The water is a refreshing source of relaxation and good times, and it is also an excellent way to stay fit and healthy through swim workouts for beginners. The buoyancy of water, particularly salt water, makes it a marvelous alternative for people who have joint pain, back issues, or are overweight and need a safe way to shed some pounds. If you are new to swimming, or have been away from it for a while and are ready to return to the water, grab those fins and goggles and try these swimming exercises for beginners.
Any time you exercise, you should always prime the muscles with some light activity and stretching. When starting your beginner swimming workouts, start with a gentle freestyle swim, about 100-200 meters. (Most pools are 25 m long, so do 4 to 8 pool lengths.)
After your warm-up swim, grab a kickboard and do another 4 pool lengths holding onto the board. If you are doing your beginner swimming workout in a pool, you can also do kicks while holding onto the side.
Warm up your arms and shoulders, as well as improve your form, by using a pull buoy. This is a soft piece of foam that you can comfortably hold between your legs, requiring that your arms do all or most of the work.
If you are new to the water and a little apprehensive, the warm-up session of your swimming exercises for beginners is a great time to acclimatize and find your comfort level.
There are a number of swim workouts for beginners, so you can choose the one that works best for you. Don’t dive into the deep end of swimming exercises, start out with a reasonable regimen, and then increase distance and length of time as you improve. Track your progress by counting your pool lengths along with the number of breaths you need between each 25 m swim.
Try out this 8-week plan of swimming exercises for beginners and hit the pool for a swimming workout at least 3 times per week:
- Week 1 – freestyle swim for 100 m (4 x 25 m lengths), 20 breaths or less between lengths (but listen to your body, if you feel lightheaded or dizzy, make sure you rest until you are ready to swim again)
- Week 2 – freestyle swim for 100 m (4 x 25 m lengths), 15 breaths or less between lengths
- Week 3 – freestyle swim for 150 m (6 x 25 m lengths), 20 breaths or less between lengths
- Week 4 – freestyle swim for 150 m (6 x 25 m), 15 breaths or less between lengths
- Week 5 – freestyle swim for 200 m (8 x 25 m), 15 breaths or less between lengths
- Week 6 – freestyle swim for 200 m (1 x 50 m), 20 breaths or less for rest; then 6 x 25 m lengths, 15 breaths or less between lengths
- Week 7 – freestyle swim for 250 m (1 x 50 m), 20 breaths or less rest; then 8 x 25 m lengths, 15 breaths or less between lengths
- Week 8 – freestyle swim for 250 m (1 x 50 m), 15 breaths or less rest; then 8 x 25 m lengths, 15 breaths or less between lengths
When you are through with your swimming workout, do a nice easy swim to cool down. A pleasant way to do this is to do some lengths using a gentle backstroke. Not only will this help you minimize sore muscles, but it can be a relaxing meditative time to do some deep breathing and clear your mind.
Swimming is fitness made fun. You can use these tips to create your own beginner swimmer workouts, check out these top swim workouts for beginners or let a SwimJim instructor craft your customized swim workout for beginners through one of our Adult Swim Programs.