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Tagged with 'Swimming'

The Swimmers Guide to buying a tech suit

The Swimmer’s Guide to buying a tech suit

Championship season is exciting for all competitive swimmers, but it comes with a ton of preparation.This comes with buying a new tech suit. Worried about finding the right tech suit? Here are some facts to know when buying a tech suit.

What’s the importance of a tech suit? Why are they any better than a regular swimsuit? A tech suit is designed to reduce your drag in the water and help you efficiently move through the water. Tech suits are made from water-repellent fabric and don’t soak up all the water like a normal swimsuit does! They offer compression which is shown to be effective in improving circulation and can have an overall positive effect on recovery. 

One thing you will notice with most tech suits and swim jammers is that they are very smooth. Almost seamless? Don’t worry, this is on purpose! By removing the seams through multiple stitching and designing the seams to direct the flow of the water, the suits become closer to being a second skin that allows you to move faster and more freely through the water. Fastskin suits are designed to give you a slight bump in performance.

When buying a Fastskin, size doesn’t matter. Are you a 24”? Tech race suits are going to be different sizes. They are designed to be tighter fit so you get all the benefits of the suit! Also, it is often that a swimmer’s body changes size as they grow, change and develop. You want a suit that fits you and that you feel ready to race in. Sizing is just a number! Measure to find your current sizes to compare to size charts to find the size that you need.

Try on a few styles before making a decision! Many female swimmers prefer the classic open back suit, but there are both closed back and powerback suits to be considered. Are closed back suits harder to bend, twist and move in? Not at all! Try on different styles to find the one that is best for you and that you feel the most comfortable in. It’s important to get a good feel of your options to find the best fit.

Remember, you’re the one wearing the tech suit. You are the one that has to race in it! So, make sure you feel confident in the tech suit you choose. 

Tech suits are not cheap. They are an investment, especially in a swimmer’s training and success. You don’t wear tech suits to regular swim meets. Tech suits are made so you can invest in your goals and designed for the athletes at their most elite competitions. They are racing suits for when you are prepared to race! 

Shopping for a new race suit is an exciting task, not something that should be daunting and scary. It means that your big competition is coming up and you are achieving your goals!

At ProSwimwear, we have a large range of performance suits to browse through. Check them out here: https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/fina-approved-swimwear.html 

Still have questions? Contact us at ProSwimwear about any of the tech suits on our website and our customer service team will be ready and excited to help you get the perfect race suit for you.

Swimming After Giving Birth- Find your Motivation

Swimming After Giving Birth- Find your Motivation

Congratulations! You’ve just given birth and have a lovely bundle of joy. We know swimmers after giving birth that hop straight back into the pool like they never left, but for others the routine can be a struggle. With less time and less energy, it can feel discouraging when you have to stop and rest more frequently. While it’s not easy to get back into your swimming routine after giving birth, exercise is important. Here are some of our top tips to help you get motivated to return to swimming after giving birth. 

Your doctor will provide the best medical advice about when you can safely start swimming after giving birth, so make sure to follow that before getting back into the water. Every woman’s body is unique and will respond differently, so do not be disheartened if you are not back in the water as quickly as others. As a general rule of thumb, you should wait until your six-week check-up before returning to skilling, as this will allow your body to appropriately heal before entering the water. It will provide enough time for vaginal bleeding, called lochia to stop. When the vaginal discharge stops, it signifies that your body is recovering properly.

What are the benefits of swimming after giving birth? Swimming is a great form of exercise that works out all the muscles in your body and is a low-impact exercise that helps improve physical and mental health after giving birth. It can contribute to weight loss and toning your muscles. For mental health, it can be a form of stress relief and helps decrease the effects of postpartum depression. 

If you swam before pregnancy, it is great to get your body and mind back into a familiar routine. Even if you are new to swimming, the benefits for your health are rewarding as it will help elevate your mood and energy levels.

Exercise should be made a priority, as it will help you feel more energetic, and the health benefits justify the time investment. In order to get back into exercising, here are some tips: 

Hold yourself accountable, and put it into your schedule just like any other appointment, and don’t let yourself cancel unless you have a really good reason to. 

Swimming may not be enjoyable at first if your physical health has deteriorated a lot. Create some positive motivation by promising yourself to get a reward! Maybe a little treat after each workout or a new swimsuit, or even watching your favourite TV show afterward. Allow yourself to be rewarded for your exercise and workouts to help get motivated for the next time you visit the pool.

Do you want to lose the baby weight? Get back into swimming? Swimming for a little me-time? Identify why you want to swim and set some manageable goals for you to reach that can help motivate you as needed. If your overall objective seems overwhelming, break it down into smaller goals to tackle each week to reach your goals.

If you feel like your exercise routine is becoming repetitive with the same exercises time and time again, try bringing some variety to it! Work on different swimming strokes, alternate your swimming routine with some dryland training or playing other sports. Keep your routine fun, exciting, and explore new ideas!

We tend to create our own goals, so make sure to think of yourself as a swimmer and not an ex-swimmer, you can practise visualisation exercises of yourself completing the swim, and remember all of your favourite swim experiences from the past and remember the positive emotions that brought you to the sport to begin with. 

On one day, you’ll have more energy than the next day. That’s okay! Any exercise is better than none, so don’t worry if you can’t do your full-body workout. Don’t feel bad if you have to skip a day because your energy is low. What’s important is to develop healthy habits and lifestyles. It can be easy to get focused on caring for your family and put your own needs last, we get it. But exercising, along with eating healthily and finding ways to manage stress, are more important than ever now that you’re a parent.

