Summer Swim Training Tips

Summer Swim Training Tips

Summer is here and the warm weather is at its best! There’s nothing better than swimming in the summer sunshine, especially in outdoor swimming pools and open water. Here are a few of our swim training tips to remember when swimming this summer.

Outdoor swimming pools are an easy choice and there’s nothing better than an early-morning swim in the summer heat. But there are many differences from swimming indoors. Remember that the temperature of the water will be different! In an indoor swimming pool, the water is usually around 26 to 27℃ but outdoor pools will vary in their heat. 

With the change in the air temperature, this has a significant effect on the water temperature. If the water is cold, this can affect your swimming and make training trickier. But sure to warm up with some dryland training beforehand.

The sunshine can also become a problem. With the reflections glinting off the surface of the water, it can often affect people’s vision through their goggles.You will need goggles designed for outdoor swimming, such as mirrored or dark lenses that help reduce UV light. 

You can find our range of goggles here:  https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/swimming-goggles/swimming-goggles/training.html 

Open water swimming is also a popular option with the warm weather. Diving into the cool water on a hot summer day is hard to beat! But be sure to remember, open water swimming has many risks, so safety precautions should be taken. 

Read our blog on how to stay safe when open water swimming: https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/blog/how-to-stay-safe-when-open-water-swimming/ 

Safety tips are always important to remember when swimming in hot temperatures. Swimming in the cool water can make it easy to forget.

Here are a few to remember:

1. Hydrate! Regulate this throughout your day to avoid headaches

2. Take care of your skin! Long exposure to sunlight can cause damage, so be sure to use sunscreen and wear a cap to protect yourself from the sun!

3. Be cautious of others - make sure when getting into the water that you give everyone enough space to avoid any injuries

With swimming in the summer, there are a lot of things to remember when getting into the water with the hot temperature, but remember to also have fun! Have a great summer!

Why Swimming in Summer is the best

Why Swimming in Summer is the best!

Summer is here and a lot of swimmers are getting ready to jump into the pool! Temperatures are on the rise and school is nearly out, so there’s no better time to dive back into the water. Here are some reasons why swimmers love the summer season.

With the warmer temperatures, swimmers can pack away their parkas, fur boots and beanies, and bring out their swimsuits and training bikinis that have been packed away throughout the spring season! 

The sun is out, meaning we can get a tan! Who doesn’t want to get a tan? But this also means that there is endless time for your training. If you’ve ever tried to make plans in the summer, you’ll know it is impossible between practices and dryland training. It can become gruelling and extensive, especially for those that currently don’t have to go school because of the holidays. You’ll get in a lot more training and be able to focus on your technique in this span of time. Be sure to keep up with the fuel you need with the correct meals and diet!

With longer days and brighter days, you can develop some lifelong skills. Swimmers understand that sometimes starting at 6am is far from desirable, but swimmers commit to their training. Swimmers often have the best time management, perseverance, determination and dedication to their sport, a skill that can be used throughout life. Your social skills can even show an improvement by meeting new team mates and even discussing who has the best tan (or the worst sunburn!).

Swimming in the summertime is more than just a fun way to cool down for many swimmers. Every four years, it is Olympic season, which gives many swimmers an experience to watch and inspires the next generation of swimmers to continue pushing through their training. 

So enjoy swimming this summer! Build new skills, develop your technique, but most importantly…have fun!

Dolphin Kick for Beginners

Dolphin Kick for Beginners

Ah! The good old dolphin kick! The dolphin kick is a mixture of timing, technique and mobility that many swimmers rely on during their races. We understand that improving your dolphin kick can be difficult, especially for beginners. So here are a few tips to help!

So what is a dolphin kick? It’s where your legs are extended back behind you and move up and down in unison. You’ll need a slight bend in the knees for the upward movement! Dolphin kicks generate the most propulsion in the water and use more muscles than regular kicks with this technique.

Which strokes use dolphin kicks? Butterfly stroke requires swimmers to utilise the dolphin kick frequently. It is often also seen used by backstroke and freestyle swimmers for kicking off walls. Dolphin kick is often considered the best way to improve overall race times and efficiency in the pool, so it is important to learn this. The kick allows swimmers to move faster with less resistance underwater compared to any other surface stroke.

