumping and kicking which play a vital role is backstroke and butterfly. Kicking also plays a minor role in freestyle. Although quadriceps plays only a minor role in propulsion, they are crucial for start and on turns. One of the most effective ways to build the quads is to make lunges with weights in your hands.

Core Muscles

Core muscles refer to the abs. These muscles are essential because they enable you to stabilize your body and also play a role in your position in water. If your core muscles are flat and weak, then it would be difficult for you to hold yourself on top of water thus causing unnecessary drag. However, a tight core helps you to remain hydrodynamic thus providing efficiency in your strokes and better propulsion while swimming.

The above are the five essential muscles you work while swimming; thus, exercising them would make you a better swimmer. Hence if you want to see some improvement during the next swim workout, then you need to build your tri, lats, pec, quad, and core.

Benefits of Swimming

Aside from building and working your muscles, swimming has a wide range of merits ranging from weight loss to decreased anxiety to better bone health. Some of the essential benefits of swimming include:

  • Ease joint affected by osteoarthritis and arthritis
  • Improves overall endurance since it strengthens the heart and trains the body to maximize oxygen intake
  • Helps to accommodate individuals with limited mobility
  • Help to improve flexibility and posture.



How To Choose The Perfect Swim Trunks For Men?

Swim trunks for men are available in a wide choice of color, shapes, and designs. When going for a beach holiday or a seaside vacation, one may pay more attention to the color and looks of the trunks, but when you take up swimming as a sport there’s more to it! The right swim trunks for men enhance the swimming experience and add value to the sport. Like any other occasion, dressing right and accordingly, makes it even better!

Swim trunks for men are easy to choose if you know what to look for! So whether you are buying for self, a friend or a partner- here’s what you need to check:

3 tips for selecting swim trunks for men:

Size and Comfort

The right size is the absolute first thing that must be checked for. Anything too small or large will only come in the way of your swimming. Also, the fabric, cut and design must add to the comfort of the wearer and not be a hindrance.

  1. Elastic Vs. Drawstring

A few years back people considered elastic band swim trunks for men a bad choice but that has changed now. An elastic band swim trunk adds to the comfort and also keeps the body in shape for better swimming. A draw string can also be chosen but it may require constant attention. Choose a trunk with good quality elastic and something that fits and holds well.

  1. Stylish Affair!

Patterns or solids, stripes or floral… pick something that you like! Knee length or shorter, always choose a trunk that you are comfortable in. chances are you’ll be flaunting your swim trunk even outside the water, so choose something that you are comfortable showing off and something that makes you look good and confident.

Swim trunks for men are easily available in local shops as well as reputed branded stores. If you are picking up something for only vacation purpose you may want to buy some local and street stuff but if it’s trunks for daily sporting use, always trust brands and quality. Quality is an asset that only adds value to your swimming experience. Compromising on quality may hamper your swimming and may require constant changes. Be comfortable, look good and enhance your overall swimming experience. Swim trunks for men must always be chosen to match individual needs and styles.

[wwcAmzAffProducts asin=”B00D80F21G”][/wwcAmzAffProducts]


How To Select The Best Women’s Swim Trunks

Women and fashion have an intrinsic relationship. When it comes to beach and swimwear, many brands and high-end designers offer amazing women’s swim trunks that are high in quality and design. Street markets, local shops, small and big designers everyone and everywhere attractive swimwear for women is found in large numbers. When it comes to women’s swim trunks there’s no lack of choice but certain points need to be considered to buy the perfect piece. If it’s for a beach holiday or vacation one may want to opt for local brands and cheaper swimwear but those looking for daily fitness swimming wear need to pay a little more attention. Whatever your reason to buy, here are some key points you need to consider:

  1. Quality

There is no compromising when it comes to swimwear quality. This includes the quality of the fabric and the elastic bands. Choose a good fabric like spandex or Lycra for maximum comfort and ensure that the fabric does not cause any irritation or skin infection. The elastic quality will ensure a long life for your swimwear and will help maintain the original look and shape of your swimwear.

  1. Design

When it comes to women’s swim trunks there are many different design options. It is important to choose a design and style according to individual comfort rather than follow a trend. Whether it’s a one piece, two pieces or full body suit; choose what you are comfortable in and will proudly flaunt.

  1. Style

While it may be the last point to consider it still hold value. Choose a color or pattern that attracts you because the more you like it, the more confident you will be in it. Choose something that accentuates your beauty and compliments your personal taste.

Be it an expensive or cheap swimwear, it’s how you take care of it that ultimately makes it last long. It is important to rinse your swimwear after each swimming session, with fresh cold water, to wash away any chemicals or salt deposits. The chemicals in the pools and salt in open waters build up over use and damages the very fabric, leading to damage of the swimwear. Always wash your swimwear with a mild soap and allow it to dry completely before storing it. But, remember to never dry your swimwear in direct sunlight. Look good, feel good and enjoy swimming in comfort!

