It can seem daunting, getting back in to shape in the New Year with all the other things you’ve promised yourself you’ll be doing. Short consistent workouts are the best way to get in to a routine, as they’re easy to maintain and produce the best physical results. A 45 minute swim, 2 to 4 times a week, raises your heart rate and activates your circulation, both required in order to maintain in good health.
Here is my suggested set to help you jump start your New Year swimming:
- 300 warm up
2 x laps: work your heart rate up to an aerobic pace, switch strokes, and stretch out
- 200 kick
8 x laps: let your hips, knees and ankles loosen, allow your joints to flex and bend. Kicking tends to be everyone’s least favorite exercise but it targets your hips and thighs, so embrace it
- 100 scull
4 x laps: Scull drill, reference my Scull Drill Video. Our shoulders and neck get stiff, this side to side motion opens up your rotators, preparing you for stroke work
- 300 IM
3 x laps of each stroke: 1 lap drill, 2 swim laps. Check in with various stroke motions. In butterfly you use your shoulders more, in backstroke your legs, in breaststroke emphasis is on the glide and in freestyle you work your chest
- 200 IM swim
2 x laps of each stroke: switching strokes creates a high endurance threshold workout, in which your muscles are having to pivot between various motions.
- 100 IM Swim
1 x lap of each: swim with clean strokes. Never forget form is most important
- 300 Freestyle
12 x continuous laps: focus on conscious deep breathing. This continuous 3-5 minute swim should be at jog pace
- 200 Freestyle
8 x laps: stay steady, don’t pause or break during the 12 laps.
- 100 Freestyle
4 x laps: freestyle requires a wide rotation, move your hips side to side and swim from your core
- 100 Underwater
4 x laps: underwater, with or without fins – the whole length of each lap should be underwater. Quiet your mind and body in this exercise. Rest 30 seconds between each lap
- 100 easy
4 x laps: Settle to your equilibrium. Never jump out of the water without settling down and finishing in peace. Don’t neglect the last few moments of earned rest
Note for beginners: the above is based on a 25 metre pool (approx. 25 yards).
45 minutes of swimming is equivalent to burning approximately 400 calories. This is of course a generalization and varies person to person, but generally speaking swimming activates the whole body and is one of the best forms of exercise for both weight control and maintaining good health.
Hopefully in this short but effective swim drill, you will create a healthy association with the post workout euphoria, having you coming back for more. Keep your routine short and sweet in the New Year.
Extra top tips: Drink water regularly. We typically all fall below the suggested daily water intake suggested. Hydrate yourself, especially post workout.
Stretching pre or post swim is always good, even if it’s only for 2 minutes. Find time to do your favorite 5 stretches.