Now, to learn how to do a dolphin kick! Initially, float in the water in a prone position where your head is neutral and your face is turned down. Hold your legs together and extend your feet. Next, make sure your arms are either extended forward or held at the sides, press your chest down in the water and release. As you do this, press your hips downwards and release them. You should start to get the right motion when you repeat these steps. After this, add your legs into the movement, so as your hips move down, your upper legs should follow!

Here is a video to help assist you to learn your dolphin kick during butterfly: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mS7daGYUaQI&list=PLujKQKQxxfnSxKPdYOqsNKHH_PTjrGWe0&index=4b 

If you are struggling to get the right motion, you can use fins to help learn this technique. We offer a large range of fins at ProSwimwear to help assist you. Shop our fins here: https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/swimming-accessories/swimming-training-aids/training-fins.html 

If you are looking for fins to help assist with the power of your kick, check out our Finis Monofins! Monofins help you feel the full range of motion in the kick and helps to strengthen your core, lower back and your legs. 

Check out a video on our FINIS monofins: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGfJgvaCAM0 

FINIS foil monofin: https://www.proswimwear.co.uk//finis-foil-monofin.html 

The Common Swimming Injuries

Common Swimming Injuries

Swimming is a great sport with many health benefits, making it a lifelong sport. Just like any other sport, you can injure yourself whilst swimming if you overdo it! Most swimming injuries are caused by poor technique, rarely caused by impact or other swimmers. Here are a few of the common swimming injuries and how to prevent getting them.

Shoulder pain, often known as swimmer’s shoulder, is a well known common injury for us swimmers! Swimming techniques work the shoulder muscles frequently and can be stressful on the muscles. If you often swim a lot of freestyle or butterfly, you will be constantly rotating your shoulder blade in the same motion which can often result in inflammation, pain and overuse of the muscles.

To prevent swimmer’s shoulder, you should avoid repetitive stress on the shoulder. Try to rest the shoulder when the joint feels tired or overused and remember to stretch and warm up before swimming to help prevent injury. Your technique may be the issue for this injury, so try to improve your form whilst swimming so movement through the water will be easier on your joints. You can get your coach to help analyse your technique to help prevent injury.

If you are recovering from a swimmer's shoulder, try to vary your kicking styles between using a board and not, but you should avoid swimming until your doctor says you are fit to return to the water. Try to avoid putting unnecessary stress on the shoulders by not carrying heavy backpacks or doing weight training exercises that will cause more stress on the muscles. 

You can also work on building strength in your shoulders by using resistance bands! Check out our range of resistance bands and training aids here: https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/swimming-accessories/swimming-training-aids/resistance-training.html 

Neck pain is one injury many swimmers experience. Swimming requires a lot of work from the neck, from working on body position and keeping body alignment in the water to consistently rotating your neck to breathe. This often tightens up your neck on the side you breathe towards and can often cause some neck pain. Freestyle and butterfly are the two strokes where you are most likely to get this injury as both consist of constant rotation of the neck.

There are certain prevention methods to keep in mind for neck pain. Keep your head, spine and body aligned whilst swimming the best you can. This can reduce the chance of injuring your neck. Bilateral breathing in freestyle and having a maintained breathing style in butterfly can both help to keep your neck rotation consistent without over-straining the muscles.

If you are trying to recover from neck pain, try mixing in different strokes to your routine that will prevent your neck muscles from doing the same movements over and over to rest the muscles. You can even take a break from the pool if the pain is consistent and visit a doctor if the pain starts to concern you. 

Swimmer's ear is another common injury for swimmers that can trigger quite a bit of pain and is mainly damaged by elevated amounts of bacteria in water. Itching, clogged, impaired hearing and sensitivity on the outer part of your ear are common symptoms of swimmer’s ear.

To prevent this, consider wearing ear plugs if this is a chronic issue for yourself to avoid bacteria damaging your ears. You can also clean your ears after swimming with a cotton swab to remove excess water in your ears. Try to swim at pools that keep their water and chlorine levels regulated to help prevent you from getting this injury.

If you have swimmer’s ear, visit your doctor so they can provide you with the correct drops to treat the infection and take a break from the pool if required. 

Swimmer’s knees often find themselves at the brunt of injuries, especially for breaststroke swimmers. Swimming can put a lot of pressure on the knees from kicking too much and putting strain on the muscles. These injuries can be very painful and can take you away from the pool for a long time.