 

While the first weeks of postpartum might feel challenging as a new parent, it is important to keep in mind the benefits of exercise to not only your body, but your mental health. As your energy levels improve, and you begin getting back in shape, you will be in a great mindset to take care of your new baby and yourself!

Etiquette Laws of the Lane

Etiquette Laws of the Lane

Competitive swimmers know there are set rules to follow whilst swimming to ensure good lane etiquette and keeping peace between swimmers. For those new to competitive swimming, don’t worry we have you covered! Here are the rules to abide by when swimming in the lanes!

Getting into a lane

Choose the right lane for you. You may frequent the fast lane, but that doesn’t mean it’s always going to be the right lane for you. The best lane is the lane that will not impact your performance or your fellow swimmer’s performance. Take a second to evaluate the lane speeds before getting into the water. Be sure to observe the lane direction to see which direction you should be swimming. Clockwise? Anti-clockwise? Make sure you know the flow of the lane.

There should be lane signs to refer to in case you are unsure. If you are still unsure, check with a lifeguard! Don’t be the one to swim in the wrong direction as this can be dangerous. Just take a second to know you’re going the right way around.

Now you understand the lane you plan to get into, make sure it is clear when you get in. Don’t slide straight in! Make sure there are no oncoming swimmers before you enter the pool. If there is no safe space to jump in, sit to the side to indicate to other swimmers that you are there and ready to join the lane. Only join when safe to do so.

Don’t push off straight away behind a fellow swimmer. If you are close to the swimmer ahead of you, the more the person is dragging you along. Your swim becomes easier and theirs becomes harder. Wait a minimum of five seconds before pushing off - wait even longer if possible!

Be mindful of others

Certain swimming techniques require you to be more streamlined, keeping your arms and legs closer to your body, such as front crawl and backstroke. When it comes to techniques such as butterfly or breaststroke, you will be taking up more space with wider strokes. Be mindful of your fellow swimmers when practising. If possible, move to an empty lane when practising these techniques. Or you could pull one arm stroke where possible and try to reduce the size of your kick when passing another swimmer.

If someone touches your foot when swimming, don’t panic! Swimmers often tap each other’s feet to let them know they want to pass you. If your foot is tapped, all you have to do is move either to the wall or to the lane rope and let them pass by! Swim until you reach the end of the lane and stop at the wall to let them turn ahead of you. 

Taking a break

Need a break? When you need to stop, tuck yourself into the corner of the lane or sit on the poolside. Remove yourself from the end of the lane to allow other swimmers to carry on with their set without any disruptions.

When you’re taking a break, you shouldn’t ever hang off the lane ropes! Not only could you cut yourself, but the lane becomes loose and starts to wobble, effecting both your lane and the neighbouring lane.

And remember, when getting back into the lane, treat it as if you’re getting in for the first time! Check for other swimmers before getting in and keep your distance from the swimmer ahead of you.

Other etiquette rules

Don’t take equipment from others! When there are floats placed at the end of a lane, it’s because a swimmer has chosen to put them there and will be using them for their training plan. Be sure to have all your own equipment before swimming!

Be prepared. At ProSwimwear, we have a great range of equipment available for this: https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/swimming-accessories/swimming-training-aids.html 

Now you know the rules of the lane! Remember to check your surroundings and be aware of other swimmers. 

How to improve your technique for triathlons

How to improve your technique for triathlons

Triathlon season is fast approaching! Still trying to improve your swimming technique for your next triathlon? We’ve got you covered! Here is how you can improve your technique for triathlons.

Bilateral breathing will open up the ability to take in what is happening around you, but can also reduce damage to your shoulders and neck from the repetitive motion of only breathing on one side. By doing this, you will be able to see more of your surroundings and see any hazards, such as oncoming waves or other swimmers. Try learning to breathe on both sides of your stroke. It will also help make your stroke more symmetrical.

Swimming in open water can throw a lot of variables into the mix. Many routes for triathlons include a turn around a buoy and swimming blindly with your head down will put you at a disadvantage. Identify landmarks before you swim that you will easily recognise and be able to see when taking a quick check of your surroundings.

To sight properly, lift your head slightly up so that only your eyes appear above the surface. Quickly scan to place where you are before lowering your head back underwater. You can do this as often as needed to understand your location and with your positioning in the race.

A major part of success in triathlon is being able to distribute the workload amongst you and your fellow competitors, it is key to not waste unnecessary effort on your first discipline, that you’ll be wanting to save for the rest of your swim. Identify the strongest swimmers around your pace level, and position yourself slightly to the side of them, making sure that you breathe away from the side of the swimmer’s leg. Make sure to push when you have the energy to do so! 

Keeping a high position in the water will keep your legs from weighing you down and sinking into the water, reducing the drag from your own body. Your wetsuit should assist with buoyancy but having the best head position will help guide the rest of your body through the water. Keep your fingers and toes closed to keep your streamline position throughout your body and you will see an increase in your efficiency!

For many triathletes, swimming can be their weakest of the three sports. However, making improvements to your swimming technique will help you move up through the ranks! Try out the points above and win your next triathlon.

What you should know before your child gets into competitive swimming

What you should know before your child gets into competitive swimming

The weather is getting warmer and those competitions are getting closer. The idea of your child swimming can sound more appealing during the nice weather as a way to keep them healthy. But, is your child looking to become a competitive swimmer? Here are a few things you should know before your child competes.

Don’t skip the basics! Your child should feel comfortable in the water and have a good level of confidence. Practise those four techniques used in competitive swimming: freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly. Swim programs are perfect to help a child prepare for swimming at a next level, helping your child to perfect their technique.

The team you decide to go with should fit what you and your child want out of swimming. Having a good team with similar goals in mind will help build confidence in your child and allow them to have friends who are also going through the same struggles to support each other and push each other on to achieve their goals. 

