Whilst swimming is a unique sport that has very few similarities with other sports, swimmers who train for hours everyday, all day long, tend to lose some motivation. This is completely normal! Here are some ways to help you maintain your motivation.
Introduction: Dive Into the World of Open Water Swimming
Do you ever feel like your regular workout routine has become monotonous? Are you looking for a new and exhilarating way to stay fit while connecting with nature? If you answered yes, then open water swimming might just be the perfect activity for you! Imagine immersing yourself in the refreshing embrace of natural water, feeling the sun on your face, and experiencing the freedom of swimming without the confines of a pool. In this article, we will explore five compelling reasons why you should give open water swimming a try. So, grab your goggles and dive into the world of open water swimming!
1. Rediscover the Joy of Exercise
Break Free from the Monotony
Are you tired of staring at the same pool tiles every time you swim? Open water swimming offers a refreshing change of scenery that can reignite your passion for exercise. Say goodbye to the repetitive nature of pool laps and hello to exploring vast lakes, rivers, or even the ocean. The ever-changing landscape will keep you engaged, providing new challenges and motivating you to push yourself further.
A Natural Playground
Unlike the controlled environment of a pool, open water presents a natural playground for swimmers. As you glide through the water, you'll encounter various elements such as waves, currents, and wildlife. These dynamic factors make each swim a unique adventure, stimulating your senses and sharpening your swimming skills. You'll learn to adapt to different conditions, improving your overall strength and endurance.
Engage with Nature
Open water swimming provides a rare opportunity to connect with nature in a profound way. As you swim alongside fish, plants, and other aquatic creatures, you'll gain a newfound appreciation for the ecosystem that exists beneath the water's surface. Imagine the exhilaration of swimming in crystal-clear waters, feeling at one with the environment around you. It's an experience that brings a sense of tranquility and peace, leaving you refreshed and invigorated.
2. A Boost for Mind and Body
Dive into Serenity
Have you ever noticed how water has a calming effect on the mind? Open water swimming takes this to a whole new level. Submerging yourself in natural bodies of water can have a profound impact on your mental well-being. The soothing rhythm of your strokes, combined with the serene surroundings, creates a meditative experience that washes away stress and anxiety. It's an opportunity to disconnect from the noise of daily life and find inner peace beneath the surface.
Embrace the Elements
Swimming in open water means encountering a range of weather conditions. While this might sound daunting, it presents an opportunity to embrace the elements and challenge yourself in ways you never thought possible. Whether it's swimming against the current, navigating through waves, or feeling the coolness of raindrops on your skin, you'll develop resilience and mental fortitude. These skills will not only benefit you in the water but also in other aspects of your life.
3. A Social and Supportive Community
Bond with Like-minded Individuals
Open water swimming has a way of bringing people together. It fosters a strong sense of camaraderie among swimmers, as they share the same passion for this unique activity. Whether you participate in organized events or join local swimming groups, you'll have the opportunity to bond with like-minded individuals who understand and appreciate the joy of open water swimming. It's a chance to form lasting friendships and create memories that will last a lifetime.
A Supportive Network
The open water swimming community is known for its inclusivity and support. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned swimmer, you'll find encouragement and guidance from fellow enthusiasts. Swimmers often share tips, training advice, and stories of their own experiences, creating a supportive network that celebrates each other's achievements. Being part of such a community not only enhances your swimming journey but also provides a source of motivation and inspiration.
4. Adventure and Thrill
Unleash Your Inner Adventurer
Open water swimming is an invitation to embrace your adventurous spirit. It opens doors to exploration and discovery, allowing you to venture into uncharted waters. From exploring hidden coves and secret lagoons to swimming across vast lakes or along picturesque coastlines, every swim becomes an exciting adventure. The thrill of the unknown and the anticipation of what lies ahead will awaken your inner adventurer and fill you with a sense of awe and wonder.
5. Conquer New Challenges
In open water swimming, you'll encounter various challenges that push you beyond your comfort zone. Whether it's overcoming fears of deep water, navigating through unfamiliar currents, or conquering long-distance swims, each challenge you conquer will boost your confidence and resilience. Open water swimming teaches you to embrace the unknown, face obstacles head-on, and emerge stronger on the other side. It's a powerful metaphor for life itself.
