There are many reasons why you should consider swimming during your active recovery day.
Swimming is a full body, low impact exercise that helps strengthen your muscles, tones and elongates your body, and can even help improve your cardiovascular health.
Active recovery days are an important part of any fitness programme. That's because they allow your body the time to — yes, recover — from the stress and strain of vigorous exercise and help prevent injuries.
Swimming, like yoga and stretching, is a popular active rest-day activity that is both refreshing and helpful to your body.
Why Is Swimming a Good Form of Active Recovery?
Swimming is a great option for active recovery. As opposed to running, for example, where your head is down, swimming allows you to rest without having to hold yourself upright. The horizontal movement of the water allows blood to reach your upper body effectively, so you can recover faster.
These active recovery sessions allow your body time to process lactic acid, a byproduct of your body converting glucose into energy, which enables your muscles to recover more quickly.
Swim recovery workouts offer a low-impact, full-body workout in the water. The best part? You can move your joints and muscles in all sorts of directions that you can't on land, meaning you get more bang for your buck while working out. Since there's constant resistance, your heart rate will stay elevated during your entire workout, which is great for fat loss.
How to do the 20-Minute Swimming Workout?
It's best to give yourself 20 minutes before an early-morning swim, and to pack along swim accessories like a cap, goggles, kick board and pull buoy. Just remember the planning and preparation behind the workout, so that you don’t end up frustrated and disappointed as opposed to excited and accomplished.
- Do two 50-meter breaststrokes with just your arms, keeping your legs closed together.
- Then do two 50-meter kick sets on your back, holding onto the foam board, kicking with just your legs and feet.
- Swim 25 meters freestyle with your hands in a normal position. Then swim 100 meters freestyle with one arm out of the water, followed by two kicks and switching arms.
- When kicking, keep your arms in a streamlined position. Swim 100 meters freestyle breathing every third stroke.
- Then swim another 50 meters freestyle at a slower pace.
Rest easy, and swim at a slow pace for 100 meters.
Tips and Techniques for Swimming Workout
Poor technique can make even the best-conditioned athletes to struggle in the pool. To build a smoother stroke and be more efficient in the water, try a few of these form corrections:
Being properly prepared for an active recovery workout, like swimming, is critical to getting the most out of your time training. In other words, don't simply dive into a workout without a plan.
Correct breathing technique
Breathing evenly not only keeps you calm and comfortable, but it also shifts your diaphragm into a more upright position, allowing you to move more efficiently. Don't hold your breath. Exhale while your head is still underwater, so you can pull in more air when you turn to inhale. Breathe out air bubbles underwater to practice.
In freestyle, completely extend your arm in front of you; then rotate your hips slightly down the side that's reaching forward; pivot the opposing hip on the following stroke as you exchange places. Instead of just windmilling your arms in the water, think of gripping the water and pushing it towards your body.
Kick with your entire leg, traveling from your hip to your knee with a small bend. Also, don't just let your legs float back up to the top. You'll get forward a lot more readily if you kick both down and up.
Builds muscle endurance
The act of repeatedly pushing water away throughout strokes aids in the development of resistance over time.
Tones your body
Swimming can help train various muscles to tone and improve strength, whether you're moving your entire body or focusing on upper and lower body routines.
Great HIIT Workout
Swimming can raise your heart rate during steady-state laps and then spike it much higher during furious sprints. Both are beneficial to cardiovascular health.
Protects the joints
The low-impact environment of the water decreases joint stress and the risk of damage.
Swimming is a great exercise for those on an active recovery day. It allows for a full-body workout, which is something that many other activities don't do as effectively.
If you want to get the most out of your active recovery swim, remember: warm up; loosen up; keep your cool in the pool area; focus on technique, and don't forget to breathe.
The end goal of an active recovery workout is simple: to get you back in action faster and more comfortably so that you can again be free to pursue other leisure activities or hobbies.