Having the right gear is important for any competitive race. Check with the coach or instructor to see what is required for your team members. Some essentials you will need are goggles and caps! Also make sure to have spares of everything, including their swimsuit in case any issues arise, such as a strap breaking. 

Unlike other sports, swimming is a low-impact sport that helps prevent strain. Swimming is a sport that can be a lifelong activity for your child, even one that can be a launching point if they are interested in pursuing competitions and triathlons at younger ages. Although swimming is a team activity, your child will often be competing in individual events. Keep in mind that your child will put in a lot of practice before the competition!

Most importantly, your child’s safety should come first. Your child should be monitored in the water, even after a child learns to swim and improves their skill. It’s crucial to prevent drowning and other accidents happening by going to practices where you and the instructor can keep an eye on your child.

Is your child heading to their first swim meet and you’re not sure what to expect? Check out more information here: https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/blog/what-to-really-expect-at-your-childs-first-swim-meet-/ 

Race Day Preparations- Be ready for Race Day

Race Day Preparations- Be ready for Race Day

One rule all swimmers and coaches agree with on race day is keeping your routine and sticking to strategies that you know work and lead to your best performance. Have a series of checklists that will help set you up to achieve your peak performance. In this blog, we will go through the different ways to prepare for that big race.

Competitions push a swimmer to their limit, adding additional challenges. Swimmers often have to warm up multiple times during the day, once at the beginning of a session and again before each swim. Most warm-ups in the water consist of a moderate level of swimming, maybe try 400 to 800 metres! This can include stroke drills and even high intensity workouts that last around 50 seconds. 

Here are a few things you can do to help prepare that little more:

  • Finish your main warm-up at least 30 minutes before you have to race.
  • Finish your pre-event warm-up as close to the start of the event as possible. Leave it to the last five minutes of when your race is to begin
  • If possible, try getting back into the water 10 to 15 minutes before the race.
  • Only work your body enough to warm it up! Don’t work so hard that you fatigue your body before stepping up on the blocks!

 

As important warming up in the water is for a race, you should also incorporate dryland training into your warm-up, especially if the pool space at a competition is limited and no warm-up pool is available. Dryland training can improve a swimmer’s power, athleticism and speed for when they get back into the water. 

Swimmers need a strong core to transfer force efficiently from one part of the body to another, to push off from the wall and essentially win the race. Good core strength enables the swimmer to accelerate faster and to carry more speed in a dive. Core training can help to improve your breathing flow in the water, improve posture and upper body strength. You can do many dryland workouts that help to improve core strength, such as using resistance bands or doing sit-ups. Dryland training has many benefits for a swimmer. Want to learn more on why dryland training is important to a swimmer? Read more here: https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/blog/why-you-should-begin-dryland-training-/ 

 

 

Although your physical ability and health is important for a race, being mentally prepared and ready for a race is also very important. Having a well-known routine that helps prepare your brain for the race is always a great way to have your mind focused and will help to increase your performance.

Having strong self-confidence is also important to being prepared for a race. When a swimmer is able to see future successes as part of their mental preparation, their confidence isn’t too far behind. Confidence is something you can train and sharpen and isn’t something you have to fake. Recognising what you have done well helps to boost your self-esteem and to appreciate how far you have come. Want to learn more on how swimming increases self-esteem and confidence? Read more here :https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/blog/how-swimming-increases-self-esteem/ 

 

 

Overall, preparing for your race on the day should be with workouts and routines you are familiar with. Have confidence in yourself and don’t tire your body during warm-ups! We wish you the best of luck with your next competition!

Swim Into Spring- Why Swimmers Love Spring

Swim Into Spring: Why Swimmers Love Spring

As we turn the corner into spring, the days start getting longer and the nights get warmer, and the idea of getting into the pool is more tempting with the nicer weather. As swimmers we love this time of the year, when the temperature rises and we can spend time in the pool more frequently. It comes as a welcome relief after months of bitterly cold temperatures. 

We can now put away the scarves, woolly hats and gloves and trade them for our goggles and a swimming cap! The weather is getting warmer and diving into water feels refreshing in the increasing temperature. A quick dip in the pool after a long day is something you can do to help relieve that stress and get back into your swimming exercise routines! 

If you’ve taken time away from swimming during winter or are new to swimming, spring is the perfect time to get back into the sport as the weather gets better. Spring swimming lessons are starting back up, meaning anyone who wants to get into swimming can sign up and start enjoying the sport that swimmers love. Give it a go!

 

Outdoor swimmers love that they can go for an after-work swim and not be swimming around in darkness. Longer days mean more hours to enjoy swimming and practising your techniques! Now is the perfect time to get into open water swimming now that the temperature is warmer outside than in the pool.

As the temperature starts to get warmer and starts swimming outside, whether that be in a swimming pool, lake or river, you might even get a spring glow! The UV light levels start to increase and help to increase your mood positively, and give you a tan! But make sure you are wearing UV goggles to protect your eyes from that sun! You can always find UV goggles at ProSwimwear. Check them out: https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/swimming-goggles.html 

 

It is the new swimsuit season! We can’t deny this is one of the most exciting things about this time of year when you can go shopping for new colourful and bright swimsuits! Your swimsuit should be fun, make you look great and feel great, so have fun finding a swimsuit that is perfect for you this spring! We have lots of colourful swimsuits with great deals you won’t find anywhere else at ProSwimwear, so have a browse on our website!

 

All in all, spring is a great time to get yourself back into swimming, or if you’re new to swimming to start getting involved with the sport and is an exciting time for all swimmers. 

See you out in the water!

