Swimming is one of the best exercises for our bodies thatpushes us to the limit and it is often termed as an overall workout for yourbody. But what if you could not swim for longer period of time beforeexhausting? That would certainly be dampening your workout regime wouldnt it?
For swimmers, speed is important but stamina or endurance is even moreimportant. Building your endurance requires time and guidance. With proper training, you could swim for hours before tiring out. Here are the best 7 ways you can improve your swimming stamina:
You cant begin swimming without a proper technique. If youhappen to have a good coach, he/she might tell you that swimming is aboutfeeling your body gliding in water rather than pushing through it. The smootheryou are in the water; the more energy you can save thereby increasing your endurance. One of the widely used swim stroke is Freestyle. The stroke styleinvolves pulling your limbs close to your body with your arms & legs spreading out as far as you can.
Your posture in the water can affect the dragyou experience while swimming. Without perfect timing and rhythm your strokeswill not be as efficient and hence will make it harder to swim for longer. This is why it is always a good idea to attend a stroke class and ensure you areworking with the right technique.
Upper body strength
Your upper body pulls and catches water to get you forwardwhile swimming. It does most of the working in your body and hence needs to bestrong. Swimming is about stroking efficiently. The less strokes you pullcovering more distance, the less drag and fatigue youll experience. An efficient stroke in water will build higher force per stroke and therefore you would go to greater distances. A great technique needs powerful arms to supportthem while swimming. So, building your upper body muscles along with triceps and try using apparatus like paddles to maintain your swimming posture. Your endurance and speed will greatly improve with stronger arms.
Type of your body
Your body composition or type can influence swimming more than you would think. A swimmers body=ies should naturally be lean and tall. Having a tall body gives you the advantage of pulling more water with your longer limbs but since we cannot control how tall we get, it is not a variable.
However, our body flexibility and leanness can be tweaked to get the best outof our bodies. Flexibility improves stretching of your arms or forming pointy legs while kicking. A few flexibility exercises like Yoga or Pilates can be usefulhere. On the other hand, average body fat for a swimmer should be around 25%.
A proper body fat will help you maintain and flow over the water. Too much of fatwill increase your body mass and therefore produce drag.
Swimmers train continuously to reduce the drag experiencedby the body while swimming. Performing stress exercises such as dead lifts,triceps cable push downs, planks, dips and many more should increase your muscle size & strength and generate higher amounts of force while swimming. A lot of land based exercised are preferred by professional swimmers as part oftheir strength training.
Devote twice the amount of days to your upper body strength training compared to the lower body days. Perform Wide grip chin ups,triceps dips and other exercise that tone your upper body. For lower body,squats and lunges are the probably the best.
Nutrition is an important part for swimmers. Your body willonly grow stronger and fit if you carry on a healthy diet consistently. Keep a track of the amount of carbs and protein content needed for your body after strength workouts and supply them with a rich diet. Having snacks rich in carbsor glucose will give you a necessary burst of energy before swimming for a longsession. And a protein and carbs rich meal after a heavy swim workout will fulfill your hunger needs and also provide the nutrition needed for your body.
Another important aspect of your diet should be water. It would not onlyprovide energy before a long pool workout but also avoid dehydration.
Breathing while swimming
An important part of your swimming technique is yourbreathing. Swimming is a highly technical activity and therefore breathing becomes critical especially when you want your body to push limits. While performing front crawl, your head mostly stays underwater and you dont getvery short window for breathing during the stroke.
While many swimmers prefer breathing at every even stroke from same side, it is not the most effective method. The optimum method to do it is to breathe on every third stroke from different sides every time. This method is called bilateral breathing. It might be difficult to adjust to a different breathing technique but once you do, it prepares your body for a breath every time. You will feel more relaxed withthis technique and be able to swim smooth and longer.
You cant get the results faster if you dont use all the right tools. Using different swimming equipment will increase your ability to work out and enable you to train for longer. Get a Pullbuoy for added buoyancy to help you maintain your position in water when your legs are tired. It lets you focus on your upper body rather than lower body by improving your catch inthe water.
Paddles are also great for resistance training. They help you improveyour stroke while swimming.
For legs, use kickboards while swimming for a better kicking technique and increase lower body strength.
One more such equipment for leg training are swim fins. They help you make your legs stronger with increased ankle flexibility. Swimmers who mostly want to focus on drillsrather than staying afloat use swim fins. It also lets you experiment with your stroking without the anxiety of sinking. If you just want to concentrate on your stroking rather than breathing, get a swim snorkel. You could focus only on your stroking without having to turn sideways every stroke to breathe.