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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!

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 

Why You Should Begin Dryland Training

Why You Should Begin Dryland Training

Dryland training is important to swimmers, and should also be used to maximise swimmer performance. The purpose of swimming is to improve the swimmer’s power and overall speed in the pool, but this is not enough to maintain muscle strength. Therefore there needs to be exercised outside of the pool to improve the versatility of the swimmer’s muscles. 


Despite the repetitive movements and use of the whole body whilst swimming, gaining muscle just by swimming is a tricky task. Training outside of the pool can help assist with this task. When weight is placed onto a muscle, that muscle is working to resist the gravitational pull which causes a muscle to contract and tense. When muscles contract against a weight applied, micro-tears in tissue appear that cause that soreness you feel after a workout, but as the body repairs these micro-tears, the muscle builds up and gets stronger.


At Proswimwear, we offer a range of protein powders and nutritional products that 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 meat and costing a fortune.

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

Weight-bearing strength training for swimmers helps increase bone density too! Swimmers naturally have a low bone density because they spend the majority of their training in the pool rather than putting weight onto their muscles through dryland training. The extra weight on your bones helps to form stronger bone tissue.


Having a strong core as a swimmer can help you maintain the correct body position in the water that helps to minimise drag. This will help a swimmer to move faster and carry more acceleration into a dive with clean entry. 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. At ProSwimwear, we have resistance and dryland training aids to use during your training routine.

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

Dryland training requires strong focus and coordination. Having the correct body position for the different kinds of exercises that can be used when training outside of the pool is very important and can be learned over time. Balance and stability can be improved with single-legged exercises. When a swimmer gains a constant level of strength, there are a huge variety of exercises that can be done with quick bursts of energy. This helps develop power in your legs and arms, such as squats and push-ups, which then can be applied in the pool.

 

Dryland training helps to vary your training regime, introducing new movements and challenges to the muscles. The repetitive motions in swimming can lead to injuries and dryland training can target these areas that are underdeveloped. Training out of the water can also help to relieve some of the pressure placed on strained muscle groups. Introducing these exercises can help to develop stronger muscles, letting the muscles get stronger in the weaker movement which will put less strain on them overall.

 

No Pool? No problem! At ProSwimwear we have everything a swimmer needs to stay sharp for their next race, even when they are out of the pool. Whether it’s a warm-up, strength and conditioning training, or recovery, when you aren’t able to get in the pool we have the best variety of swimmers’ land training equipment so that you can stay race-ready.

 

Make sure that you check it out below:

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

How to improve your breathing technique

How to improve your breathing technique

On average we breathe 20,000 times per day. Most of the time, breathing is natural and a subconscious activity to sustain life. However, this style of breathing can often be inadequate for swimming and can limit the distance and speed you achieve in competitions.

Confident swimmers develop control of their breathing as an integral part of an easy and relaxed swimming technique, so let’s look at some of the tips about the inhale/exhale breathing cycle you may need to consider before heading to your next swimming meet.

 

Exhalation

This is the critical part of the cycle to get right. Correct breathing technique requires you to exhale strongly and evenly under the water, between breaths. Exhaling must be regulated, and slow enough to leave you ready to inhale at the right moment when you turn your head to have a breather. Doing correctly with good timing and rhythm will help the quality and speed of your stroke.

 

Head position

It is also important to keep your head still in between breaths. Some swimmers allow their heads to roll with every body rotation, making good coordination almost impossible. For example, if you imagine you have a cup and saucer on your head which must stay balanced, this can help your awareness and development of a steady head position. Another tip is to look down at one spot on the pool floor, this also guarantees that your head will not roll side to side. Getting this right helps you to coordinate your stroke, and build a strong swimming rhythm.

Good breathing will not improve your stroke speed and efficiency by itself, it is further improved if you prevent yourself from rolling your head too far as you inhale. You should be looking to the side, not skywards so only one goggle lens needs to be above the water as you breathe. Otherwise, the resulting head rotation will cause you to lose balance and slow you down, which is not what you want this race season! Just remember, except when inhaling your head stays still.

