People who exercise are always looking for a new routine to add to their workout to help keep their bodies in shape. People are told by doctors and fitness experts to vary their exercise so different muscle groups get worked. The problem with targeting so many areas is that you have to have access to a full size gym in order to workout effectively. One of the best routines to add to any workout schedule is swimming. Swimming is a workout that targets all the main areas at once and has proven to have many benefits.
Major Benefits of Swimming
Heart health is a major concern for both men and women. Swimming is an activity that conditions the heart and allows it to operate at a consistent rate. If you combine swimming with other exercise routines, you will find that your workouts are more complete and even keep you better in shape.
Runners often find that they have to do other workouts to keep their bodies in top shape. Coaches will tell them to cross-train at least two or three times a week so muscle groups do not get lazy. Swimming provides your body with the training necessary to allow muscle to heal from running while keeping your body in shape.
The stomach area is one of the toughest areas for people to strengthen. They end up doing endless amounts of sit-ups and other core exercises designed to tone and build the middle of the body. Swimming allows all the core muscles to work together at once.
Runners will tell you that they are more flexible after a 10 minute warm-up. Experts say that swimming in warm above ground pools allows muscles to relax and helps people with sore muscles to relax more. If you are seeking a warm-up routine, then swimming might be the right one for you.
Not only does swimming help target areas all at once, it also helps build endurance. Endurance is the mental strength that allows people to keep going when their bodies are tired and ready to stop. Swimming helps build the endurance needed to take that last few steps. Of course technique is important when building endurance by swimming.
Doctors are quick to report that people with joint pain will benefit from swimming three to four times per week. Patients who suffer from joint pain report that swimming helps them stay mobile. The water takes all the weight off the body and allows for more fluid motion while exercising.
Techniques for Swimming Effectively
Different styles of swimming bring with them workouts with different difficulty levels. One such swimming style that is more difficult to master is the breaststroke. People who use this style tell us that the swimmer must have great timing and be able to breathe and use their arms and legs together. The Breaststroke is good for people seeking a more vigorous workout in the pool.
Another difficult style of swimming is that of the butterfly. The legs move together while the arms and hands move through the air and into the water. Perfect timing and coordination is essential to master this style of swimming. Breathing is also an important part of this style. Butterfly masters will tell you to breathe when the arm stroke is finished.
The best style for people just starting out in the pool is the freestyle. The freestyle is done by swimming with your face in the water and bringing the arms up out of the water and then propelling them back into the water. The legs kick in opposite rhythm. This style requires that your face be in the water to maximize the benefits of this style. To breath, the head turns as the shoulder and arm come out of the water for the next paddle.