5 Essential Pieces Of Swimming Equipment You Need

Physical activities and sports are essential to keep the mind and body fit. Any form of sport works towards the overall fitness and enhances one’s quality of life. Swimming is one such sport that is known for the numerous health and body benefits it offers. It relaxes the muscles and mind while also working on the physical wellness of each part of the body. The most essential thing when taking up any sport is to have the proper gear and equipment to support the sport and the body.

While everyone knows the basic like a racket for badminton or mat for yoga, it is important to go beyond the basic and invest in other related quality equipment. When it comes to swimming, one needs 5 essential swimming equipment, they are:

  1. Swimwear

This may sound like a basic but most people don’t understand the need for quality swimwear. It’s not about how it looks, but how it supports the sport. There is specific swimwear for men and women and for different seasons. Good swimwear will enhance the sport and is an absolute must.

  1. Swimming Goggles

Goggles for swimming is another essential that many people don’t understand the need for. These protect the eyes, minimize chances for an eye infection and make it easy to see underwater. Proper swimming goggles, of good quality, are very important while swimming.

[wwcAmzAffProducts asin=”B01CJRCBM6,B01N3QC41L”][/wwcAmzAffProducts]

  1. Swim Cap

A swimming cap protects the hair from the chlorinated water and also helps keep away the hair during swimming. Both men and women, long or short hair, must always wear a swimming cap to better their swimming experience.

  1. Ear Plugs

Sometimes, water can accumulate in the ears during swimming that can lead to immense pain and discomfort. To avoid such a situation it’s always recommended to wear ear plugs to protect the ears and have a better swimming experience.

  1. Bags and Towels

A dedicated bag for all the swimgear will keep everything protected. A clean and well absorbing towel must always be carried and everything must be nicely washed, cleaned and dried before storing away. A good quality, water resistant bag must be trusted to protect your swimgear.

Swimming is an effective sport that can help improve the physical fitness of the body and enhance one’s overall wellness. Proper swimming equipment is an essential rather than a choice, for the best swimming experience and advantages.

How To Get The Best Swimming Goggles For The Best Performance

Swimming is an intensive sport that works on overall fitness of the body. It’s a great workout exercise, a stress buster, an effective way to tone the body and a sport that also teaches you an important life skill. Learning how to swim can start as young as 3 years and it’s believed that once you learn you will never forget how to do it.

The right gear and equipment enhance the performance for every sport, including swimming. Swimming equipment is specially designed to better your swimming experience while also protecting certain body parts from harm. The water we swim in contain chlorine, that helps keep the water clean and germ-free. Sometimes, this chlorine can cause irritation to the eye and also lead to dryness and itchiness. That’s why it’s important to wear swimming goggles to protect the eye. Swimming goggles also help you see better underwater, resulting in better performance. You can also opt for anti fog goggles, depending on the temperature, to carry on without any hindrance. Swimming equipment is necessary if you are taking up swimming as an intensive workout or even if it’s just for a fun day out with friends and family.

How to buy swimming goggles?

Swimming goggles need to be the perfect size and fit for your specific need. It’s not something you can buy on recommendation unless you have tried them on yourself. The way the swimming goggle fits directly impacts your swimming performance. Too loose or too tight and you wouldn’t be able to gain from their benefit. Things to check when buying swimming goggles:

– Size and fit
– Quality of the lens
– Quality of the rubber strap that holds them in place
– Comfort on the nose

Buying swimming goggles is same like buying shoes; it has to be your perfect match to be able to enhance your performance. Swimming goggles are not a style statement; they are an essential part of swimming equipment and gear that serves multi-functions to help you improve your sport. Whether you are a professional swimmer, a beginner, an adult or a child; everyone must rely on the best swimming goggles and make the most of their swimming experience.

Other Important Tips on how to buy swimming goggles:

– If you wear spectacles, you want to buy swimming goggles with a prescription lens. It’s way easier to swim with prescription lens rather than wearing lenses as the latter sometimes cause irritation when exposed to chlorinated water.
– If you are swimming in open waters, wearing mirrored or polarized swimming goggles enhances the experience and helps you enjoy the swimming better. It also helps reduce the glare of the sun.

How to maintain your swimming goggles?

Like every other sports equipment, swimming goggles call for maintenance too. You need to do certain things to ensure a longer use and durability of your goggles. Here are some quick tips:

– Rinse your swimming goggles under fresh cold water after every swim to rinse off the chlorine and other chemicals. This helps keep the clean and increases their life.
– Do not put them in a box until they have dried off completely. Watermarks, or left over water can lead to the growth of bacteria and mold.
– Never keep your swimming goggles in hot water or direct sunlight as it affects the rubber and can also damage anti-fog lenses.
– Avoid using alcohol based solutions to remove grime or dirt. Instead, use a mild detergent and then rinse with cold fresh water.
– Do not rub harshly to clean, use a soft cloth to rub your lens.
– Always keep the swimming goggles in a protective case to keep it away from any kind of damage or exposure to high temperatures.