How Swimming Increases Self-Esteem

How Swimming Increases Self-Esteem

There is an interesting relationship between self-esteem and sport. But did you know that swimming can help boost self-esteem? Here is how!

Swimming helps to tone muscles and build strength, helping many swimmers build a toned physique that they are proud of and feel confident in. How we see ourselves through our eyes can affect how confident we are about ourselves. It is the personal enjoyment of swimming that can boost someone’s self esteem. Get a swimsuit that makes you feel valued and brings a smile to your face when you wear it. If we add physical and aesthetic benefits of a sport activity into the water, your self-esteem can only benefit you.

Self-esteem in swimming isn’t all about the physical attributes of the exercise. Confidence is something you can train and sharpen and isn’t something you have to fake. Recognising what you have done well helps to boost your self-esteem and to appreciate how far you have come. Are you good at the butterfly technique? How about breaststroke? Maybe you’re struggling with a certain technique? Believing in yourself that you can achieve your goals and overcome any challenges will help you to achieve them! Remember, swimming is fun and you should only ever swim for yourself.

Set yourself goals to reach that are realistic, yet push you. Make sure you feel that you can reach a goal before you make it so you don’t get frustrated. Make small and achievable goals to help you boost your confidence and enjoy the small victories to help you get to those big goals. As your skills, strength and stamina increase through training, you’ll have more confidence in your ability as you will be able to visually see yourself improve! Embrace the challenge to reach your goals and support yourself through the challenging times. You can do it!

If you are part of a team or community, your peers, coach and family can be the boost you need. Your swim team will go through similar struggles with winning and losing and will be there to support you. Having similar like-minded individuals to encourage you, believe in you, and push you to achieve your goals are sometimes the ones you need to help build your self-esteem.

Swimming from a young age helps a child to become more confident in the water and in themselves, lessons help them improve their social skills as well as their confidence that can be used outside of the pool. Having control of an environment that can be potentially unsafe helps a child to feel as though they can achieve anything! Looking for how you can increase your kid’s water confidence? Read more here: https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/blog/how-to-increase-your-kids-water-confidence-/ 

In conclusion, swimming can help you to stay healthy, happy and more prepared. Perhaps try swimming? It might be the boost you need.

How swimming helps bad back pain

How swimming helps bad back pain

Having a sore back can be painful and annoying, even debilitating on some days. The everyday pressure onto your spine makes everyday tasks that little bit harder, or maybe even a lot harder to complete. Swimming can help to relieve some of that back pain naturally. Here’s why!

The water offers a release of stress and tension on the muscles. The buoyancy of the water supports your body weight, reducing the stress on your joints and spine. It can also help to calm the nervous system in your neck, back, and head. The water has a much lower impact on your spine than on other forms of exercise, removing the force of impact and making it less damaging to the spine. In water, your body moves slower and softer, allowing you to twist and turn in ways that aren’t possible on dry land.

 

  • Some activities to try in the water to help your back could be to float face down like a jellyfish and gently letting the air out 
  • Gliding through the water on the front of your body with a free neck, eyes on the pool floor and sweeping your hands through the water to create an effortless movement, and then regaining your feet, helps to stretch your back in a calm/fluid manner
  • Rotating your back gently in the water, allows your back muscles to stretch and improve spine strength
  • Swimming on your back can help to soothe the muscles, but if there is too much tension in the back of the neck and your pelvis, you may need to avoid this one.

Doing activities in the water that cause no stress or harm to the muscles and spine will most certainly help out back pain and help to prevent the pain from getting worse over time. Swimming is a full-body workout, that helps to stretch and exercise various muscles that you may miss in daily land training. 

 

Lots of people recommend swimming to help subdue some of that pain, so give swimming a try to see if it helps to relieve some of that back pain!

Adam Peaty Joins Team Speedo

Adam Peaty

Have you heard the news? Adam Peaty, a swimming superstar, has joined Speedo! He is widely regarded as the greatest breaststroke swimmer of all time, and at the most recent Olympic games has won two gold medals (100m breaststroke, 4x100m mixed medley) and one silver (4x100 medley).

Here is what Speedo has said in their press release:

Speedo, the world’s biggest swimwear brand, has today announced a multi-year sponsorship deal with triple Olympic champion and World Record Holder - Adam Peaty OBE.

Widely-regarded as the greatest breaststroke swimmer of all-time, Peaty joins Speedo off the back of winning two gold medals (100m breaststroke, 4x100m mixed medley) and one silver (4x100m medley) at the most recent Olympic Games. An era of dominance means that Peaty now holds 15 of the 20 fastest 100m breast stroke (long course) times in history and has revolutionised the stroke, inspiring people around the world to take up swimming.

Speaking about the new partnership, Peaty revealed that Speedo’s success in the pool, coupled with a passion to use his platform to build a more inclusive and sustainable sport by combining with the world’s largest swimwear brand were the main drivers behind the new deal.

Peaty has recently spoken about his ambition to leave the sport with a time which can never be surpassed. Dubbed ‘Project Immortal’, the eight-time World Champion, will use the next two years sharpening his tools ahead of a bid to cement his legacy within the sport even further. With this deal, he now also has the support of a brand which has helped to win more Olympic medals than any other.

Peaty said: “I’m really excited to be joining Team Speedo alongside so many of the world’s best swimmers who swam so well in Speedo suits last summer. Project Immortal is my next big aim and will be a lot of hard work, but I’m excited about the support Speedo can offer me in this quest for greatness. The figures from Tokyo speak for themselves and I’m certain this partnership will help me reach the next level.”

