Hopefully, your dry January has been a wet one, and you are managing to hit the pool regularly. Congratulations on keeping it up! I would say the hard work is over but now the challenge begins as you transition your swim from hobby to habit and strengthen your stroke to start shaving the seconds of your lap times.
This handy little guide will break down each stroke and highlight the physical benefits that swimming regularly can have on your body.
The Breaststroke is great for any beginner as it is easy on the body. You don't have to exert a ton of effort so you can find a pace that suits you and swim continuously for longer distances. This makes it a great cardiovascular workout, helping strengthen the heart and lungs whilst in addition toning the thighs, upper back, chest, triceps, hamstrings and lower legs.
Backstroke is excellent for improving posture and toning all the important areas for showing off the summer swimsuit. You will look taller and less hunched whilst toning up the stomach, legs, arms, shoulders and buttocks. It is also perfect for improving flexibility (especially in the hips) which makes it a must if you are stuck behind a desk eight hours a day.
This one is for the speed freaks. It is easy to do but difficult to master. Again, you will see benefits across the board with your stomach, buttocks and shoulders all feeling it most. It will also help tone your back muscles and keep you feeling strong and limber after long days in the office.
Definitely not for beginners! It is difficult to learn but the rewards make it worth trying. It is the most effective stroke for toning and building muscles and will give you a significant cardiovascular boost. The main target areas are your chest, stomach, triceps, biceps and back muscles, all of which will see growth and toning. A quick burst of this will also stretch out your body adding some flexibility and suppleness to your routine. Maximum effort, maximum reward.
So, there you have it, our benefit guide to the core swimming strokes. If you are not feeling quite ready to take them on then check out our training aids which will give you the confidence to master every stroke. Alternatively, if regulation laps are starting to make you dizzy then have a look at our 'Switch Up Your Swim' guide.