Tips to improve your breaststroke time

Tips to improve your breaststroke time

The breaststroke is the most technically complex swimming stroke and can be hard to improve your technique as your legs need more forward propulsion than your arms. There are many mistakes that many swimmers make that affect their technique. Here are a few tips to help improve your technique and your breaststroke time.

Are you tensing your muscles on the inside of your thighs and calves? The forward motion in the water comes from the inside of your legs, so be sure to relax your muscles! Try to focus on these muscles in your next drill and see if this increases your swim time and then try to bear your last lap by one leg kick less than the last.

Make sure that your feet are rotated outwards properly. If you try to do breaststroke without your toes flexed in the wrong direction, your propulsion will be much less effective. If you are struggling to increase your leg movements, swim with your arms by your sides and focus solely on your leg movement and ankles. 

Try to make your movements symmetrical. What applies to your arms in breaststroke also applies to your legs. Make sure that your legs move simultaneously during both the catch and outsweep phases of the technique.

Watch our video on: BACKSTROKE DRILLS - Breaststroke Legs 

If your elbows are not in line with your hands throughout your arm pull, you will find it harder to get propulsion and pull in the water. Make a circular movement with your hands and arms, with clenched fists and without letting your head drop below the water. This will allow you to focus on your arm movements and be able to improve your technique.

Watch the wrists! Make sure you don’t rotate, fold or drop your hands in relation to your forearms. Try to keep them straight as they move through the water so they will increase your pull in the water. Your arm movement should always be in front of you. If your hands disappear underneath your body or shoulder line, then you are making a mistake. 

Watch our video on: TYR - How To: Proper Pull in Breaststroke 

The breaststroke technique is all about rhythm and coordination. Make most of your forward propulsion come from your leg kicks and make sure you keep your head in line with your shoulders. This will help to minimise water resistance and help improve swim time.

Watch our video on: Swim Tips with Bob Bowman - Better Breaststroke 

If you are still struggling, you can also use training aids to help assist with your arm and leg movements. You can add resistance with fins and paddles or simplify your stroke with a swim snorkel. Check them out here: https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/swimming-accessories/swimming-training-aids.html

The benefits of swimming with fins

The benefits of swimming with fins

Training aids are beneficial to improve your technique and power in the water. Swimming training aids are an essential part of any swim practice session, no matter what your standard or ability. Swim fins are no exception! Let’s explore the benefits of fins.

Kicking in the water can be one of the hardest parts of your technique to improve. Finding that you aren’t moving very far during kick sets? It’s not about leg strength, it’s about your kick technique. The best kick is short and fast, rather than big and powerful. Adding fins to your kicking sets can help build strength. Fins add resistance against the water and to the range of your motion, helping to improve technique and providing you with the correct muscle reinforcement. This will help you be more efficient and faster in the water. 

Swimming fins in kick training will also increase your ankle strength to a more efficient flutter and dolphin kick. The resistance of the fins will reinforce your kicking and help increase the flexibility of your ankle joints. Fins not only make you swim faster, but they also help you to kick for longer periods of time. This helps you to build endurance in your legs whilst also providing a more efficient workout.

Swimming may be a very low-impact sport compared to land based physical sports, but your shoulders will still experience stress. With the repetitive motions that come with swimming, your shoulders are bound to experience tension if you push too hard. Adding fins to your workout can lessen the impact on your shoulders and allow you to work on your kicking technique, taking away some of the pressure from the upper half of your body.

Your body position in the water can determine how fast you move through the water. The higher the elevation you have, the quicker you will accelerate through the water. Most swimmers struggle to hold this body position and fins can provide velocity to your stroke. It also can help teach your body how to keep the correct position and how to swim faster. 

On top of this, fins can help improve your stroke technique. The added stability of fins allows you to focus on the parts you are struggling with the most in your swim techniques. Fins help you to approach more advanced drills that you may not be able to do without fins and a lot of practice! For example, single arm techniques and backstroke can be very difficult techniques. 

Overall, Fins are versatile and can help you improve your technique, flexibility and body position in the water. They are a beneficial piece of equipment for training in the water, no matter your level of swimming.

Looking for some new fins? At ProSwimwear, we have a wide range of swimming fins to help assist you in your next training session: https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/swimming-accessories/swimming-training-aids/training-fins.html 

Reasons why you are not improving and how to fix them

Reasons why you aren’t improving and how to fix them

People who have started swimming recently often expect to improve more quickly than they actually do. This can be frustrating, especially if you set a goal that you struggle to reach. This is common with any new sport and can often get people to quit before they’ve even started! Let us go through some of the reasons why and discuss how to fix them!