How to Get Started
Before you dive into open water swimming, it's essential to have the right gear. Invest in a comfortable and well-fitting wetsuit for swimming that provides insulation and buoyancy. Open Water Swimming Goggles with tinted or polarized lenses will protect your eyes from the sun's glare, while a brightly colored swim cap enhances visibility for safety. Additionally, consider using a swim buoy, which not only keeps you visible but also provides a flotation device if needed.
Safety should always be a top priority when engaging in open water swimming. Swim in designated areas with lifeguards present, if possible. Familiarize yourself with the swim route and be aware of potential hazards such as rocks, strong currents, or marine life. It's also a good idea to swim with a buddy or join a local swimming group for added safety and support.
Build Your Skills
If you're new to open water swimming, it's wise to gradually build your skills and confidence. Start by practicing in calm and controlled environments such as lakes or protected bays. As you become more comfortable, gradually introduce yourself to different conditions, such as swimming in choppy waters or navigating through currents. Consider taking swimming lessons or seeking guidance from experienced open water swimmers to improve your technique and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
Conclusion: Dive In and Discover the Wonders of Open Water Swimming
Open water swimming offers a myriad of benefits that extend beyond mere exercise. It's a chance to break free from the monotony, engage with nature, boost your mind and body, connect with a supportive community, and embark on thrilling adventures. So, why not take the plunge and give open water swimming a try? Discover the wonders that await you beneath the surface, embrace the challenges, and immerse yourself in the beauty of the natural world. Grab your swimsuit, gather your courage, and dive into the extraordinary realm of open water swimming. The possibilities are endless, and the experiences will leave you with a sense of awe and accomplishment. Are you ready to make a splash?
Swimming pool chlorine is essential to kill bacteria, viruses and fungus to keep the water safe for swimmers, but chlorine can also affect us! Chlorine can make your hair dry and weak, causing breakages and loss of moisture. It can make hair coarse and tangly. Here are some tips on how to protect your hair from chlorine.
Competitive swimming is a fun and rewarding sport that offers a range of social benefits. Whether you're a seasoned swimmer or just starting out, there are plenty of reasons to get involved in this exciting activity.
All swimmers know that the butterfly technique is hard work.
The arms as well as the legs are in simultaneous motion, relying on sheer power for breathing. The arms pull is followed by a massive kick with the feet together and vaults the swimmer over the water where they can catch a breath. Rhythm is crucial for efficiency and breathing in butterfly technique. Neither the legs or arms can ever pause without losing the stroke form entirely. So what techniques can you do with dryland training to help your strength and flexibility for butterfly technique?
Training aids are beneficial to improve your technique and power in the water. Swimming training aids are an essential part of any swim practice session, no matter what your standard or ability. Swim fins are no exception! Let’s explore the benefits of fins.
Kicking in the water can be one of the hardest parts of your technique to improve. Finding that you aren’t moving very far during kick sets? It’s not about leg strength, it’s about your kick technique. The best kick is short and fast, rather than big and powerful. Adding fins to your kicking sets can help build strength. Fins add resistance against the water and to the range of your motion, helping to improve technique and providing you with the correct muscle reinforcement. This will help you be more efficient and faster in the water.
Swimming fins in kick training will also increase your ankle strength to a more efficient flutter and dolphin kick. The resistance of the fins will reinforce your kicking and help increase the flexibility of your ankle joints. Fins not only make you swim faster, but they also help you to kick for longer periods of time. This helps you to build endurance in your legs whilst also providing a more efficient workout.
Swimming may be a very low-impact sport compared to land based physical sports, but your shoulders will still experience stress. With the repetitive motions that come with swimming, your shoulders are bound to experience tension if you push too hard. Adding fins to your workout can lessen the impact on your shoulders and allow you to work on your kicking technique, taking away some of the pressure from the upper half of your body.
Your body position in the water can determine how fast you move through the water. The higher the elevation you have, the quicker you will accelerate through the water. Most swimmers struggle to hold this body position and fins can provide velocity to your stroke. It also can help teach your body how to keep the correct position and how to swim faster.