To prevent getting knee injuries whilst swimming, try mixing up your training routine to include sets without breaststroke strokes. You can also include breaststroke drills that change the way you kick, such as dolphin kick, to change up the muscles being used. Also try to improve your hip abduction as this can take stress away from your knees when having more hip rotation and a wider range of motion.

If you have knee pain, try using cold compresses on the affected knee two to three times a day. You should also contact your doctor and follow any physical therapy exercises that they may give you.

Swimming is a great sport for any age and has huge health benefits! But if you aren’t careful, you can risk injuries to yourself if you aren’t practising with your swimming technique. 

Tips to improve your breaststroke time

Tips to improve your breaststroke time

The breaststroke is the most technically complex swimming stroke and can be hard to improve your technique as your legs need more forward propulsion than your arms. There are many mistakes that many swimmers make that affect their technique. Here are a few tips to help improve your technique and your breaststroke time.

Are you tensing your muscles on the inside of your thighs and calves? The forward motion in the water comes from the inside of your legs, so be sure to relax your muscles! Try to focus on these muscles in your next drill and see if this increases your swim time and then try to bear your last lap by one leg kick less than the last.

Make sure that your feet are rotated outwards properly. If you try to do breaststroke without your toes flexed in the wrong direction, your propulsion will be much less effective. If you are struggling to increase your leg movements, swim with your arms by your sides and focus solely on your leg movement and ankles. 

Try to make your movements symmetrical. What applies to your arms in breaststroke also applies to your legs. Make sure that your legs move simultaneously during both the catch and outsweep phases of the technique.

Watch our video on: BACKSTROKE DRILLS - Breaststroke Legs 

If your elbows are not in line with your hands throughout your arm pull, you will find it harder to get propulsion and pull in the water. Make a circular movement with your hands and arms, with clenched fists and without letting your head drop below the water. This will allow you to focus on your arm movements and be able to improve your technique.

Watch the wrists! Make sure you don’t rotate, fold or drop your hands in relation to your forearms. Try to keep them straight as they move through the water so they will increase your pull in the water. Your arm movement should always be in front of you. If your hands disappear underneath your body or shoulder line, then you are making a mistake. 

Watch our video on: TYR - How To: Proper Pull in Breaststroke 

The breaststroke technique is all about rhythm and coordination. Make most of your forward propulsion come from your leg kicks and make sure you keep your head in line with your shoulders. This will help to minimise water resistance and help improve swim time.

Watch our video on: Swim Tips with Bob Bowman - Better Breaststroke 

If you are still struggling, you can also use training aids to help assist with your arm and leg movements. You can add resistance with fins and paddles or simplify your stroke with a swim snorkel. Check them out here: https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/swimming-accessories/swimming-training-aids.html

The benefits of swimming with fins

The benefits of swimming with fins

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.

Looking for some new fins? At ProSwimwear, we have a wide range of swimming fins to help assist you in your next training session: https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/swimming-accessories/swimming-training-aids/training-fins.html 

Reasons why you are not improving and how to fix them

Reasons why you aren’t improving and how to fix them

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:

  • Your motivation
  • 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! 

What You Should Eat Before A Swim

What You Should Eat Before A Swim

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.

https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/nutrition-hydration/nutrition-and-hydration/after.html 

How To Put On A Wetsuit More Easily

How To Put On A Wetsuit More Easily

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 

 

  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. 
  6. 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. 
  7. 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. 

 
 

https://www.proswimwear.co.uk//skin-slick-anti-chafe-skin-lubricant-1-5-oz.html

Why You Should Begin Dryland Training

Why You Should Begin Dryland Training

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.

https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/nutrition-hydration/nutrition-and-hydration/after.html

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.

https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/swimming-accessories/swimming-training-aids/resistance-training.html

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.

 

Make sure that you check it out below:

https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/swimming-accessories/land-training.html

the top 10 drills to improve your backstroke

the top 10 drills to improve your backstroke

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

Back stroke body poition

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

Backstroke body rotation

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

Backstroke arm pull

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

Back stroke kick technique

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.

Dryland training can be massively beneficial to strengthening your legs outside the pool. during dryland training

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

Backstroke breathing technique

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.