Firstly, we need to ask ourselves ‘why can’t I swim that well?’ The main reason that you may not be able to swim well is because you’re new and have not had the right time to learn the right motor skills for a certain technique. Swim instructors will help you to improve your movement in the water to make it more efficient and improve your technique. 

Remember, quantity isn't important as a less experienced swimmer. Set realistic goals for yourself that you can achieve, as well as being willing to train hard. It’s good to set goals that are ambitious but within your reach. Use these variables to determine your goals:

  • Your motivation
  • Current standard in swimming
  • The amount of time you have for training
  • The effects emotions have on exercise

Sometimes the goals you have set are unrealistic, and that’s okay! Look at what you are doing in the pool and you can even track your progress with a training log to see your progress. Remember, working hard for three straight weeks won’t result in a three second drop in your freestyle swim. Practice makes perfect.

Having inconsistent training sessions can also be a reason. Some swimmers may do ten sessions a week but only perform well at one of those. Have a consistent training schedule that suits you. Can you practise three times a week? Awesome! Put your effort into these sessions to improve your performance. Have a training regime that works for you and what you want to achieve, one that you can work on and improve on throughout your training sessions.

The most frustrating setbacks are the mistakes we are aware of and ones that we experience over and over again. Don’t repeat the mistake over and over to expect a different outcome, the conclusion will be the same. It will only continue as a mistake if you don’t learn from it and learn how to improve from it. Are you kicking too low in the water? Try changing your body position to push yourself quicker through the water. Try not to focus on just your strengths, as fun as they are to do! Be sure to improve what is holding you back.

Don’t compare yourself to other swimmers because you will improve at your own pace. Often, a lot of the failure can come from a lack of self-belief. Confidence is a critical aspect for swimming. Learn to love and accept yourself as a person, train hard, do your best, give everything you can but also learn to take time for yourself. 

Understanding the pace of your own body on how quickly you can improve your skills is important but don’t think you have to push these limits. It takes time, and that’s okay! Believe in yourself and you will reach your goals, no matter how long it may take to reach them.

There may be other reasons that you are not improving as quickly as you would like at swimming, but remember that practice makes perfect and time. Set yourself realistic goals that you can reach and continue to improve your technique. You can do it! 

A Beginners Common Swimming Mistakes

A Beginners Common Swimming Mistakes

Have you recently started swimming? That’s awesome! Swimming is a great sport to get involved with. But there’s a lot about swimming that you may not know. You’re bound to make a few mistakes, as you do with anything you are trying for the first time! Don’t let these mistakes stop you! Here are a few mistakes that are common for beginners.

Holding your breath underwater is the right thing to do, right? A lot of beginners hold their breath when their head is underwater and while you certainly shouldn’t breathe underwater, it’s not good to just hold your breath either! You should exhale through your nose when underwater, helping you to work on breath control which is very important for swimmers. Practice on dry land first. Take a deep breath in through your mouth and hum as you exhale. This helps you understand the pacing of your breathing and gets you used to the feeling of inhaling through your mouth and exhaling through your nose.

Swimming is a tough form of exercise, working out almost every muscle group in your body. It’s tiring, especially for people just starting out. Your technique won’t be perfect yet and your awareness of your body position will also not be quite there yet. This often leads to swimmers letting their hips sink in the water. This increases drag, making swimming much more difficult and can increase the risk of injury. It’s very common this happens because  a swimmer is lifting their head to breathe instead of turning it to the side. 

To get your hips and legs to stay positioned correctly in the water, you can always practice with a snorkel. This takes away the head movement and allows you to focus on technique. Once you feel more comfortable, you can start to add the head movements back in.

A lot of beginners also don’t finish a stroke completely. If you pull your hands and arms out too early, you are bound to lose some of the momentum and energy you could be generating. Focus on moving through each and every stroke before moving onto the next. Your arms should reach back to your hips before pulling them out of the water to begin your next stroke.

Remember, everyone makes mistakes in the beginning! Don’t be discouraged! If you are struggling, attend a few swimming lessons where you will gain valuable instructions and important feedback on your swimming techniques! 

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!

