So, you want to get better at swimming, but you don’t have access to a pool? Don’t worry, there are loads of things you can do to improve your fitness and technique in the water. Check out some of these ideas.
1. SWIM IN OPEN WATER
Although not all communities have access to a swimming pool, many have access to open water, thanks to the fact that towns and cities are often built beside rivers or the coast. Open water swimming has become increasingly popular of late, partly thanks to a desire for adventure, and partly because of how much the equipment has improved. Things like tow floats and wetsuits have made it a much safer and more enjoyable activity. Find some open water near you, go for a swim, do it safely and have fun.
2. START USING LUNG TRAINERS
When Ultrabreathe first introduced their lung trainers to the market, many professional swimmers thought that it was a bit of a gimmick. But now professionals and amateurs alike are realising how important lung trainers are for improving their fitness and lung capacity in the water. When you breathe deeply, your body reacts in positive ways. Whether you’re a competitive swimmer or just somebody looking to achieve higher levels of fitness in the water, respiratory trainers can expand your lungs, helping you take deeper breaths and get more oxygen to your muscles.
3. HIT YOUR MAJOR SWIMMING MUSCLES IN THE GYM
When you swim, you rely on your muscles to propel you forwards. Although swimming will build these muscles to some extent, nothing will force them to get stronger more than hitting the gym. The primary muscles used in swimming are the deltoids for pulling the water over your body, the lats, the abs, the lower back, the glutes, quads and hip flexors. You can target these muscle groups in the gym by focusing on upright rows, bent over rows, seated rows, jumping jacks, squats, lunges, and crunches. Building your core muscles will help you to become more explosive once you hit the water.
4. USE A SWIM BENCH
A swim bench is a little bit like a rowing machine. But instead of sitting on your butt pulling on a cord, you lie on your front, as if you’re doing front crawl.
The idea of the swim bench is to provide your body with a situation where it has to overcome more resistance than it would usually need to in water. Swim benches come in all sorts of different designs, including those that use flywheels, like regular rowing machines, as well as simpler designed which use a combination of sliding trays and resistance bands.
If you've not got access to a swim bench, then dryland cords or resistance bands can provide a good workout with minimal investment in equipment.
5. PRACTICE HOLDING YOUR BREATH
Swimmers need to be able to get a lot of work done on a single gulp of air. Sometimes you’re underwater for a long time before eventually surfacing again to carry on with your normal stroke. As a result, to improve your swimming, practice holding your breath while you’re away from the pool. Start off by relaxing your body and purging your lungs. Then take a deep breath and hold. Practice for a month or so, and with time you may be able to hold your breath for up to five minutes.