Before you swim, read this guide!

How to breathe properly, what techniques exist and do you lose weight by swimming – these and other questions are answered.
Reading time 4 minutes

Summer is here and swimming is definitely a must – be it the pool or the sea.

And to help you get the best it, we talk to Oleg Zhurilo, the coach of I Love Swimming to demystify the art of swimming and get you prepped for your coming laps in the water.

Plus, there are some tips for you to lose weight and get that perfect summer bod!

#1 Before you jump in the pool: Always do your warmup exercises. For starters, you can do small motions like some circular rotation of the neck; swing your hands, tilt the body to the sides, forward and back; and squats. 

Five minutes is enough for the muscles to relax and quickly get used to the water.


#2 Swimming with your head up: When doing this particular style, girls often strain the cervical and lumbar parts, which leads to pain and spasms.

Remember, the head needs to be lifted for inhalation and lowered into the water for exhalation. 

This is done in different ways for different swimming styles: for breaststroke and butterfly, the head needs to be lifted forward.

With the crawl, turn over the side, and when swimming on the back, keep it even on the water.

#3: Basic swimming techniques you should know:

1. Crawling on the stomach

The fastest and simpler way of swimming, which is great for beginners. You lie on your stomach, hands are paddling forward and legs should be moving alternately to create a small fountain above the water.

2. Butterfly

The most complex, tedious, but fastest style of swimming. You lie on your stomach and with your hands, do a wide stroking, lifting the body above the surface of the water. Your legs and pelvis make wavy movements.

3. Backstroke

On speed as the "butterfly". This crawl is when you float on your back with your hands working backwards like a windmill and the legs moving alternately.

4. The Brass

The slowest of all the methods mentioned. Here, the hands work through the sides and your legs, stretched forward to work through the sides - like a frog.

#4 Breathe at a steady pace: The most common mistake we have is incorrect breathing techniques. A long breath or too short a breath in the water is not the way to go.

Inhale over the water at one point, exhale out under your nose in three counts. 

Do not try to breathe as much air as possible - it's difficult and wrong.


#5 Swimming can heal certain disorders: Regular swimming for an hour daily can help to correct all disorders of posture, as well as scoliosis and cervical osteochondrosis.

Also, it can fight insomnia, normalise the nervous system, improve blood circulation and is recommended for women with varicose problems.

#6 Drinking water in between laps: Yes, even when you are inside water the whole time, you need to drink water during swimming. Remember to drink in small sips and desirably every ten to fifteen minutes.

#7 Swimming to lose weight and train muscles: Yes, it's true. Swimming can help you lose weight (just like any exercise you do) with about 400 calories lost in every 30 minutes of it.

Through backstroke style,  helps to strengthen primarily the muscles of the back, shoulders and the core. For leg muscles, the butterfly and breaststroke are optimum choices. 

Take on complex carbohydrates like porridge and wholemeal products to fuel your session


#8 The diet when swimming for weight loss: If you are swimming lose weight or maintain your shape, then an hour and a half after the session, you should be eating protein foods and vegetables.

If you are looking to gain muscle mass, a fruit, a handful of berries or drink a protein cocktail should be consumed after the first 30 minutes and after another 30 minutes, you can eat according to your diet.

#9 Alternating swimming styles to maximise training: When you have mastered at least one technique, you can progress your weight loss/muscle training to more intense levels.

For one, try to swim the same distance at different speeds to really work your body and for those who are engaged in swimming regularly, you can diversify the routine with exercises for speed and endurance.



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