How Swimming Can Improve Your Mental Health

How Swimming Can Improve Your Mental Health

Swimming is perfect for physical exercise, working out all of the muscles at once, but it can also be mentally beneficial. It brings a therapeutic state to your mind and helps to bring a positive effect. Swimming is very beneficial for the mind, here is why:

Swimming is an effective way to relieve stress. The regular, repetitive motion of swimming through the water is often relaxing and can help focus the mind on one task. Swimming is a sport that releases endorphins into your brain and can help to bring a positive outlook to life. Being immersed in the water boosts blow flow to the brain, which can have a positive impact on its health. Swimming can lead to at least a 30% improvement in self-worth and satisfaction in life. 

Regular swimming can also help to lower the effectiveness of anxiety and depression. The release of these natural endorphins helps to boost happiness. Swimming is also a great way to help improve memory, focus, and concentration as swimming often takes a lot of focus into your swimming technique. The water can help to relieve the tension of muscles, the floating effect of the water is calming to the mind and helps people to feel happier in themselves.

Swimming has a big community of fellow swimmers who support each other, give each other advice, and help to influence each other. Social interaction with other swimmers to share experiences, tips, and tricks, or simply to enjoy swimming together, can help to boost serotonin and to find some like-minded people to support you. 

There is scientific evidence that suggests that the colour blue/being in blue spaces can improve mental well-being, for example looking up at a blue sky, or looking at the blue sea. It is abundant throughout the natural world and is associated heavily with water. 

In conclusion, swimming is perfect for your physical health, but it can be perfect to help your mental health too. At ProSwimwear, we offer a large range of swimwear, accessories, and equipment to dive into the water with a smile.

Why you should teach your kids to swim

Why you should teach your kids to swim

Water safety is very important for children to learn from a young age due to the risk of accidents and even drowning. It is one of the only sports you can teach your child that can save their life. 

Drowning is one of the top causes of accidental deaths in children, so being able to swim is an essential skill, not only for your child to exercise and socialise with friends but also so they can survive if they accidentally fall in the water. 

Swimming is fun! It’s a great form of exercise that is fun for all ages, so it is much easier to get a child to learn. Swimming is also an accessible sport for children, regardless of age and ability, and can be a key form of exercise for children with additional needs. It can have the advantage of making your child more self-confident, and to make friends. 

Swimming keeps your child’s heart and lungs healthy. Swimming works out the whole body, helping to improve their strength and flexibility, as well as their posture and stamina. Swimming has many health benefits that work for all different muscle groups and help to promote a healthy life if your child is introduced to swimming at a younger age. This can also help to increase their confidence in the water and be able to keep themselves safe with more knowledge and experience.

Swimming is also a great sport to meet new friends and work on team building, allowing your child to learn new social skills and helping them build a team atmosphere. Swimmers learn to support and help each other from their shared experiences in the pool, often making great friendships for life. A positive atmosphere and team skills are skills that can be carried through life. 

Swimming also helps your child to learn self-motivation and goal setting, to push themselves to learn more skills, and to be more confident in the water. Swimming ties teamwork and individuality into one sport.

Swimming is also a sport you can have for life if you teach your child how to swim from a young age. The skill is forever with them and is something they can take with them as they get older. Since swimming is a low-impact sport, it is a hugely popular and safe option for older adults, unlike other sports which can risk falling, swimming is good for the joints and is great for people of all levels.

At Proswimwear, we have a large variety of swimming costumes for children, ranging from performance swimwear to training swimwear. We also have training aids to help support your child in learning how to swim. Make sure to check them out! 

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

https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/kids-swimwear.html

Arm Exercises To Make Your Swim Stroke Stronger

Arm Exercises To Make Your Swim Stroke Stronger

Swimming is a full-body workout. It requires the use of every muscle, meaning you need to care for and maintain each one. The upper body is important. Even if you have the strongest legs, a weak upper body will slow you down in the water.

Dryland training should be incorporated into your exercise for your swimming. Let’s delve into the different ways you can focus on your upper body strength to see those results in the pool!

 

Equipment-based exercises

Hopefully, your pool membership also includes access to a gym full of equipment to help train your arms. There are lots of gyms that have a lot of equipment to allow proper arm exercises for swimmers for example cables, free weights, and much more. Let’s take a look at some examples of equipment you can use for dryland exercises and a movement you can perform while using it: 

  • Dumbbell curls are probably the first thing you visualise when you think about somebody training their arms, they are versatile and you can pick the weight depending on what it is you want to do. 
  • You can also practice preacher curls which are one of the most effective isolation exercises, try three sets where you push yourself to failure and pick a weight where you are failing between 8-10 repetitions. 

Bodyweight exercises

You can build some serious muscle and endurance from just your own body weight. Don’t feel discouraged by the lack of dumbbells, you can still build muscle with bodyweight arm exercises. These exercises can also have a much lower chance of injury.