Swimming Guy is all about swimming and ways to enhance and elevate the sport’s experience. Get the best swimming goggles and make the best of it! Swimming goggles aid and enhance your swimming experience. If you buy the right ones, it will only make your swimming practice more fun and enjoyable. Always look for quality over looks and never leave your goggles exposed to damage.

Swimming Hand Paddles – What You Need To Know

The small amount of equipment you need to start swimming should not deceive you into thinking you need only buy a pair of goggles and a swimsuit. Swimming is all about technique, with some tools to improve your skills and others to make you swim faster. You will need the following essential items of equipment; secure and comfortable goggles to make training more pleasant and help avoid unnecessary injuries caused by swimming into people or objects. A tight-fitting hat means less drag, less wiping your hair out of your eyes and less chlorine damage to your hair. You may get a warmer head but you will have to race in a hat, so see it as race day preparation. And of course, swimming hand paddles.

Drag shorts, which are designed to be worn over your normal costume, build strength in swimmers with the good technique by adding resistance. However, they are not suitable for beginners, who need good skills before building strength. A set of swimming hand paddles will force you to swim with perfect hand placement or your hands will slip worthlessly through the water; always pick a small pair and then incorporate them a little at a time.

Swimmers use hand paddles to improve upper body strength, improve technique and vary resistance in the water. Hand paddles come in many different styles, based on the function you desire. Some of the most popular styles of hand paddles include Water Gear Aqua Flex paddles, Finis Freestyler paddles, Finis Agility paddles and Han’s paddles. Swim Paddles are often used by swimmers and triathletes in order to get faster. Are they worth it?

The answer is it depends on many issues. When one is new to swimming, the most important thing is to develop swimming skills and technique. This involves developing proper mechanics through the whole stroke and a good feel for the water. At this time paddles are not beneficial. As the paddles will prevent you from truly feeling the water and developing the proper mechanics needed when swimming in a race situation. Here are varieties of swim paddles;

Water Gear Aqua Flex Paddles have adjustable fan blades on each side which allow the user to vary resistance level in the water. Their innovative design functions to increase resistance in the water for an upper body workout; however, they can also be used for therapeutic purposes. Try swimming freestyle while holding them, or even submerging to your shoulders and clapping with them for a chest workout. These are paddles you can certainly get creative with!

The Finis Freestyler paddles are the only paddles designed specifically for improving your freestyle stroke. The blade on the underside facilitates the improvement of freestyle technique. These paddles glide across the water like miniature surfboards. Getting your elbows up high is important for freestyle swimming, and these paddles were designed to assist with that aspect as well as with maximum elbow extension. The Finis Freestyler paddles also facilitate proper hand position and entry into the water. They are a great choice for anyone looking to improve and gain confidence in their freestyle technique. They also come in a Jr. Size for young swimmers.

The strapless Finis Agility paddles are designed to improve responsiveness and dexterity in the water. One of the only strapless hand paddles, the Agility Paddles promote proper vertical arm entry. (If your arm-stroke entry is poor, you will know immediately because the paddles will slip off.) These paddles aid in improving most swim strokes, including the backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle, and butterfly. Their scoop design fits naturally around your hands and a portion of your forearms, helping you to keep your forearms in a vertical position while swimming. Their design also facilitates comfort and easy use in the water.

The original Han’s paddles are thought to be the most versatile paddles available. They offer multiple hand position options in order to vary results. There are two positions for the freestyle crawl motion, two for general training and one for backstroke drills. These paddles are designed with small holes to enhance the swimmer’s perception of the water on his or her hands, thus increasing awareness and improving stroke technique. The paddles can be reversed on your hands for stroke adjustment and to vary the stimulus. These paddles are truly multitalented.

If you are looking to change up your water exercise routine, Water Gear Aqua Flex paddles are a great way to go. For freestyle swimmers, try the Finis Freestyler paddles. To improve overall stroke technique for a variety of swim styles, try the Finis Agility paddles, and Han’s paddles are a great choice if you are looking to increase your awareness and agility in the water. Whether you are looking to improve stroke technique or simply to get a better workout in the water, swim paddles are a great choice for varying resistance and increasing your own kinesthetic awareness.

Paddles may also be harmful if an athlete has upper body injury issues such as the shoulder or elbow. Pulling a pair of paddles through the water may put extra stress on these areas creating more pain or break down of the area. It is important to note that in most cases the paddles are not the issue in the injury. Usually, it is due to a muscular imbalance and paddles are just exposing it.