On top of this, fins can help improve your stroke technique. The added stability of fins allows you to focus on the parts you are struggling with the most in your swim techniques. Fins help you to approach more advanced drills that you may not be able to do without fins and a lot of practice! For example, single arm techniques and backstroke can be very difficult techniques.
Overall, Fins are versatile and can help you improve your technique, flexibility and body position in the water. They are a beneficial piece of equipment for training in the water, no matter your level of swimming.
People who have started swimming recently often expect to improve more quickly than they actually do. This can be frustrating, especially if you set a goal that you struggle to reach. This is common with any new sport and can often get people to quit before they’ve even started! Let us go through some of the reasons why and discuss how to fix them!
Firstly, we need to ask ourselves ‘why can’t I swim that well?’ The main reason that you may not be able to swim well is because you’re new and have not had the right time to learn the right motor skills for a certain technique. Swim instructors will help you to improve your movement in the water to make it more efficient and improve your technique.
Remember, quantity isn't important as a less experienced swimmer. Set realistic goals for yourself that you can achieve, as well as being willing to train hard. It’s good to set goals that are ambitious but within your reach. Use these variables to determine your goals:
Current standard in swimming
The amount of time you have for training
The effects emotions have on exercise
Sometimes the goals you have set are unrealistic, and that’s okay! Look at what you are doing in the pool and you can even track your progress with a training log to see your progress. Remember, working hard for three straight weeks won’t result in a three second drop in your freestyle swim. Practice makes perfect.
Having inconsistent training sessions can also be a reason. Some swimmers may do ten sessions a week but only perform well at one of those. Have a consistent training schedule that suits you. Can you practise three times a week? Awesome! Put your effort into these sessions to improve your performance. Have a training regime that works for you and what you want to achieve, one that you can work on and improve on throughout your training sessions.
The most frustrating setbacks are the mistakes we are aware of and ones that we experience over and over again. Don’t repeat the mistake over and over to expect a different outcome, the conclusion will be the same. It will only continue as a mistake if you don’t learn from it and learn how to improve from it. Are you kicking too low in the water? Try changing your body position to push yourself quicker through the water. Try not to focus on just your strengths, as fun as they are to do! Be sure to improve what is holding you back.
Don’t compare yourself to other swimmers because you will improve at your own pace. Often, a lot of the failure can come from a lack of self-belief. Confidence is a critical aspect for swimming. Learn to love and accept yourself as a person, train hard, do your best, give everything you can but also learn to take time for yourself.
Understanding the pace of your own body on how quickly you can improve your skills is important but don’t think you have to push these limits. It takes time, and that’s okay! Believe in yourself and you will reach your goals, no matter how long it may take to reach them.
There may be other reasons that you are not improving as quickly as you would like at swimming, but remember that practice makes perfect and time. Set yourself realistic goals that you can reach and continue to improve your technique. You can do it!
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.
Putting on a wetsuit can be a challenging task for a multitude of reasons, and can be the most exhausting part of the dive of open water swimming. But, squeezing into a wetsuit doesn’t have to be so difficult. Here are some hints and tips for putting one on more easily.
Keep in mind, some wetsuits are simply too tight. If it restricts breathing or blood flow, squeezing around the neck, the wetsuit is too small. Another indication can be if the wetsuit is stretched tightly that the material leaves a hollow at the small of your back or stretches thin in places, this means that the wetsuit is too small. Over-stretched material will not keep you warm as it would if it is a properly fitting and snug wetsuit. This is because a stretched suit will allow water to circulate inside of your wetsuit, whereas a fitting wetsuit will keep you warm by stopping water from circulating inside the suit.
7 tips for squeezing into a tight wetsuit
The plastic bag trick - place a plastic shopping bag around your foot before sliding into your wetsuit. Once your foot is through the wetsuit leg, remove the bag and repeat the process with your other foot, and then take it to the next level and place it around each hand. The plastic helps the neoprene glide over your skin, without it getting stuck.
Blow into the wetsuit - this trick requires a helpful friend. Once your hand is through the wetsuit sleeve, have your dive buddy lift the edge of the wrist seal and blow a bubble of air into the suit to help it stretch and slide into the right place.
Start with the wetsuit inside out - turn the offending wetsuit completely inside out and put one foot through the ankle of the reversed suit. Roll the suit up your leg slowly and repeat with the other leg, the torse, and finally the arms.
