Swimming is known for being an excellent form of exercise. It works virtually every muscle in your body, proving itself as not only a great resistance exercise, but also as a great way to improve your cardiovascular fitness. Just like any exercise, it’s important to use good form while you swim.
One of the tricky things about learning to swim is figuring out how to breathe while you do it. How you work in your breaths will depend on the strokes you’re doing. It’s important to make sure that you keep your breathing balanced. Avoid the temptation to keep turning your head to the same side every time you breathe. Doing so will cause you to develop muscle imbalances that can result in injury.
Speaking of which, good form is crucial if you want to avoid getting hurt. In many instances, poor form means that the swimmer’s hips and legs are hanging down in comparison to their torso. That increases the forward drag they experience, which increases strain on the shoulders. When a swimmer is using good form, larger muscles like the latissimus dorsi are engaged and working to propel the swimmer. When there is a larger amount of forward drag, however, smaller muscles, like those in the shoulders, are forced to work harder. That increases the risk of injury.
Of course, arguably the most immediately obvious reason why good form matters is because it helps you swim faster. When you use good form, you tend to be a lot more streamlined, which helps you cut through the water more effectively. That’s crucial if you’re a competitive swimmer. Even if you aren’t a competitive swimmer, learning to swim faster is still a good idea. If you want to get the most out of swimming as a form of working out, it helps to push yourself to swim faster.
It’s always best to do any exercise with good form, including swimming. When you use good form, you’ll be able to keep your muscles balanced, reduce your risk of injury, and improve your swimming speed. All good things. Swimming with good form is arguably the single best thing you can do to improve as a swimmer.
Does your form need some work? Do you want some one on one time with our excellent swim instructors here at SwimJim? Check out our private and semi-private lessons to see if they’re a good fit for you.