Updated: Feb 22
Whether you are new to training or an experienced racer, swimming is often the discipline that inspires the most trepidation. For a lot of us, cycling and running are the sports we were brought up on with swimming left behind when we left school. Have you thought about doing a triathlon but the swimming part leaves you with dread? Fear not, there are sports coaches out there who can assist with a training programme to help you.
Getting a sports coach maximises your time in the water! A good programme can work on balancing undesired movement patterns, giving you more balanced postural muscles, flexibility, strength, coordination and functional biomechanics. Being coached improves the whole mind-body awareness, breathe, balance, control, and the ability to centre and concentrate while moving efficiently through the flow of water.
Although, swimming has a low serious injury rate due to a lack of force or strain on the muscles, injuries tend to arise from over-use or over-training. Injuries tend to occur in the shoulder, neck, lower back and knees. Doing a specifically tailored training programme for your needs can help you maintain your swimming strength and prevent injury.
A programme typically includes core strength, giving you a more stable trunk for efficient power output from the limbs while force is generated to move through the water (and possibly a current and wind). A strong core will allow good form and efficiency as the swimmer fatigues while swimming (which is often an unstable environment).
When swimming in different strokes, different main muscle focuses vary. However, all stokes make use of the following muscles: core abdominal and upper (trapezius and levator scapulae), and lower (erector spine and paraspinal) back muscles, deltoid (shoulder) muscles, rotator cuff muscles, forearm muscles, gluteals, hamstrings, hip flexors, plantar flexors, pectoral and latissimus dorsi muscles, and hip mobility. Good movement patterns mean efficiency, speed and a healthy balanced body.
Chi’s coaching programmes will allow the swimmer to incrementally improve performance. She can help you improve your strokes per length and maintain your form when you start the race instead of panicking and flailing your arms around while everyone else powers past you.