If you can, get into the water with the wetsuit and put it on in the water. Whenever the suit sticks, pull the fabric away from your body to allow water to flow into the suit and break the seal between your body and the suit.
A dive skin can be worn underneath a wetsuit. Thin lycra dive skins cover a diver from the ankle to wrist to provide protection from wildlife. When under a wetsuit, dive skins help you to put on and remove the suit by preventing the suit from sticking to your skin.
Use a water-based lubricant - they can help a dive to put on a wetsuit more easily. The diver spreads a small amount of lubricant on his wrists and ankles to help them slide through the tightest parts of the wetsuit.
Having zippers installed into a suit's ankles and wrist makes putting on a suit much easier.
There are methods you should avoid to try and get a wetsuit on. Using soap, detergents, shampoo, or conditioner as lubricant can affect the suit's neoprene and may irritate or dry out your skin. Biodegradable solutions should not be used with a wetsuit as some of the liquid will also leak from the wetsuit into the water. Even biodegradable versions of detergents and soaps can leave thin residue and can make the neoprene become stiff and begin to crack.
Oil-based products can also damage neoprene, such as petroleum jelly or oil-based lubricants. Don’t use oil, grease, or any oil-based lubricants to aid sliding on a wetsuit.
So, sometimes wetsuits can be a challenge to get on. These tips should help you to get a wetsuit on with more ease and avoid the hassle! Take a look at our Skin Slick Anti-Chafe Skin Lubricant 1.5 Oz which is safe with lycra, neoprene, and wetsuits.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Backstroke is a great stoke once perfected, don’t be afraid of this unique backstroke position that you need to maintain. Yes, it is a very different stroke to the popular front crawl stroke performed during freestyle and IM’s swim events, but with the right training and knowledge of backstroke techniques, plus backstroke drills you can be stokes ahead of your competitors.
Lets help you understand the fundamentals of how to swim and improve your backstroke. Its important to understand how to hold the correct body position, how to rotate the body, good arm pull, kick, and of cause breathing techniques.
To help you improve and perfect your backstroke, look at these 10 drills you can practice, each one including a short video to explain the drill more so you can also view the proper form used for the drill.
Body Position – you need to focus on your body position
Technique is key for your swimming, and you need to starts with an excellent body position. First of all to develop good backstroke technique, you need to understand how your body should move through the water. Maintaining a good technique and body position during the backstroke drills will allow you to swim faster, further because your body will be in a position where the water flows over the body giving more speedo.
The ideal body position for backstroke is to be parallel with the surface of the water, with your legs positioned slightly downward towards the bottom of the pool. Having your legs in this tilted downwards angle, will be enough to keep your feet from coming out of the water while you kick. To avoid resistance to the water and ensure a good flow Do not allow your hips to sink too low.
Keep your neck and head in a neutral position so that you are looking up. avoid looking down toward your feet, this will only cause discomfort to the neck muscles and will create drag, slowing you down. Just rest your head in the water, ears should be at the surface of the water to just underneath it.
Discover the how much Body Rotation you need to perfect your stroke
You will need to rotate your shoulders and hips as you swim backstroke. Imagine yourself pivot around the line of your spine this will help your hips and shoulders rotate simultaneously. Very similar to swimming freestyle, keeping the correct amount of shoulder rotation means you will generate the power through your arms to drive yourself through the water.
It is recommended that the shoulder should not rotate too much, ideally it should be around 30 degrees above the surface of the water, trying to go higher than this can affect your technique and efficiency of your stroke. Keep this in mind when you start out on your backstroke drills.
Focus on your Arm Pull During the Backstroke Drills
In backstrokers you must focus on your pull, this is what will truly speed you up propelling you across the water.
As your hand enters the water, your little finger should touch the water first. And should break the force of the waves on the same line that your shoulder is on.
As you begin to pull your hand back into the water towards your thigh, your arm will naturally start to bend. This is where you begin the power part of the stroke: your wrist and hand need to be positioned downwards towards the direction of your feet and fingers open, from here power the stroke into a steady pulling motion right through to the leg.
As your arm comes to the thigh, you will then lift it straight up, the thumb should exit the water first, you are now in a recovery phase before taking you take your next stroke. At this stage you should keep your arm straight as you continue into your next stroke.