He joins the likes of Caeleb Dressel, Emma McKeon, Duncan Scott, Tom Dean and Ariarne Titmus, as well as a plethora of British and international stars who form Team Speedo who had a dominant Olympic performance in Tokyo – with the brand being worn by 61% of swimmers who won a Gold medal in the pool, including the only two swimmers to set world records.

As well as the performance credentials, Peaty was also enthused about the role he can play in supporting Speedo’s future activity which centres around becoming more sustainable and helping to increase participation levels in the world of swimming. Speedo recently revealed its Swim United programme, which aims to enable thousands of children in under-represented areas and communities to learn how to swim.

He added: “Since the birth of my son, George, I have become increasingly focused on playing my part in helping to create the best world I can for him. Once I heard the plans Speedo had from a sustainability and diversity perspective, there was never a doubt in my mind that they were the perfect partner for me.

“My background is not that of a traditional swimmer and as a result I am really passionate about finding the next big thing in British swimming. There are so many potential champions out there, we just need to enable them to be in the water and identify that potential and Swim United does that.”

Speaking about the partnership, Simon Rowe, Global Head of Sports Marketing for Speedo, said: “Adam Peaty is one of the greatest swimmers Great Britain has ever produced and we are immensely proud that he has agreed to join Team Speedo. From the moment we met Adam it was clear we had a shared vision for the future of swimming. We’re both committed to making the sport as wide-reaching and sustainable as possible, and so it was the perfect fit for brand and athlete. We are excited about his passion in making swimming a more diverse sport through our Swim United initiative and look forward to sharing further plans in due course”.

In addition to the list of Peaty’s honours, he is also a three-time Commonwealth Games champion and has committed to swimming at Birmingham 2022, having been announced as an automatic qualifier by Team England.

Peaty is fresh from an impressive stint on Strictly Come Dancing which, coupled with his Tokyo exploits, catapulted him into the hearts of the nation and he was awarded an OBE for his services to swimming in the 2022 New Year Honours list. 

To celebrate this fantastic news at Proswimwear, we have 25% off Speedo race suits. Make sure to check it out and to get the best deals in our flash sale! What are you waiting for?

https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/flash-sale/speedo-flash-sale.html

The Health Benefits Of Swimming

The Health Benefits Of Swimming

Swimming is a great form of exercise for many people of all ages and genders. If you already know how to swim it is easy, and not too expensive, and you can go at your own pace but if you do not know how to swim, lessons can be pricey in the very beginning. It not only helps your physical health due to the demanding nature of the sport, but it can also boost your mental health.  

 

The Physical Benefits

Swimming allows you to work out all of the muscles in your body. It requires all the major muscles to move your arms, legs, core, and brain. It helps to tone your muscles and increase metabolism. Swimming regularly can help to increase these benefits.

It is also the best form of cardiovascular fitness that is low impact, this involves the heart, lungs and is a great way to stay in shape for a lifetime. This helps to train your body to use your oxygen more efficiently. The water also has a resistance that allows you to work out more vigorously with little chance of injury. Swimming for just thirty minutes a week can help protect against heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

In addition, the more you swim the better you sleep. Trials have been conducted with adults who have insomnia and they reported improved sleep for those who exercised regularly. 

All-Inclusive Health Benefits

Swimming is suitable for people of all ages, and fitness levels, it allows you to go at your own page and fitness levels. It is therefore inclusive for people and can allow all generations to get together and exercise, from grandparents to grandchildren. 

It is also a low-impact activity, so if you have a health condition, like arthritis it is a great way to exercise, with the water gently supporting the muscles, with the water’s resistance helping your muscles get stronger. It will improve your muscle endurance which will prevent injury too!

For people with physical disabilities, swimming is a great way to exercise. It can help lift a lot of weight off your limbs and help improve muscle strength. It also helps to improve motor skills and coordination, increases flexibility, and helps to improve mental health.  It can help provide a greater sense of independence and confidence, and swimming is often used for physical therapy sessions.

Swimming exercises are also safe during pregnancy. Pregnancy can often make joints and muscles ache due to the drastic rate at which your body has to change and gain weight to accommodate a child. Swimming is a safe, low-impact exercise that is easy on the joints thanks to the resistance of the water. While pregnant, it is possible to swim pretty much until delivery, but we recommend you consult a doctor before starting any new fitness programs.  

The Mental Benefits

Swimming doesn’t just improve your physical health, it can also improve your mental health. Exercise is proven to help improve sleep regularity and swimming is no different. It can help to reduce insomnia and improve your sleep patterns. Swimming engages your entire body and encourages your body to get a full night's rest to recover all of your muscles.

Swimming also can help manage stress easier. It can redirect your thoughts and let you escape into your own world for a while. There’s a relaxing and meditative side to swimming. It allows your mind to float, only focussing on your breathing and body movements as you push through the water. It can make you happier as swimming releases endorphins. It helps to improve your overall mood. 

The swimming community also is a great way to build social skills and improve your confidence. Having a little support from your friends and family can help your confidence and make you happier.

In conclusion, swimming not only helps to improve your physical health but also your mental health. It is perfect for all ages and all people as a great form of exercise. At Proswimwear, we have a large variety of swimwear, training aids, and wetsuits that can aid your journey in swimming, be sure to check it out here: https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/

What You Should Eat Before A Swim

What You Should Eat Before A Swim

Race season is approaching quickly, and eating before a race can be tough due to nerves. Whether you’re training for a competition, or putting the strokes in to manage fitness, make sure that your fuel stores are primed while avoiding discomfort in the pool with these tip tips. 

Swimming provides a good workout for the whole body and is a great way to keep fit and healthy. It is a competitive sport, and training for it can involve a mixture of endurance and sprint training, depending on the distance. Competition races can last anywhere between 20 seconds and 15 minutes, containing multiple heats over the course of the day. This places unique considerations on how swimmers should fuel the body for training. Fuelling your body before a swim can be a challenge to ensure you are eating properly and at the right times to help develop your strength and cardio. 

