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How I Learned to Love Swimming Laps for Exercise

About First Lap

The First Lap voucher program provides a $100 voucher for parents, guardians and carers of children aged 3-6 years who are not enrolled in school, towards the cost of swimming lessons.

The program has also been made available for children in kindergarten in 2021 or who are starting kindergarten in 2022.

Spicing up your workout schedule with cross-training

Almost all competitive and elite level swimmers incorporate other forms of training into their schedules, it may be running, lifting weights, cycling or doing various bodyweight workouts. I highly recommend you to do the same, even if you aren’t at the elite level.

For example, if you swim three days a week you may choose to do some running or weight lifting on your off days. Bodyweight workouts, such as calisthenics, can also provide significant benefits in terms of toning up and building some extra muscle and strength.

Personally, I would recommend you to do some form of strength training if you do decide to mix cross-training into your routine. Swimming already works your cardiovascular system a lot, so there really isn’t too much of a need to incorporate other cardio activities.

Strength training can be anything from lifting light to moderate weights, doing medicine ball workouts or like mentioned earlier, hitting the pull-up bar for a good calisthenics workout. This will help to strengthen muscles that can prevent injury in the pool and aid in swimming faster.

Other cross-training activities can include things like stretching or yoga. Flexibility and mobility are also highly important for any athlete and especially swimmers.

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Pool Etiquette Tips

Now that you know the basics of swimming for exercise for beginners, there’s still more you should know before you jump in the pool. These 8 lap pool etiquette tips will ensure you have a good experience with your fellow lap swimmers.

1. Choose Your Lane Carefully

If it’s a busy day at the pool, you may not get a lane all to yourself. Lanes can easily accommodate more than one swimmer, but you’ll still want to choose your lane carefully. Choose a lane with the least amount of swimmers in it, and wait to get in until they can acknowledge that you’re joining them.

2. Stay to the Right

Once you’ve joined a lane, you’ll want to stick to the right side for the entirety of your workout. This is known as circle swimming, meaning you circle the lane in a counterclockwise motion, always sticking to the right-hand side. Don’t cross sides or lanes unless you’re sure you won’t be disturbing anyone.

3. Give Others Space

Polite swimmers give everyone plenty of space in the pool. Don’t crowd in on someone if you’re sharing a lane. Wait about five seconds after the last swimmer has passed before getting in the pool.

4. Allow Others to Pass

Likewise, you want to allow others to pass if they’re swimming at a faster pace than you. Someone may want to pass if they give you a light tap on your foot. Allow them to pass by stopping at the nearest wall.

5. Keep Straight

It may be difficult at first, but it’s important to stay on a straight path when swimming laps. Try looking down at the line on the bottom of the pool, or look up at a specific spot outside the pool for reference.

6. Rest in the Corner

If you’re a new swimmer, you’re likely to get tired during your workout. Take a break by resting in the corner of the pool. Make your way to the corner by swimming across the lanes when other swimmers are out of the way.

7. Push Off Underwater

Other swimmers will appreciate your consideration when you push off underwater, minimizing splashes and big waves.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, swimming is more than the number of laps or the total distance you swim in each workout. It’s much more complex than that. There are a hundred little details that swimmers should be focusing on to become better and faster.

For example- improving your swim technique, turns, dives, underwaters, your overall strength, and power. Just to name a few of the things.

By following some of the guidelines and workouts I have given in this article, you can gradually begin to build up your overall fitness level and move one step closer to reaching your fitness goals. Make sure to mix in some other physical activities here and there to spice things up and to keep it interesting.

Make sure to work on your flexibility and to ensure that you get adequate amounts of recovery in between each workout.

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