For a great all-over, low-impact workout, look no further than your gym’s pool. Swimming works your shoulders, chest, quadriceps, upper back, glutes, hamstrings … nearly everything. And fast.
When there’s snow on the ground, for me, nothing beats being in the humid pool area – it makes me think of summer.
Some people can dive back into the pool years after their last swim.
For everyone else, you might want a refresher course. You can find a lot of online videos to show you quick tips.
Your best bet, though, is to get someone to correct your form, or if you’re really starting from scratch, show you how to do it.
Check with your gym to see if they offer adult swim classes. Eight metro Y locations do, and you can sign up for them even if you’re not a member. Knowing how to swim correctly is going to not only give you a better workout, it’s going to give you a more enjoyable one.
There’s another route, and if you know me, you know it probably involves a race.
I signed up for an Olympic distance triathlon as a member of the Team in Training Nebraska team. I remembered how the coaches and mentors were invaluable in coaching me to run a marathon, so I knew they’d help me with my atrocious (almost non-existent) swim form.
A good coach is going to show you little changes – the position of your head, the reach of your arms – that make a big difference. You can try to teach yourself to make these changes, and if you have a good foundation, maybe you can. But for the rest of us, you need some face-to-face help.
My tri team was a mixed bag of novice swimmers and some more skilled ones. I fell in the middle. There were a few who’d never put their head under water, so I at least had mastered one skill. One of these people, by the way, finished their first Olympic distance triathlon just a few short months after first learning to put his head under water – and he finished ahead of me.
Is the swim leg what’s holding you back from considering a tri?