 

How long after a meal should you wait before swimming?

Everyone has different comfort levels when it comes to eating around swimming, so it is important to experiment with what works for you and your body. In general. Allow 2-4 hours before you swim to allow for digestion of a larger meal, and 30 minutes to 2 hours for a smaller snack. 

High Glycaemic Index foods (GI) are quickly broken down and are more readily available for energy. These make for great quick snacks, before, during, or after training. Lower GI foods give a slower release of energy and should be the focus of your main meals during training. In general, main meals should include foods with low-GI carbohydrates and have moderate protein and fats. 

Work and other commitments may determine when you can get in the pool, resulting in just being able to have a small snack before your swim. For energy boosting snacks, try to focus on smaller, higher GI carbohydrate foods which will be quickly absorbed and cause less strain on the gut. 


Good options for this are:

  • Isotonic sports drinks
  • 1 large banana
  • 1.5 carbohydrate energy gels
  • 1 large cereal bar or carbohydrate based energy bar (low fibre)

 

Should I eat before an early swim? What should I eat?

You should eat when it is possible before your morning swim, especially if it is a longer duration swim or high intensity session. If you train on an empty stomach, you might find you tire quickly. Many recreational or competitive swimmers find eating before swimming difficult. Many experience reflux or even nausea once in the pool.

If you are an early riser and get out of bed two hours before your swim, you could eat porridge, muesli, banana yoghurt pots or even blueberry pancakes.

If you get straight out of bed, try energy boosting snacks. If you can’t eat before a swim, or prefer not to eat, try increasing your evening meal, the night before, to include more carbohydrates so the energy will be stored and will be ready for your morning swim.

 

What should I avoid eating before swimming?

In the 2-4 hours before swimming, you should try to limit: excess fibre, excess fatty foods, excess caffeine intake, spicy foods, and alcohol. These are known to cause bowel upsets that can make you feel nausea whilst swimming.

In the hour before a swim, focus on snacks that are smaller that can be easily absorbed and contain limited amounts of fibre. Any high GI snacks will help you be prepared for your swim. 

At Proswimwear, we offer MyProtein bars which have no sugar and high fibre, it is a good snack to have before swimming and leaves you with lots of energy to perform your best!  They can help with muscle gain and repairing muscle after a workout. These also help to increase your protein intake to hit nutritional goals without having to consume vast amounts of food containing protein and paying a fortune.

https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/nutrition-hydration/nutrition-and-hydration/after.html 

How To Put On A Wetsuit More Easily

How To Put On A Wetsuit More Easily

Putting on a wetsuit can be a challenging task for a multitude of reasons, and can be the most exhausting part of the dive of open water swimming. But, squeezing into a wetsuit doesn’t have to be so difficult. Here are some hints and tips for putting one on more easily.  

 

Keep in mind, some wetsuits are simply too tight. If it restricts breathing or blood flow, squeezing around the neck, the wetsuit is too small. Another indication can be if the wetsuit is stretched tightly that the material leaves a hollow at the small of your back or stretches thin in places, this means that the wetsuit is too small. Over-stretched material will not keep you warm as it would if it is a properly fitting and snug wetsuit. This is because a stretched suit will allow water to circulate inside of your wetsuit, whereas a fitting wetsuit will keep you warm by stopping water from circulating inside the suit.

7 tips for squeezing into a tight wetsuit 

 

  1. The plastic bag trick - place a plastic shopping bag around your foot before sliding into your wetsuit. Once your foot is through the wetsuit leg, remove the bag and repeat the process with your other foot, and then take it to the next level and place it around each hand. The plastic helps the neoprene glide over your skin, without it getting stuck. 
  2. Blow into the wetsuit - this trick requires a helpful friend. Once your hand is through the wetsuit sleeve, have your dive buddy lift the edge of the wrist seal and blow a bubble of air into the suit to help it stretch and slide into the right place. 
  3. Start with the wetsuit inside out - turn the offending wetsuit completely inside out and put one foot through the ankle of the reversed suit. Roll the suit up your leg slowly and repeat with the other leg, the torse, and finally the arms.
  4. If you can, get into the water with the wetsuit and put it on in the water. Whenever the suit sticks, pull the fabric away from your body to allow water to flow into the suit and break the seal between your body and the suit.
  5. A dive skin can be worn underneath a wetsuit. Thin lycra dive skins cover a diver from the ankle to wrist to provide protection from wildlife. When under a wetsuit, dive skins help you to put on and remove the suit by preventing the suit from sticking to your skin. 
  6. Use a water-based lubricant - they can help a dive to put on a wetsuit more easily. The diver spreads a small amount of lubricant on his wrists and ankles to help them slide through the tightest parts of the wetsuit. 
  7. Having zippers installed into a suit's ankles and wrist makes putting on a suit much easier.

 

There are methods you should avoid to try and get a wetsuit on. Using soap, detergents, shampoo, or conditioner as lubricant can affect the suit's neoprene and may irritate or dry out your skin. Biodegradable solutions should not be used with a wetsuit as some of the liquid will also leak from the wetsuit into the water. Even biodegradable versions of detergents and soaps can leave thin residue and can make the neoprene become stiff and begin to crack.

 

Oil-based products can also damage neoprene, such as petroleum jelly or oil-based lubricants. Don’t use oil, grease, or any oil-based lubricants to aid sliding on a wetsuit.

So, sometimes wetsuits can be a challenge to get on. These tips should help you to get a wetsuit on with more ease and avoid the hassle! Take a look at our Skin Slick Anti-Chafe Skin Lubricant 1.5 Oz which is safe with lycra, neoprene, and wetsuits. 