  • Pushups are a classic. They don’t just improve your arm strength, it targets your chest, triceps, biceps, chest, and more! It can also improve core strength, which helps you to minimise your drag in the water. You can also turn pushups into full-body cardio by changing them into burpees. 
  • To perform a pushup correctly, put your body into a high planking position and put your palms flat on the ground beneath your shoulders. Let your chest sink towards the ground until your nose touches the ground and then push yourself back up to the original position. Keep your feet close together, but not touching, your toes pointed, and your heels up. Pushups can be done in a variety of styles, such as diamond pushups, elevated pushups, and even one-armed pushups, which can make your workouts more fun and dynamic!
  • Dips are one of the most essential arm exercises for swimmers as it helps to target strength building in your triceps. Put your legs at a 90-degree angle, and cross your calves. Lower your body, keep your chest forward to apply balance. Dips can be very hard at first and will make your triceps burn, but this exercise also targets your pecs, anterior deltoids, and even back muscles. 
  • Chin-ups are performed by gripping a bar in line with your shoulders above your head, palms facing towards you. You then pull yourself up until your chin rises above the bar and lower yourself back down. Chin-ups also work out your lats and scapula. Chin-ups can be one of the most difficult arm exercises, especially if you are lifting a lot of weight. Resistance bands can help to push your body up. 

Dryland arm exercises for swimmers will make positive changes to your performance in the pool. If you have access to a gym, don’t be shy to try the weight machine! If you cannot access a gym, you can exercise at home with either equipment or simple bodyweight workouts! 

At Proswimwear, we offer a large range of resistance bands and dryland equipment that could help you with your workout.

Dryland Training Aids: https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/swimming-accessories/land-training.html
Resistance Training Aids: https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/swimming-accessories/swimming-training-aids/resistance-training.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/

Why are swimming caps not designed to keep your hair dry?

Why are swimming caps not designed to keep your hair dry?

A big misconception people have is that caps are purely designed to keep your hair dry. So why does everyone think they are designed for this? Though some caps do keep your hair dry, it’s an added bonus as opposed to its primary purpose. This essentially leaves the burning question…

 

So, what are swim caps for?

Swim caps are made for a number of reasons, listed below are the key reasons to wear a swimming cap. 

 

  • For Aerodynamics

A swim cap will reduce water drag and keep your hair out of your face so that you can see as you swim. This is important for competitions and racing as it will lessen the hydrodynamic drag whilst in the water and will make your swimming more efficient, and consequently faster.

 

  • To be hygienic

Those who tend to swim without a cap lose hair in the pool, resulting in hair floating in the water and clogging up pond filters. To help keep ponds clean, wear a cap that will stop any stray hairs from getting in your, or your fellow swimmers, way.



 

  • To keep your hair in good condition 

Even though your hair can still get wet, caps prevent the chlorinated water from saturating your hair, preventing dry or damaged hair. It is especially important for those who swim more regularly to wear a cap to avoid any damage caused by the chlorinated pool.

 

  • To be visible in the water

Whether you swim at a pool or in open water, caps help you be seen by lifeguards and bystanders to identify a swimmer in the water. In addition, competitive swimmers wear caps to represent their team and be able to keep track of their laps!

 

  • To keep you warm

If you swim in open water, a neoprene cap will help you to retain heat in your head whilst you’re in the cold water. It works similarly to wearing a woolly hat on a cold day!

 

  • And for fun!

Sometimes, you just have to wear a cap that is fun, stylish, and bright! Sometimes you just have to unleash your personality with a quirky design or crazy pattern. Caps are supposed to be fun for training, leisurely swimming, and open water swimming, so have fun picking out the right cap for you!

If you are looking for a cap to keep your hair dry, then the best advice is to ensure you have a tight-fitting cap such as a silicone cap. You can even wear two caps, such as a lycra cap underneath the silicone cap.

Lycra and polyester swim caps are also great for children learning to swim who are discouraged by the usual swimming caps.

At Proswimwear we stock SoCozy, which is a haircare brand focussed on protecting swimmer’s hair. The  SoCozy Swim Leave-In Treatment + Detangler 8oz, this spray is specially formulated to smoothen, detangle and defend hair from harmful pool chemicals, it is also infused with Beeswax and Jojoba to prevent chlorine and salts from damaging hair. The SoCozy 3 in 1 (Shampoo, Conditioner, and Body Wash) 

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

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

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