Kickboard Drill VIDEO        kickboard video 

 

One arm drill:keep one arm alongside the body and use other arm to do a backstroke movement.https://youtu.be/aN1GBfZ84fg

One Arm Drill VIDEO          one arm back stroke drill video

 

Breaststroke leg movement: at the end of each set, perform a breaststroke leg kick movement while swimming backstroke (breathe out during kick and breath in when moving arms).

Breastroke kick Drill VIDEO Breastroke kick drill

 

The Glass challenge: Place/balance a glass right in the middle of your forehead, making sure it does not fall off (please use a plastic glass for safety) this can be fun at training sessions

Glass Drill VIDEO               glass drill

 

Clenched-fist drill:Swim the backstroke with your fists closed.

Clenched Fist Drill VIDEO    Clench Fist Drill

 

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

Crossover Drill VIDEO           crossover drill

 

Pullbuoy:put the pullbouy between your knees and swim backstroke to improve and concentrate on the backstroke pull, while isolating your legs from kicking.

Pullbuoy Drill VIDEO             Pullbuoy drill

 

Backstoke catch up drill: As one hand enters the water pause for 2 seconds and wait for the other hand to come out, as you continue your stroke with your arms at your side kick and start again

Pause for two seconds as one hand enters the water and wait for the other hand to come around. Continue your stroke and then kick with your arms at your sides before starting again.

Catch up Drill VIDEO            Backstroke catch up drill

 

Sitting:attempt to adopt a seated position, swim backstroke with arms raised high ,do this for a few seconds, alternating with double arm backstroke,

Sitting Drill VIDEO               Backstroke sitting drill
 

Swapover:with one arm holding the pull buoy in front of your face swim backstroke. Swap hands as your hands swing past, swap and continue your stroke.

Swapover Drill VIDEO          Backstroke swapover drill

 

Backstroke Drills will improve your backstroke,

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

Mens Compression wear

 

Finally Back stroke start training with the Finis Backstroke Wedge

 

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

Backstroke starts

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

Improving your swim technique

Improving your swimming technique

Improving your swimming technique

Pullbuoy, use a pullbuoy so that you can concentrate on perfecting each arm pull, by isolating the legs you can concentrate on perfecting your arm pull efficiency. Watch our video on how to use a Pullbuoy https://youtu.be/MHtBaKwZfjs

Stroke Break down:  concentrate training on each part of your stroke, by breaking it into separate parts and concentrate on them individually. For example, hand entry, breathing, arm pull, and arm recovery over water.

Hand paddles.  When training on  backstroke and front crawl and wear hand paddles with using just one finger strap. This will help you create the perfect pull – the flatter the paddle stays to your hand, the better your technique.

Finis ISO hand Paddle

Or use the “Finis ISO paddle” which has no straps and watch our video on this great product https://youtu.be/mQn4UsISghU

Variety of drills which exaggerate different parts of the stroke, such as ‘chicken wing’ for high elbows, and ‘4-second reach’ to stretch forward on each arm pull.

Check out our swim drills on our You Tube site 

Join a swim club or Invest in a swimming lesson – it’s a great way for an expert to identify how you can improve your technique further. Don’t forget, the more you swim, the greater the opportunities to practice and perfect your technique.

Don’t get disheartened if you’re not where you want to be today – check out our huge online library of videos training videos and swim related vidoes to help you on your way to better swimming technique at our 

You Tube Channel

Lastly, enjoy the learning process, as swimming is fun and a great way to stay fit even if you don’t intend to be the next Michael Phelps

Improve your competitive swim times with a stronger underwater Dolfin Kick - FINIS FOIL MONOFIN

improve your Dolfin kick

If you watch a lot of competitive swimming, you will see a lot of races are won and lost on the underwater kick at the turns, if you want to improve and dominate underwater against your competitors? Here’s how a Finis foil Monofin can help you considerably improve your swim times and considerably up your swimming.

 

All swimmers love to train with swim fins on in the water: We are able to swim far faster than we ever would without them,  on top of this our legs get a great power workout, and swimming at faster speed is simply a load of fun.

 

How one piece of equipment can seriously improve your underwaters speed, which is key off the wall at tumble turns in all race situations you can also introduce one powerful dolphin kick of the wall in Breaststroke turns before your first breaststroke kick will give you a much faster turn of speed than just using the two underwater stokes allowed in breaststroke style.