 
 

https://www.proswimwear.co.uk//skin-slick-anti-chafe-skin-lubricant-1-5-oz.html

The Checklist For Your Child's First Swim Lesson

The Checklist For Your Child's First Swim Lesson

It is important to enrol your child into swimming lessons not only for their safety but for their confidence. It is a sport that is a lot of fun for people of all ages, and children love getting in the water and enjoying themselves. It helps keep your child’s heart and lungs healthy, improves strength and flexibility, increases stamina and can even improve posture and balance. 

The Essentials

What would be considered essentials? A swimsuit and towel. We know this sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how frequently people forget these two! Make sure you always have these packed in your child’s swim bag to make sure you don’t forget them. Other items to go in your swim bag could be a pair of footwear for those kids that don’t like the cold tiles beside the pool and a water bottle to make sure your child stays hydrated. Wet bags are also essential. They are useful for keeping damp items separate from the rest of your belongings after a swim, such as your goggles and swimsuit.

For kids with long hair, hairbands are another essential. They don’t want their long hair getting in the way whilst swimming. To ensure hair stays out the way while they swim, you could also pack a swim cap to make sure none of those loose strands gets in the way and is tucked away. 

Struggle to keep your eyes open in the water? Swim goggles are also important! This will help you swim through the water without worrying about chlorine getting in your eyes and allow you to swim until your heart's content. Swim goggles are especially useful for the first swim lesson to help your child see clearly in the water.

Are you taking your baby to their first-ever adult and child lesson? Make sure you pack swim nappies. Swim nappies fit nice and snug which reduces the water that gets into the nappy.

It’s nice to have: 

If your child isn’t completely confident in the water, kickboards could be the perfect assistants to keep them above the water and having fun. They can also be used to play fun games.

You could also help your child feel more comfortable in the pool by bringing a waterproof toy, this can help your child feel safe and reassured as swimming can often be a daunting task for the first time. Pool toys are perfect for fun games such as throwing and chasing the toys or simply playing catch, both of which could help your child improve their confidence in the pool. 

Shampoo and body wash is also a nice touch to bring for your child, at Proswimwear we have SoCozy products such as a Swim 3 in 1 (Shampoo, Conditioner and Body Wash). Even though the showers are equipped with liquid soap, it is nice for your child to have their own body gel and shampoo to wash themselves with. Chlorine sucks the natural oils from your hair and skin, leaving them dry, rough, and damaged. Chlorine can also cause chemical reactions in your hair, changing the natural colour of your hair, weakening each hair strand, and causing split ends, therefore it is appropriate to have the correct products to combat this. 

https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/brands/socozy.html

It is important to wash after a swimming lesson to help reduce dry skin afterwards, and if your child is prone to this, it could be recommended to use lotion as well. It is also a nice touch to blow dry your child’s hair after the lesson to make sure that they are nice and dry when leaving the building and that they feel refreshed for the day. 

After the swimming lesson, you could also give your child a snack, as moving through the water makes you tired and hungry, and so their energy levels could be low afterwards. Fruit is also a great way to recover after a swim as it provides the body with a good source of vitamins and minerals. Make sure they get their five a day! 

Overall, it may be daunting as a parent taking your child to their first swimming lesson, but it is important to remember that they are in the safe hands of the instructor and that it is an essential skill for them to learn for their safety.

https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/swimming-accessories.html

Improve your butterfly form- Twelve drills to practice your form

Twelve drills to practice your butterfly form

The butterfly stroke is iconic in the swimming world. It is challenging to learn, and difficult to master, but the physical and mental rewards of improving in this stroke are very much worth it. You’ll feel your body become stronger and more in sync with each day you practice the butterfly stroke. 

Whether you’re a beginner recreational swimmer just learning how to swim butterfly or a competitive swimmer this race season looking for extra tips and pointers, this article will provide a few ideas to help you further achieve the excellent butterfly form. 

 

Tips for improved butterfly form

Of all the swimming strokes, butterfly is one of the most challenging. It burns more calories during one hour of swimming than any other stroke. A butterfly swimmer who weighs 155 pounds (70kg) will burn 774 calories in an hour. That is 70 more than the same person would burn when swimming freestyle or breaststroke. 

Not only does the stroke expend a lot of energy, but the form itself can be hard to master. Taking the time to train with the proper butterfly technique will help you improve the efficiency in your stroke, allowing you to maximise the energy you use while swimming. The following tips will help to improve critical areas of your stroke technique. 

 

Body position

How you position your body in the water plays significant roles in efficiency and speed. With butterflies, you want to make sure your body is aligned. When you do this properly, each part of your body will be participating in the movement.

Butterfly will mean that you will be undulating when you move through the water. Undulation allows you to move through the water efficiently. This type of body motion is to propel yourself forwards in the water, similarly to the motion used during an underwater dolphin kick. It allows your upper body and legs to alternate to help in propelling yourself across the pool with more efficiency and faster speed.

 

Butterfly arms

As you take butterfly strokes, focus on the correct arm movement and how your hands enter the water. Extend your arms with your elbows slightly bent, and keep your hands somewhat further apart than the width of your shoulders when they enter the water. 

Once your hands enter the water, pull, as if performing a freestyle stroke but using both hands simultaneously. Focus on pulling equally with both arms, using your forearms and hands to catch as much water as possible. Pull straight down at first and allow your hands to come slightly closer together as you continue to pull towards your hips. 

In the arm recovery phase of the stroke, your hands should leave the water by your hips and stay close to the surface. Do not lift your arms too high out of the pool, this wastes energy. 

