Recently I asked again in our very active Facebook group “Endlike Mehri Sport” what kind of articles and topics are currently desired. It wasn’t long before a runner asked, “Write something about swimming as an alternative workout.”
Exciting topic – I have a kind of love-hate relationship with swimming training. As a triathlete, swimming is not only the opening discipline and therefore important, it was also my weakest discipline for a long time with lifeguard training.
I couldn’t even crawl for the first few years, but I learned it bit by bit and I really like it. At least when I’m in triathlon training. Otherwise, swimming is always the first sport I skip. Too bad actually…
Swimming is somewhat overshadowed by the two major endurance sports of running and cycling. Wrongly in my opinion. But let’s get started…
7 reasons why swimming training is extremely useful
Sure, swimming may not be as flexible as running or cycling, but it has clear benefits, which I’ll explain to you below. Don’t be put off by crowded swimming pools, the entrance fees and the increased effort for training and go swimming again with lifeguard training.
Swimming builds fitness even if you don’t already have it
Especially beginners in endurance sports, who have a few (or a few many) kilos too much on their ribs, run out of breath extremely quickly. Do you know that?
You simply have no physical condition. If this is the case for you, you should try swimming.
In the water you only have to move a tenth of your body weight on land. So you’re light as a feather and you’re easy on your joints.
At the latest when you are already complaining about joint problems here and there , you should include swimming in your sports program to strengthen your condition. But not only the…
Swimming builds muscle
For many beginners, the specific musculature is far too weak. The result – especially in the lower back, pain is noticeable, for example, for beginners.
Strength training , especially in the middle of the body, would be absolutely necessary here, but only very few do it regularly. Swimming helps here…
When you swim, you put a lot of strain on the muscles in your body. Depending on the swimming style sometimes more and sometimes less. In any case, significantly more than when running or cycling.
Bit by bit you build up arm, leg and torso muscles that help you in everyday life. Of course, it doesn’t replace proper strength training, but it’s a good start and a welcome alternative with lifeguard training.
Swimming improves regeneration
Are you already training hard and a lot and need a break again? Regeneration is hip, but regeneration does not necessarily mean that you just lie around lazily at home.
And regeneration certainly doesn’t mean that you do a lap in easy running style. I always have to smile when I read something like ” regeneration run ” by amateur athletes.
Very few runners can do that, which is why these runs are rarely really regenerative. A walk would be the better alternative, but is often not perceived as a sport.
And this is where the easy (!!!) swim training comes into play. The water carries you and reduces the strain on the musculoskeletal system. A huge advantage and a perfect balance to running due to the gentle and relaxed movements.
Swimming protects against injuries
Swimming can help minimize the risk of overuse injuries . This is especially true if you tend to over-train like so many runners (or cyclists, for that matter) do.
Well, and the number of those who don’t incorporate strength training or stretching into their exercise routine isn’t exactly small either. And anyone who knows me knows that my strength and stability exercises are often criminally neglected.
This is exactly where swimming helps, and swimming itself also promises almost zero risk of injury. If at all, then it is at most due to overloading due to one-sided and incorrect loads. But that only happens with excessive swimmers with lifeguard training.
Swimming improves your posture
I already mentioned the benefits of swimming on your muscles. Swimming challenges all major muscle groups and ensures that the supporting muscles are also built up. Muscles that are often hardly present, especially in people with sedentary work.
Swimming also requires you to stretch properly. A component that is crucial for propulsion, especially when crawling. Accordingly, professional swimmers can be recognized not only by their very athletic and aesthetic musculature, but also by their beautiful and stretched posture .
Swimming strengthens your immune system
The pressure in the water is higher than on land. This has a positive effect on your blood circulation. Despite the relatively low heart rate, more oxygen is transported to your muscles.
Your metabolism is also increasingly challenged in the water, as it has to compensate for the temperature difference and keep your body temperature up. All of these effects ensure that your immune system is strengthened and you are significantly less sensitive to colds and the like.
But be careful – of course, this only applies if you dry yourself off properly after training and don’t cycle home with wet hair with lifeguard training.
Swimming gives you new challenges
Many runners dream of doing a triathlon once in their lifetime . For many, the dream of swimming fails.
If you build a few swimming units into your training in good time, you can face this challenge. Even if you don’t even think about it today.
Incidentally, it is a fallacy that you absolutely have to be able to crawl for triathlon. For the first 3 years I always swam breaststroke and later breaststroke and crawl in alternation before I finally learned to crawl “properly”. It has by no means taken away my enjoyment of the sport. On the contrary…
When it comes to swim training, technique is key
In addition to the greater effort, another disadvantage of swimming is that it is very technical.
If you swim with a miserable style, the supporting advantage of the water is quickly canceled out and tension can arise. In any case, it’s worth taking a look at the clean technology, because it’s just more fun that way.