 

Underwater dolphin kick is the dominate feature of short course back stroke as you get so many turns with 15 metres underwater every 25 metres. Actually, the dolphin kick underwater has more effect in all short course events as there are twice as many for each distance swam. But all good long course swimmers need not to lose distance on each turn, just to swim harder to regain the loss down each length.

 

The monofin helps you get the feel and motion of the dolphin kick. Helping you to experience the whip like motion of the dolphin kick. Its large surface area has a way of forcing your core and lower back to engage in the kicking motion, which extends the range of the kick to gain full dolphin kick effect once you have trained with the mono fin it will become natural without it also.

 

Power work for your dolphin kick. Using a FINIS foil monofin will strengthen your core, lower back, and your legs.

 

The Monofin Trains better motor neuron pattern memory in your brain to repeat it continuously without thought. Strapping on a Monofin will help you experience those upper tier speeds and help train the motor neuron patterns necessary (streamlining, tightening your core, snapping the full kick through, etc) to get closer to those speeds without the fin on.

 

Improves undulation. Often you will see swimmer’s dolphin kick from their knees with a very rigid and limited undulation with little success or speed. The dolphin kick should originate from your upper body—not your knees. Training with a Monofin will deepen and enhance the undulation in the butterfly kick, by forcing you to use all your body not just your knees.

 

Helps build better rhythm. The first thing you notice when your fly kick gets better is that you can bang them out quickly and with almost rapid-fire precision. This kind of rhythm is built via training repetition but can be speeded up by training the rhythm you want to hit when racing. By emphasizing the muscle groups with the monofin that stabilize and drive the kick you are developing a stronger kicking rhythm.

 

THE FINIS FOIL MONOFIN

 

The FINIS Foil is the ideal choice for competitive swimmers looking to level up and develop their dolphin kick. the fin is long enough to give you a sense of the full range of your dolphin kicking motion.

Watch the video on our You Tube channel and many other interesting video’s https://youtu.be/ZCRJXr902lo

Finis swimmers Snorkel use and history

 

When John Mix the founder of Finis Inc designed the first swim competitive centre mount snorkel “FINIS Swimmers Snorkel” , it was a revolutionary idea to help coaches iron out the lack of stroke technique in certain swimmers which become obsessed with the breathing to the side over fluid swimming, the snorkel allows the swimmers to improve rhythm and body position and alignment when swimming, by allowing swimmers to focus on the smooth technique without worrying about turning to breathe, after regular coaching sessions using the snorkel, the swimmers technique and alignment becomes natural and aligned, even when the snorkel is taken off and breathing to the side is resumed, technique and body positioning are maintained.

Finis Cardio Cap


It also has the benefit to build lung endurance as it is slightly hard to breathe and for extra resistance, to build more lung capacity Finis introduced the “FINIS Cardio Cap” to make it even harder to breathe.

Finis Snorkel Dry Top

One complaint among certain swimmers is the water entering the snorkel on tumble turns and the technique is to give one large exhale of breathe after completing the tumble turn, to clear the tube, but for swimmers who find this hard, Finis introduced the “FINIS Snorkel Dry Top

Finis Freestyle Snorkel

To go one further in Freestyle technique the “FINIS Freestyle Snorkel” was introduced, this introduced a further bend in the snorkel tube that only allows the swimmer to still breathe air when swimming freestyle in the correct head down looking at bottom of pool you need to swim the Freestyle the most efficiently.

Finis Stability Speed Snorkel

Finally Finis introduced the “FINIS Stability Snorkel: Speed” This was to address the concerns of some swimmers that the snorkel was cumbersome and uncomfortable and not as easy to adjust to all head types.

This is the final evolution in the Finis swimmers snorkel history to date but check back here regularly as we will update this if new products or new technology is introduced.

How much water do you need to drink during swimming training?

STAY HYDRATED

How much water do you need to drink during and before swimming training

 

At Proswimwear, we care about your health and safety while swimming. Did you know that a secret ingredient to make sure that your swimming is of the highest standard is water intake?

 

There are two reasons for this:

  1. While you’re in the water our brains are getting tricked that we have plenty of fluids around us and therefore does not send a signal to our brains that we need to rehydrate. 
  2. Secondly, while you're in the pool it is easy to forget about the fact that you are sweating and have to hydrate just like any other athlete.

 

Read more

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