 

Inhale

When swimmers move through the water, they create a ‘bow wave’ in the front, as a boat does in the water. This leaves a trough, which swimmers call a ‘pocket’, on each side of your head. This allows a pocket to let you inhale without lifting your head above the water. If your exhalation has been long and steady, you should find that inhaling through your mouth is natural. Observe other swimmers, especially professionals, to observe how they use the bow wave effect whilst swimming to help visualise how you may use it in your own swimming. Lifting your head from the water actually reduces your waves and makes good breathing harder. Furthermore, lifting your head above the water can also lower your body, tilting it downwards, which generates drag and makes swimming harder and more effort.

 

Bilateral breathing

At first, you should breathe on the side you find most comfortable as you work on mastering your breathing techniques. However, ‘bilateral breathing’ which is breathing on both sides has many advantages. Breathing on one side makes it difficult to rotate evenly as you swim, and swimming in a straight line down the race lane subsequently becomes more difficult. Bilateral breathing will give you a more symmetrical stroke and thus better control of direction. An example of a bilateral swimming pattern could mean breathing every three strokes and thus breathing side to side, before switching and spreading the same pattern on the other side.

Improving any of these aspects listed above can help you to relax, improve your swimming, and essentially put in less effort.

At Proswimwear, we have a vast range of training aids that can help you improve your stroke, and performance in the pool this race season. Be sure to check out our website for great deals!

https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/swimming-accessories/swimming-training-aids.html?product_list_limit=60

How to stay safe when open water swimming

How to stay safe when open water swimming

With the open-water season approaching it is important to take into consideration the dangers that could come with it, and follow all of the safety steps required. It is important for everyone to have fun and experience the beauty of natural areas but do so in a safe manner.  

So how do you stay safe whilst swimming in open water? It can be dangerous sometimes to swim on your own. Swimming with another person that you trust can help improve your safety. Even if they don’t get in the water and sit on the side, they will be able to keep an eye on you to ensure that you are safe and comfortable in the water. Check the route that you are taking with your friend and plan it in advance. Swimming with a group means you always have others looking out for you. 

Check the tides, currents, the weather, and check for hidden structures and foliage on your route that may get in your way or could cause any danger. The weather can especially play a large part in the difficulty of open water swimming conditions, so check the weather conditions on the day of your swim before heading out into the open water. 

You can always seek out advice from locals to ensure you understand your route as best as possible. Let another responsible person know where you are swimming so they have knowledge of your location to keep you safe if they need to call for help. Make sure that you don’t dive or jump into the water, enter slowly to allow yourself to acclimatize to the temperature, and not have a shock due to it.  

If you are new to open water swimming or are still not comfortable, swim within a depth where you are able to stand comfortably with easy access in and out of the water. A steady slope or beach is ideal for this. If you still feel unsafe, don’t get in the water. Knowing your limitations whilst swimming in open water is important. If you happen to get in and find out that there are currents, make sure that you swim upstream (against the current or tide) first and get to shore safely.   

Take a tow float and whistle on your swim. A tow float is a visual aid for others to find you in the water if needed and the whistle will help to attract attention if you are in trouble. Wearing a brightly coloured swim cap is also a great way to be seen in the water by your friends, peers, and rescuers. Make sure that you also check for any motorised boat traffic in the area. 

Wear a wetsuit. It will help to provide your body with extra warmth and avoid you getting cold whilst in the open water. The temperature of the water can be shocking in just a swimsuit. It is advised to practice swimming in a wetsuit before going out in the open water as it can change your swimming stroke slightly. 

If at any point you feel your body getting too cold, get out of the water. Make sure you lubricate around your neck to avoid chafing from your wetsuit. You should also wear goggles to help protect your eyes and increase visibility in lakes, rivers, and seas that have poor water visibility. At Proswimwear we have a large range of tow-floats and wetsuits to protect your body when swimming, take a look at what we have in stock. 

