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I am relatively new to swimming and just want to do it for a bit of fitness to complement my running. When I do 30 mins of breast stroke I don't feel like I get much of a workout. It is a bit boring to be honest. When I do crawl (I think it is called freestyle) I get a great workout.

Is it okay just to swim once a week and do the same stroke? Would I be missing out on working a certain set of muscle groups if I don't alternate my type of stroke?


November 19, 2008 at 10:13 am
(1) Jane Harper says:

It is good to vary your workouts. As in running, your might vary the intensity.
Any stroke done slowly, or ‘easy’ might not seem very taxing, but doing one length easy, then one fast will change that. You can also change the strokes, doing one fast freestyle, then on easy breaststroke.
One simple workout is: 1(length) EZ 1 Fast; 1 EZ 2 Fast; 1 EZ 3 Fast; 1 EZ 4 Fast then 4 Fast 1 EZ; 3 Fast 1 EZ; 2 Fast 1 EZ; 1 Fast 1 EZ.
Having a plan before you get in the water is also a remedy for the ‘boredom’. Transitioning from seeing changing scenery running to seeing a line on the bottom in the pool swimming is not an uncommon runner dilemma. Swimmers don’t even notice it, because they are in tune with how their body feels in the water.

November 19, 2008 at 11:47 am
(2) Geri says:

As a beginner I would swim on length of the breast stroke and then one length of the freestyle. Keep doing that until you feel comfortable enough to try to swim 500 meters of only the freestyle and build up from there. If you are training for endurance; just as running it’s best to swim longer at a comfortable pace. If you’re training for short runs then ‘switch it up’ if you will, with some speed work.

In Good Health, Mind & Spirit,

November 19, 2008 at 12:58 pm
(3) Salvador says:

You must build intervals into your workout. Break your workout up accordingly. 5 minutes warm up Ė slow easy swimming, really reaching for the end of the pool. Kick for 5 minutes Ė kick slow but constant going down the pool and fast like a motor boat coming back. You can also lock your hands over your head and kick on your back for some of this. Swim two easy laps. Now the real work begins. You will need a watch with a second hand or a pace clock. Swim repeats and negative split them and youíre going to put yourself into oxygen debt (better take a banana for after your swim). Depending on how fast you presently swim you will swim 2 or 4 lap negative splits on an interval. You can test your interval out by swimming 2 or 4 laps at what you consider a good, hard (85%) pace. Check the time. Now add 30-45 seconds. Thatís your interval. Now swim a series of 2 or 4 lap repeats on your interval Ė swim the first half of your repeat at a good solid pace. Swim the second half of your repeat really hard (80-85%) and try, really try to breath half as many times as you usually do. If you breath every stroke breath every other stroke. Your body should be arched, head held high and kicking very hard. Finish Ė wait out your interval and do it again and again and again. You should do enough repeats that by the end you have almost no time left before you push off of the next repeat. Itís good to start something like this with just 5 repeats. Remember, you are swimming really hard on the second half of your repeat. When you finish all that swim 4 laps super slow, lotís of breathing on top and blowing out under the water.
This is a good 30 minute workout. What you will work towards is expanding the number of repeats and decreasing the interval. Itís hard work but you will gain tone and lose weight. I guarantee it.

November 19, 2008 at 8:58 pm
(4) Jose Analito says:

In my own opinion, every strokes in swimming has a different purpose on which would you intend to develop.Every person has his own bodily characteristic. You have o pin point in hitting the target to make your program be more efficient and effective. You do intense work out with lesser time so that your muscle will feel
more power.You do moderate then fast then faster. Mix all these three patterns. Don’t forget to cool down.

Have Fun!

Coach Lito

November 22, 2008 at 9:01 pm
(5) swimming lunitic says:

I think that all strokes work different muscles and some are more relaxing than others but your still getting a good workout for whichever stroke you chose.

January 14, 2009 at 6:33 pm
(6) Edna says:

I am a MUCH older swimmer, leaned to swim at 44.
I would suggest much the same as another, 1 length of Breaststroke, 1 length of Freestyle until you can do 500 Yards/Meters. Then, I would add another length of Backstroke.
When you can do 1000/1500, add another length of Breaststroke etc etc etc.

April 9, 2009 at 9:36 pm
(7) anonymous says:

i think you are absolutely right ima health trainer in a swimming program and i have to say freestyle is the best way for a workout!


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