Swimming involves the combination of different body movements and strokes that people commonly use in order to move on the surface of water. These strokes and actions are usually performed in a rhythmic manner, involving many muscles of one's body.
Therefore, swimming is considered to be a great exercise for losing weight and toning your body. However, swimming can have many therapeutic purposes too, combining special strokes which can prove to be very beneficial for people who suffer from some health problems or different forms of paralysis or disabilities.
Benefits of Swimming
There are many benefits related to swimming. Therefore, all people should get involved in it as often as possible, reaping these benefits.
First of all, swimming is considered to be a low-impact form of exercising, due to the fact that there is no ground beneath your feet as you move through the water. Thus, your joints and muscles are completely safe during swimming, incapable of getting strained or stressed. Hence, swimming is a highly recommended rehabilitation tool for all those who suffer from arthritis.
In fact, there is a special type of aerobics called water aerobics, designed for being practiced by those who cannot afford to pose excessive stress on their sensitive joints. While spending time in the swimming pool, even when you touch the bottom you will not be injured or exposed to the force of impact. Moreover, most rehabilitation activities involve the participants using special, buoyant props, making the chances of losing your balance almost non-existent.
Secondly, swimming does not have an age or a time limit. Rather, you can practice it for a lifetime. Interestingly, the United States Masters Swimming organization has a category for swimmers between 100 and 104 years of age. Also, the master of fitness, Jack la Lanne, swims every day, even though he is 93 years old.
The key to the health behind swimming lies in the cardiorespiratory fitness you develop once you participate in this physical activity regularly. You boost these skills of your over time. Therefore, on average, after a 12-week swimming course, the maximal oxygen consumption of a person increases by 10%, along with his/her stroke volume, which undergoes an even greater improvement, being 18% stronger.
Furthermore, swimming builds up muscle mass. A study carried out, encompassing an eight week swimming program discovered that the participants experienced amazing 23.8% increase in this size of their triceps muscles. Thus, even though many people consider swimming a sport which cannot result in increased levels of muscle mass, it increases your strength levels significantly and this has a great positive impact on your health.
Swimming Stroke Techniques
Swimming is a sport or a skill which has evolved much since the people first learned how to move on the surface of water by using nothing but their bodies. Subsequently, we have an abundance of different stroke techniques that various swimmers use for countless different purposes.
In order to swim in the fastest possible manner, you are advised to use the front crawl. Next, trudgen is a type of swimming using a mixture of the front crawl and the scissor kicks, while the trudgen crawl involves mixing flutter kicks and scissor kicks. Now, depending on the movements incorporated in the trudgen, there are variants of this stroke technique called double trudgen and double trudgen crawl.
Then, swimmers may use a dolphin crawl, with two kicks per arm or two kicks per cycle, using a special, dolphin kick. Another variation of the front crawl is the catch up stroke with a single arm resting in front of the body while the other one performs all the movements which result in swimming.
Butterfly stroke is performed while keeping your face in the water, combining a dolphin kick and moving both of your arms forward together, resembling the movements that butterflies make. Another face-down stroke technique is called breaststroke, done through a mixture of dolphin kicks and circular hand movements. When the butterfly incorporates a longer glide between the strokes, it is called the slow butterfly technique.
Some people imitate dogs while swimming, assuming a position which involves their face being over water, peddling with their hands, performing the same, interchangeable strokes with their feet. If the arms reach out more and perform a greater pull while doing the dog paddle, the stroke technique is called human stroke.
Other popular swimming stroke techniques are backstroke, elementary backstroke, inverted butterfly, feet first swimming, flutter back finning, corkscrew swimming and underwater swimming.
Of course, while swimming, as long as you keep your safety in mind, you can combine many possible techniques, getting the most out of your swimming sessions and engaging as many muscle groups as you can. This is yet another reasons why swimming is considered to be one of the best forms of physical exercising in the world, low-impact, available to all and incredibly healthy.