When an athlete becomes more experienced in swimming the paddles can then become useful. Stronger swimmers tend to have technique pretty figured out and gains in speed will come more from fitness. Paddles then become useful as they can develop more strength and power by using them.

When choosing a pair of paddles choose a small pair about the same size as your hand. The paddle should also have some holes in them to help you still feel the water. Finding a pair, where one or two of your fingers are the only thing that is strapped to the paddle, are also useful. These types of paddles will make you keep good technique, because if your hand goes on an angle the paddle will flip off. From there, you can build your way up to bigger paddles if you desire.

Paddles do have their place but it is important to develop good technique first. Once the technique is mastered, paddles can aid one to get faster. Progress slowly to avoid any injuries. As the saying goes, go slow to go fast.

Laughlin’s Total Immersion Swimming Technique Gives Hope To Fearful Swimmers

It generally only takes one bad experience with water for people to develop a lifelong fear of swimming. A playful uncle throws you into the deep end of the pool not knowing you aren’t a good swimmer. Or you lost your footing on a slippery sand bank and were under water for longer than you care to recap thinking your life was over. Whatever the reason there are many people who never conquer their fear of water. All the while they have someone telling them how irrational their fear is. For many, it’s as simple as they never find a technique that helps them to fully eradicate this fear. The total immersion swimming technique is the newest in a long line of training strategies that has seen much success in helping people overcome their fears of the water.

Developed by Terry Laughlin, total immersion was developed to assist swimmers on all levels to master and streamline their preferred method of swimming. This method helps people with their body movement and psychological end of swimming that usually halts many folks progress. People who fear being under or in the water are able to develop techniques that will increase the amount of oxygen taken in while decreasing the amount of energy exerted. Generally, when you are young they teach you to increase your arm and leg strength to help you swim faster. In the traditional sense, these two parts of your body worked in opposition of one another causing you to use much more energy to get through the water. Not to mention you’re taught to take short gasps of air when you turn only your head to the side to inhale and exhale. These methods together were both extremely tiring and exhaustive for those who had to swim long distances.

Total Immersion is a renowned swimming method due to the combination of principles including the body’s physical movement through the water. There are three major principles incorporated into this technique. They include balance; teaching one to look at their body much like a boat or a submarine. Balance in the water refers to having hips, shoulders, and head all level with the surface of the water. In traditional methods of swimming, many people keep their head lifted which drags their legs down. Since the legs are already heavier than the head, and our lungs are filled with air your body naturally floats up in that manner. In the total immersion technique, more focus is put on bringing your hips and legs to the surface of the water while keeping your face and torso in the water as well. Streamlining your body to reduce the amount of drag created is another principle that is important to the immersion technique. Static streamlining refers to positions much like that of “skating” in which one arm is extended forward creating a leading point and a tapered body following the arm which makes your arm smaller and shaped like a blade ready to pierce and move through the water. And finally, there is the use of propulsion. This uses full body integration, meaning you are no longer working your torso and arms independently from your hips and legs. This principle utilized coordinated movements to reduce the number of kicks and strokes needed to propel you through the water.

One of the toughest things about learning how to swim is being aware of your body and what it is doing in the water. If you add a fear of water on top of this pile, those who are learning to overcome fears of the water have a ton of things on their plate to think about while in the water. Teaching new swimming mechanics and developing an understanding of their motor capabilities in the water will ensure a novice swimmer improves even after their first practice at learning the total immersion technique.

Laughlin utilized skills that go against what many were taught in their YMCA swim class that help reduce exertions and pain during swim time. Such techniques such as the rag-doll recovery reconditions swimmers to understand the importance of the recovery phase, which had largely been accepted in the swimming world as inconsequential. This core technique of the total immersion practice takes the tiring element of using your arm muscles to pull you through the water out of swimming. For many who fear swimming and panic when they are in the water, this is a great relief. Many people who are not strong swimmers feel they cannot go long distances or tire too easily. This method helps eliminate that as a problem.

If you are someone who has a fear of swimming or you are simply a bad swimmer wishing to refine and increase your abilities in the water, total immersion might be a method worth looking into. As mentioned earlier there are both books and DVD available on this technique. Laughlin goes so far as to explain the tools of the trade that will be needed to ensure success on your new swimming adventures. From what would be the best swimwear to minimize drag, to wearing eye goggles to prevent eye irritation—as your whole face will be immersed in the water. He also suggests starting out in a short and shallow pool until you build confidence and stamina. If ordering a DVD or reading a book on the subject doesn’t seem like the best way to go there are also many aquatic centers that provide hands-on training in the total immersion technique. Checking your local swim centers would be a good place to start on your track for mastering swimming. You can also look here for a demonstration.