 

Butterfly kick

Kicking provides a large amount of propulsion. Both legs perform a large, powerful kicking motion at the same time. Your legs must remain together, and keep your feet pointed directly out behind you.

For every stroke cycle, you will kick twice. The first kick you take provides enough forward motion so you can lift your arms out of the water during the recovery phase of your stroke cycle. The second kick happens before you begin your pull and adds additional drive to keep the forward momentum going.

 

Breathing

When focusing on breathing technique, you want to avoid lifting your head too high out of the water. Lifting your head too far out of the water can tilt your body and cause drag, slowing you down. Your head should come out of the water just enough for you to take a breath before returning to a neutral position.

Butterfly is a tiring technique, so you might need to breathe with every stroke if you are new to it. As your form improves, you might find you can take breaths less frequently than every stroke cycle. Breathing every other or every third stroke allows you to keep your head down longer and cut out drag, allowing your momentum to be significantly stronger as you move through the water. 

 

Twelve butterfly drills to practice your skills

Now that you have the basic understanding of how to swim this challenging stroke with proper form, you can practice some of the swimming drills below to improve your skills. Remember to stay positive throughout your training, and as you continue to train you’ll see improvement. 

 

  • By the side of the pool

Mimicking and practising the butterfly movement at the side of the pool, outside of the water, can help you to improve your technique. Lay on your stomach and bend your knees slightly to imitate the leg kick as your hands come forwards to enter the imaginary water. Kick again when your hands reach your sides. This drill can help visualise the mechanics of the stroke before you enter the water, assisting when applying it in the water. 

 

  • With Short fins

Training fins make an excellent option for butterfly drills. Swim this stroke with short swim fins, taking one arm stroke for every 4 kicks. Focus on the form of your leg. The added resistance provided by the fins will allow more sensory response to the movement of your legs through the stroke, providing more focus on the movement.

 

  • Butterfly kick drill

For this drill, you will need a kickboard. Grab the kickboard firming and practice your kicking technique. Allow the kickboard to dive under the water in front of you and then come back to the surface as you complete your kicking cycle. This will help you master the movement of the stroke. 

 

  • With pull buoy

Place a pull buoy between your legs and swim butterfly using only your arms. This drill will help improve your arm strength and help you focus on the upper body mechanics of the butterfly technique. Try to pull equally with both your left and right arm during each stroke.

 

  • One-armed butterfly

Swimming the butterfly with just one arm can help improve technique. Keep the arm that you are not using extended out in front of you or along your side. It is extremely important to remember to breathe forwards and not sideways when doing this drill.

 

  • Breaststroke legs with lateral breathing

Swim the butterfly whilst using a breaststroke kick for every arm stroke. Breath once to the right and once to the left. Attempt to keep your head underwater as much as possible. This should help you get more comfortable with your breathing technique.

 

  • Adding flutter kick

Swim the butterfly using a freestyle leg kick, try to keep your shoulders above the water when performing this drill. Focus on your arm mechanics and practice a powerful pull-through and efficient recovery phase.

 

  • Variable entry

Your first stroke of your arms in the water should have a wide entry. In your second stroke, your hand should enter the water at half the width of the previous stroke. For the third, your hands should enter next to one another in front of your head. Repeat this variable entry cycle throughout to get used to the movement.

 

  • Recovery underwater

Swim the butterfly without the recovery part of the arm stroke. Make sure your arms are below the chest and try to go as deep as possible with your shoulders by thrusting your back powerfully downward. 

 

  •  Clenched fists

Swim the butterfly with clenched fists to keep your arms and legs as coordinated as possible. 

 

  • One leg kick

Swim this stroke by just making one leg kick for every complete arm cycle, inserting it at the end of the pull phase right before beginning the recovery phase around the water. 

 

  •  Full stroke

Once you feel more comfortable swimming the complete stroke with proper form, try timing yourself swimming 50 metres, 100 metres and 200 metres and a time. Keeping a log of your times is a great way to track improvement throughout practising the drills!

 

Butterfly Technique

 

Essentially, the key to improving any swimming technique is to keep up with consistent practice, and to take your time to think about proper mechanics before you enter the water while you are swimming. Remember, practice makes perfect, and our swimming aids at Proswimwear also contribute towards that.

Check out our range of training aids here: https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/swimming-accessories/swimming-training-aids.html

 

Level X – The New Virtual Swimming Competition introduced by Swim England

Introducing Level X: The new virtual swimming competition! 

Swim England is introducing a new way to for swim clubs to virtually compete! 

In this blog we will tell you... 

  • What exactlty Level X is
  • Who the first clubs competing are going to be
  • How it's taking place
  • How it's scored
  • And what comes next for virtual swimming! 

We will be updating you on the latest Level X news throughout this exciting new journey!

Read more now! 

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The International Swimming League Returns for Season 2!

ISL In this blog we will be discussing the return of the International Swimming League! 

The International Swimming sensation returns for season 2!

We will discuss: 

  • How the ISL is making it's return 
  • What will be happening to ensure safety during the current global pandemic
  • Who will be making their return to the starting blocks
  • And everything else you need to know about it's return! 

 

This is an exciting event for the Swimming Community! 

We can't wait to see what this season unfolds! 

Read more now! 

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What Is Chlorine Irritation & How Can It Affect You?

SwimmerIn this blog we will be talking about Chlorine Irritation, and how does it affect you? 

We will talk about... 

  • When chlorine is used
  • What problems it can cause
  • How to spot the signs of chlorine irritation
  • What some of the preventative measures are

We discuss what chlorine irritation is, and some of the effects. 

Remember to always get help if any chlorine irritation bothers you for prolonged periods of time!

Read more now! 

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