SWIMMING: HOW TO STAY FIT AT HOME

Water lovers, listen up! Here are a few exercises you can still do to maintain tip-top condition, even without hitting the pool.

Whether you want to freshen up your mind, perfect your technique or simply stay fit, here are a few tips and exercises that you can practise at home, in your garden, or on your balcony… And the best part? With minimal equipment.

Ready? Let’s start with 4 exercises: 2 for the legs and 2 for the arms. 

 

Squats to build strengthen your legs

1/ LEGS-FOCUSED

Exercise 1 :
=> 5 sets of 10 jumps
This exercise is really simple! All you gotta do is 10 jumps (you can also replace them with jump squats) with a 20-second rest in between each set. It’s that easy!

Exercise 2 :
=> 5 sets of 10 squats

Keep your back straight, arms bent 90 degrees and start squatting low, as if you’re about to sit on a chair. In order to do this right, do take note not to let your knees go past your toes for this one!
 

Once you’ve reached sitting position, hold the pose for 10 seconds before straightening up.

 

Perfect your crawl with pushups

2/ ARMS-FOCUSED

Exercise 1:
-  4 sets of 10 push up (if a full form push-up is too hard for you, feel free to do them on your knees)

Simply do 10 push ups with 20 seconds rest in between each set. This exercise will help strengthen your upper body. And if you feel like challenging yourself, feel free to adjust the space between your hands by:

=> moving your hands closer to each other to strengthen up those triceps

=> elevating your feet to work those pectoral muscles
 

Exercise 2:
- 3 sets of 20 reps of the ‘crawl’

This exercise will actually help you to perfect your front crawl technique.

Simply mimic the movement of a front crawl by ensuring you achieve these basic techniques: bend your elbows, touch your armpits, extend your arms as far as possible and then them to the front. See, do you feel like you’re the water now?

Now, let’s go deeper to work this technique! All you will require is an elastic band, hooked to a door handle (ideally, your door handle should be an “average height”, i.e. just below your chest). This will be a ‘crawl’ focused exercise. Before you start on it, do take note that each block (comprising the three exercises) will consist:

 

=> 45 seconds of each exercise

=> 15 seconds of rest in between each exercise
=> 1 minute pause in between each block

Repeat the 3 exercises in the same order every time.

 

Remember to always tighten your core during this training, your back will thank you later.

Stay focused on your position so that you keep a good movement.

How to perfect your crawl techniaue at home

TECHNIQUE-FOCUSED

Exercise 1:
Start with an elastic band in hand and an arm far in front of you. Bring the elastic band back to your chest, making sure you reach a 90 degree angle with your elbow. This will be phase 1 of your swim.

 

Exercise 2: 

With your elbow close to your body, this will be phase 2 of your swim. Bring your hand to your hip, keeping in mind that your elbow should stay close to your body and that the palm of your hand should be high and open at the end of the movement.

 

Exercise 3: 

Repeat the previous two movements (exercise 1 and exercise 2) now. Bring your arm to your chest, your elbow high up and finish the movement towards your hip.

Alternate your left and right arms to best replicate the actual swim. And don’t forget: positioning of the shoulders are super important when swimming.

To finish off, do some stretching in order to cool down and relax your muscles. Even though many believe that swimmers rarely get injuries due to its low intensity nature, this is not the case! Injuries still can happen, especially around your rotator cuff caused by an imbalance in your back muscles. So, stay safe by toning and relaxing your muscles!

How to stretch well at home

1/ STRETCHING (For a good stretching make sure your exercises last 30 to 50 seconds)

=> PECTORALIS MAJOR

Find a wall and stick your back to it, the internal face of your arm to a 90 degree angle and if you can, look to the opposite side and stretch! Same exercise for your other arm.

=> PECTORALIS MINOR

Same principle as the previous exercise but this time, you raise your arm a little higher, and you tighten your scapula.

 

2/ STRENGTHENING (2 seconds of effort, 4-5 seconds of rest - 40 to 50 reps)

Exercise 1: 

Elbows close to your body, grab an elastic band with both of your hands (about a forearm distance in between), then bring one arm to your chest and down. Carry on with other arm.

Make sure :

- Your elbows are 90 degrees bent

- Your elbows always stay close to your body

- Your scapula is tight

 

Exercise 2 : 

Tie your elastic band to a high zone (your curtains rod for example), then put your forearm in front of you, your elbows still close to your body at a 90 degree angle : raise and drop your hand! Repeat!

Exercise 3 : 

Again, grab your elastic band with both hands, and bring your arms up reaching your shoulders. Your body needs to be perfectly straight (do not hesitate to stick your back to a wall to keep your position). Tighten your scapula, open up your arms and then close your arms! Repeat!

And there you go – you’ve done it! That’s it for our special home workout for swimmers! Feel free to space out your session, drink lots of water and of course, AND do not forget to stretch.

Let’s stay motivated!

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