Learning how to swim has tons of benefits. However, to reap the head-to-toe benefits of swimming, you’ll need to master proper form and technique. That’s where this article comes in handy, to introduce the best swimming tips for beginners.
However, there’s much more to learn in this article, including safety tips and a few common mistakes to avoid. It will help better your experience, allowing you to do a few swimming laps in no time. And it’s not just about beginners but also those looking to brush up on their skills.
Why learn how to swim?
So, why should you trouble yourself learning how to swim? Though it takes time and energy, learning how to swim has invaluable benefits that make it worth all the trouble.
Here are the must-know benefits of swimming:
- Swimming is a fun process and gives you the chance to meet new people
- It’s for personal safety, giving you the ability to survive in water
- Learning how to swim gives you the ability to save other people’s lives, especially those drowning
- Swimming is an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise that improves your health
- It’s a low-impact exercise that doesn’t put a ton of stress on your joints
- Swimming can be a gateway to a successful swimming career
- It helps you overcome hydrophobia, the fear of water
Did you know?
Swimming can help you burn more than 400 calories in one hour. So, it’s a good consideration for your weight loss journey.
The 7 swimming tips for beginners
1.Choose your gear
There are a few accessories that will ease your road to swimming success. Hence, invest in them in advance.
Goggles are pretty much a must-have for submerging. Essentially, it protects your eyes, allowing you to see clearly underwater.
Earplugs and nose clips, though not as important, might come in handy for some people. They keep the water from entering unwanted parts of the nose and ears. By doing so, they help prevent sinus problems and ear infections.
2.Get acclimatized to water
Before progressing to the pool, try to build water confidence. It will help you harbor the fear of water.
The good thing is that you can do it in the comfort of your home by spending some time in the bathtub or shower.
Also, you can grab the chance to practice breath control. With your legs on dry land, hold your breath and dip your face in the sink. Ensure to come up for air occasionally.
3.Choose the shallow end of the pool
After building confidence and getting the feel of water, progress to the pool. But in doing so, ensure you:
- Pick the right spot in the shallow end of the pool
- Choose an open, less crowded lane
- Have an experienced person nearby to watch your back
- Have a water bottle nearby to keep you hydrated
4.Do some stretching exercises
I recommend doing some stretching exercises before climbing into the pool. But why? Well, it will help improve flexibility and provide a better range of motion while inside the water.
5.Practice breath control
You might have practiced breath control in your tub or sink. However, this time, take it to the next level to improve your lung capacity. After all, it’s a skill you must master before hitting the deep end. Also, it leaves you less exhausted in any swimming race.
First, practice breath control on dry land, in this case, at the poolside. Take a deep breath through your mouth and exhale slowly through your nose. While at it, you can hum to maintain a proper pace.
Now, climb into the shallow end of the pool to practice breath control underwater.
For this part, inhale, dunk, and exhale slowly through your nose. Alternatively, you can do it by going face down in the water. All the while, ensure you focus on keeping your head down.
Come occasionally to the surface to get some air and repeat the process. After all, growing comfortable underwater is a matter of practice. So, the more you get to practice, the more comfortable you’ll feel.
Floating is pretty much the trickiest part of learning how to swim. Well, you can use inflatables and tubes. However, that will only slow your progress.
Here are a few tricks you can use:
- Place one hand onto the wall, stretch out the other, all the while pressing your legs against the face of the wall
- For another scenario, place your legs at the edge of the pool, gently stroking your arms and keeping your face down
Just like breath control, floating takes practice. Hence, repeat the process to ensure you master it.
7.Time to swim
Once you’ve perfected your floating skills, breath in, float face down, stroke your arms, and kick your legs. While at it, ensure you:
- Keep your toes curled to improve ankle flexibility and quicken your pace
- Come out occasionally for air
Other tips to better your experience
Knowing how to swim is just the start. You’ll need to sharpen your skills a little more to better your experience.
Well, here are some tricks to achieving that:
Consider using fins
Well, using fins isn’t cheating. Instead, it’s an invaluable accessory for learning freestyle swimming techniques. Fins help boost forward movements. Hence, you can better learn the individual mechanics of the stroke.
It might sound like a weird suggestion. However, cooling down after every 20 minutes is very beneficial. It allows your muscles to relax and recover. Also, it helps get rid of lactic acid.
Don’t just practice hard but smart
Well, practicing harder makes your muscles stronger and more resistant. Still, it would help if you also practiced smart. It will make the hard things seem easier.
Enroll in swimming lessons
The journey to becoming a pro is quite long. After all, there’s a lot more to learn. Therefore, I recommend that you enroll in swimming classes.
Here, you’ll take lessons from swimming professionals. Among other things, you’ll master proper stroking techniques to take your skill to new levels.
Some habits that might hamper your progress
Relying too much on your upper body
Most beginners tend to rely more on their shoulders, arms, and lats. Tell you what, it’s a bad practice.
Well, relying more on your upper body tends to exhaust your muscles faster. As such, you run the risk of not completing a full stroke properly. Moreover, you won’t slice as quickly through the water.
Did you know?
Swimming is 60% legs and 40% upper body. Hence, try to make more use of your legs.
Dropping in your hips
The trick to good swimming is to stay flat and afloat. Hence, avoid dropping your hips. It will help reduce drag in the water, hence quicken your pace.
Swimming for a long time at a slower pace
Swimming short and fast keeps you in a better form than swimming long and slow. Hence, start incorporating some speed drills in your swimming sessions.
Must-know safety tips for swimming
Your safety matters a lot. Hence, you have to give it a top priority.
Here are a few tips to help you out:
- Invest in protective gear, such as goggles, earplugs, and nose clips
- Don’t go to the pool alone
- Always practice swimming at the shallow end
- Slowly climb into the pool instead of diving in
- Remember to come out occasionally for air
Question: How long does it take to learn how to swim?
Answer: If you’re a person with no fear of water and learns at an average pace, around 20 hours of lessons will do. However, this should be extended over a few months.
For those that need more time getting comfortable in the water, the process may take a couple more months.
Question: At what age are kids ready for swimming lessons?
Answer: Well, kids are ready for swimming at four years. Here, they can learn basic water survival skills like floating and treading. Afterward, they can advance to other swimming skills, such as front crawl.
Learning how to swim doesn’t have to be that hard. All it requires is constant practice, patience, dedication, and discipline. Also, it would help if you observed safety measures. And while there are different water bodies to practice on, I always recommend you stick to the pool to avoid surprises.