Women

Swim Yourself Slim (Part 1)

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Want to make a splash this year with real results and achieve your best body ever? Then try looking at some of the good old 'standard' sports in a new light. Over the next three months we'll provide an in-depth and practical guide to your designer body with workouts, training tips and exercise plans that fit seamlessly into your busy life. First up, for February, a complete plan to “swim yourself slim”

Swimming is an incredibly safe way to get fit, tone and lose weight for all ages and fitness levels. It is my favorite way to de-stress, workout and calibrate.

I've included beginner and intermediate programs, and a 'challenge box' for those intermediate-advanced swimmers.

Swimming is an incredibly safe way to get fit, tone and lose weight for all ages and fitness levels. It is my favorite way to de-stress, workout and calibrate.

Swimming is an incredibly safe way to get fit, tone and lose weight for all ages and fitness levels. It is my favorite way to de-stress, workout and calibrate.

Check out these benefits of spending time in the water - head down, bum up (unless you're doing backstroke, that is):

1.    Cardio conditioning; improve the condition of your heart as a muscle

2.    Toning of legs, arms and abs

3.    Great for asthmatics regulate breathing, expand lung capacity, encourage full breathing

4.    Reduce weight-bearing stress on joints

5.    Perfect for pre-, during and post-pregnancy

6.    Burn fat

7.    Build strength in interval and resistance based training

Getting results:

Focus on these three key areas you should see and feel a noticeable change in your body:

1.    Technique

2.    Training with purpose

3.    Different strokes

Technique

You're never too old to learn efficient swimming. In fact it's a sport that transcends age or size when it comes to getting better. Stroke correction and technique can be the difference between dreading and enjoying your swim workout. Join some lessons or have a one-one. Pay attention to form and function.

If you've never put your face under water, don't despair. I have had several clients who learned from scratch how to swim in their 40s; they have never looked back. The key is to find a coach you trust, who is a good communicator and who loves his or her job. It makes it more fun and you'll look forward to the lessons.

You're never too old to learn efficient swimming.

You're never too old to learn efficient swimming.

To swim efficiently you need to have a good technique. It's worth paying attention to the quality of your training than time in the water. Use the time as you are building your fitness level to focus on technique and drills. It's a great way to work-out without realizing it.

·         Streamline your body position

·         Increase stroke efficiency

·         Don't forget your feet are your engine. A good kick is essential

Training with purpose

Have a plan before you jump in the pool. Do you have your weekly agenda finely tuned due to work and family commitments? Then plan your swim workout time accordingly and select the training sections that fit your time available. Mix and match where you need to. 20 minutes in the pool is great if that's all the time you can spare.

Know your sets/lap goals and read your program before you start. Print out and pop it in a plastic bag or laminate your sheets to put at the end of the lane (you'll need to replace them or make a new one each time on a piece of paper, but it helps keep focused). Most swimming groups put the swim lesson plan on a whiteboard by the poolside so you can keep track of where you are at in your program.

Most swimming groups put the swim lesson plan on a whiteboard by the poolside so you can keep track of where you are at in your program.

Most swimming groups put the swim lesson plan on a whiteboard by the poolside so you can keep track of where you are at in your program.

Sometimes it's just about an easy swim with no technique - an ocean dip, a few laps or social swim. Enjoy those free swim sessions and the ability to switch off from the world.

Different strokes

Like any training program, a balanced physique comes from doing a variety of exercises. This means mixing up your strokes in the pool. You don't have to be a pro; don't leave a valuable mix out just because it's not your favorite. Get acquainted with these four key strokes.

·         Crawl or freestyle

·         Breaststroke

·         Backstroke

·         Fly

In addition to the different types of swimming strokes you can also mix up your training with tempo changes, including drills in between.

Like any other training, to get the best results you need to give your body an overall workout up the tempo, use intervals and drills, include relaxed swims and longer distance.

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