Concentrate on the way each arm moves through the water. It is natural for your body to have dual imbalances; you need to ensure each arm performs the technique proficiently. You can train one side of the body at a time using the single-arm backstroke drill.
Getting the Backstroke Kick right
Getting your backstroke kick right can determine the efficiency of your stroke. You will use a flutter kick with the tops of your feet facing towards the top of the pool rather than the bottom.
A common error in backstrokers, is to have your feet too close to the surface of the water, therefore it is important to concentrate on your kick and the position of your feet relative to the surface of the water. If feet are too close you are in danger of finishing the kick with the feet out of the water and losing power to propel in the water.
You should ensure your feet are angled down a little towards the bottom of the pool. This will ensure that your kick does not break the water’s surface, giving you the ability to maximize the amount of water displaced with each kick.
Using a kickboard will improve your backstroke flutter kick drills. It is beneficial to, as well as, kick on your back, also train on your stomach and both sides as well to develop well-rounded strength in your legs.
You should train your legs for strength and flexibility (Note: you must discuss your training with your swim coach or physical training professional before beginning new strength and flexibility routines to ensure they agree with this training schedule and that it is suits you).
Breathing correctly and techniques
With backstroke your mouth and nose are always out of the water during, but it is still extremely important to ensure you regulate your breathing pattern, so concentrate on your breathing during your drill.
Try this breathing pattern, inhale as the right arm starts to entry into the water and to exhale as the left arm starts its entry into the water, reverse this if its suits you better. You need to perfect this breathing pattern during training and races.
10 Backstoke drills for you to Practice
Some simple exercises to improve your swimming stroke with regular practice. Its advised to see improvement, to practice each exercise at least twice with 15-20 seconds of rest between each lap.
Use your kickboard:Holding your kickboard with arms extended, lying on your back, after each stroke swap hands. do four strokes holding the kickboard above your head and repeat at hip height.
Crossovers:Take a short break after every three arm strokes. put one arm at your side and extended the other behind your head. without your arms going underwater, change over your arm positioning using a half circular motion, so your arm above your head is now by your side and the arm by your side is now above your head
We hope these swimming tips and drills will help you in your practice sessions.
It is important to focus on perfecting your technique while you train. So concentrate keeping your body in the correct position during your drills: legs should not be too high and hips should not be too low. Rotation of the hips and shoulders at just under 30 degrees is perfect, your arms should be moving through the water with good form. Concentrate on keeping your breathing consistent and your kick powerful. Do this and without a doubt your backstroke drills training are sure to see you improve your backstroke, you will see it in your next race times.
Training at a new stroke can be difficult, especially on those muscles getting used to new demands, one great way to reduce sore muscles is to wear compression recovery wear after training. Womens compression wear
Once you have mastered your Backstroke technique the next thing will be to get race ready and here you will need to discover the back stoke start, as you can’t dive in to start a backstroke race. Finis have launched a low cost device to allow you to practice these starts where the pool you train in doesn’t have the backstroke starting blocks fitted during normal training sessions
A Great device to help you with your backstroke start
FINIS have developed the backstroke start wedge as an affordable way for swimmers to practice with a backstroke wedge before championship swim meets. The Backstroke Start Wedge is FINA compliant and can be used during training and competition as a way for swimmers to get an explosive start without slipping.
Practice before competition - Allows you to learn how to use the device, find your setting and optimize the benefits prior to competition
Explosive race start - Adds power and agility to swimmer’s backstroke start
Affordable way to gain experience - Coaches are finally able to outfit every lane with a backstroke starting device
Manual system- much more affordable and versatile than automatic devices
The FINIS backstroke wedge fits all standard block, it is compatible with single post, two-post, four-post and large-base blocks
Swimmers can easily customize the wedge height through five different settings thanks to the adjustable feature.
FINIS worked in collaboration with Vince Harris at WEDGE Swim Start Systems (County Cork, Ireland) to develop the FINIS Backstroke Start Wedge. Vince is an Irish engineer and swim dad who began making his own wedges for his daughter's swim team after learning how expensive they were. He had one goal in mind: to create an affordable alternative that fits all standard blocks.
For further advice and videos on back stroke technique take a look at our You Tube Channel