Overall, open water can be fun and exciting, but you should stay vigilant and wary when in the water of any dangers that may occur. For example, the changing currents and change in weather conditions. If you are ever in doubt, stay out of the water. Make sure that you have all of the open-water essentials provided by Proswimwear shown in the link below, and swim safely!

https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/wetsuits/open-water/safety-buoys.html?product_list_limit=60 

https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/wetsuits/open-water.html 

 

How to Increase Your Kids Water Confidence

How to Increase Your Kids Water Confidence

 

As race season is fastly approaching, it’s easy to get distracted by your child who is a confident swimmer that is preparing for the races, but what about your younger child that is still frightened of the water and is not confident in themselves? Here are some hints/tricks to help improve their confidence in the water.

 

Getting familiar with the water

For babies and toddlers, early swimming experience can be hit or miss, some children downright refusing to get into the water. The key is not to push the child to get into the water but to slowly introduce them to it. Take little steps with your little one, gradually getting them closer to the water. From sitting at the side of the pool to dipping their toes in the water, without taking them out of their comfort zone. Take your time to let them get comfortable with the sight of the water before they approach it.

 

Distract them from their fear

Think about what your child loves to play with, in the bath. Squirty toys? Floating ducks? Transfer these to your local swimming pool and get a family member to play with them enthusiastically - or your little one might want to join you! For children, water pistols provide an unprecedented level of excitement - especially when they receive an over-exaggerated reaction to being soaked. Pop one in their hands, ask them to gently squirt a willing victim, and stealthily move your child down a pool step further in the water.

 

Letting go - floating with buoyancy aids

When you’re in the pool with your child, they’ll happily splash around with the safety of your arms holding them. Let them build their confidence with this. Swish them around in the water, sing songs and nursery rhymes to get them feeling comfortable and happy. When you know they are ready (normally shortly after their first pool experience or weeks after), the next step is to let them float in the water, away from your arms. Buoyancy aids such as armbands and float vests will help your child float around in the water safely and independently. This should make the transition fun and easy.

Keep in mind, small babies do not have the control or stability that of an older child to float by themselves unsupported. If your child is under one or between 1-2 years old, make sure they have full support in the water.

Don’t forget to praise your child as they make progress. Never underestimate the encouragement that you give them. The cheers, compliments and support will have great power on their growing confidence.

 

Getting their faces wet

Even confident water-babies can find the thought of getting their faces wet, or putting them underwater, unappealing. If your child really hates getting wet, you should try to slowly familiarise them with water with games in the bath. When you’re in the pool why not help them become more confident when submerging their face by challenging them to a water-blowing contest? Just ask your child to blow bubbles on the surface of the water and make it fun. Goggles can help to encourage your child's underwater confidence while Dive Toys provide them with the incentive to take a peek underwater on the pool floor.

 

Building their swim confidence with pool games

Pool games are a great way for building both confidence and a love for swimming in the water. Go for themes you know your child will be excited by. This could be a mermaid game where they collect their shells from points around the pool. Chasing, racing, and dive games always prove popular and most children love to play with the inflatable animals as well as the foam noodles!

Let your imagination run wild to increase the fun in the pool!

Don’t forget at Proswimwear, we have a large range of swimming aids to help your child in the water including kickboards, floatation devices such as armbands, and fun pool toys to increase your child's curiosity and confidence in the water.

 

Proswimwear Training Aids 

https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/swimming-accessories/swimming-training-aids.html?product_list_limit=60

 

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

 

How much water do you need to drink during swimming training?

STAY HYDRATED

How much water do you need to drink during and before swimming training

 

At Proswimwear, we care about your health and safety while swimming. Did you know that a secret ingredient to make sure that your swimming is of the highest standard is water intake?

 

There are two reasons for this:

  1. While you’re in the water our brains are getting tricked that we have plenty of fluids around us and therefore does not send a signal to our brains that we need to rehydrate. 
  2. Secondly, while you're in the pool it is easy to forget about the fact that you are sweating and have to hydrate just like any other athlete.

 

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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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The Ultimate Guide To Dry Land Exercises For Swimmers

We’ve put together this resource of land training exercises for swimmers who are either not able to get into the water or simply want to supplement their traditional pool-based training sessions.

Read on for information and instructional videos on:

  • Resistance Band Exercises For Swimmers
  • Land Training Exercises For Swimmers
  • Stretches For Swimmers
  • Weight Training For Swimmers

Get started now and give yourself an edge over your competitors when you are back in the water!

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