Incorporating stroke drills and short swims makes your workout feel easier.
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Swimming is a low-impact, full-body workout that you can easily adapt to your fitness level and desired intensity. However, swimming the same stroke lap after lap can stall your progress and easily bore you. Even an easy swimming workout can include a warmup, stroke drills to focus on technique, a main set consisting of short swims with rest between each and a cool-down. You can swim the whole workout freestyle or include backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly if you wish. If you're new to exercise or have preexisting health conditions, check with a health-care professional before doing these workouts.
Including stroke drills in your workouts helps improve your technique and efficiency, ultimately making you a faster swimmer. Focus on coordinating your arm pull with your torso rotation and extending your body with each stroke. One-arm swimming, catch-up swimming in which you touch your hands in a streamlined position above your head between each alternating arm stroke, fingertip drag in which you swim freestyle while dragging your fingertips along the water surface, and kicking with your arms in a streamlined position above your head are simple drills that promote good swimming technique. Additionally, swimming with a pull buoy between your legs helps you focus on strengthening your arm pull and rotating your torso with each stroke.
If you're a beginner, swimming 500 yards in one workout may seem daunting. Breaking the distance into smaller segments interspersed with rest allows you to swim faster with better technique and makes completing the workout distance easier. Warm up with 100 yards of easy swimming. Do two 100-yard swims at a moderate pace, resting 12 breaths between each 100. After resting for one or two minutes, swim two 75-yard segments and rest 10 breaths between each of the 75-yard segments. Cool down with two 25-yard segments of kicking with a kick board.
One Mile Workout
Swimming approximately one mile, or 1,750 yards, is a common goal among swimmers. Including a variety of drills and swim distances helps make the workout mentally and physically manageable. Warm up with 150 yards of easy swimming, then kick 200 yards on your back with your arms extended overhead in a streamline. Rest one minute and kick four 25-yard segments with 15 seconds rest between each. Swim 200 yards with a pull buoy, rest for 30 seconds, and then pull four 50-yard segments with 15 seconds rest between each. Swim 200 yards, rest for 30 seconds, and swim four 75-yard segments with 15 seconds rest between each. Continue with 100 yards each of stroke drills, kicking, and swimming, respectively. Cool down with 100 yards of easy swimming.
Easy Triathlete Workout
If you're a triathlete, a workout that involves swimming several short segments at your race pace helps you focus on maintaining a consistent pace throughout your races. Warm up with five 100-yard easy swims with 10 to 20 seconds of rest between each. Take a one-minute break, then do six 50-yard segments of stroke drills with 20 to 30 seconds between each. For your main set, swim 10 100-yard segments at about 80 percent effort with 10 to 30 seconds of rest between each swim. This pace, which is approximately the pace you'd swim in an Olympic-distance triathlon, should feel moderately challenging but doable. Kick 100 yards in a streamlined position, focusing on powering your kick from your hips with minimal bend in your knees. Finish off with a 100-yard easy swim to warm down.