Swimming is a way to build lean muscle and maintain a healthy body fat as a teen. Whether you swim on a team competitively or you swim on your own, mixing up your pool workout will help you get stronger. Adding land workouts to your exercise routine will also help improve your swimming.
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Swimming for Endurance
Gaining endurance in the pool is important for swimmers. Swimming for distance or a set amount of time will help you build both muscular endurance and cardiovascular endurance. Set a goal to swim for 30 minutes or more to sustain a solid amount of effort in the pool. Slowly increase the amount of time you swim each time you do an endurance workout.
Fitness coach Brian Mac says that sprint training adds the anaerobic fitness base to the aerobic base you have developed with your endurance training, which will help you race faster. A speed-training workout consists of sprinting followed by a long recovery. Complete six 50 m swims for speed. After each 50 m, take a four-minute recovery. Then complete two 100 m swims with a five-minute recovery each time.
Interval training can be done in the pool to increase both your speed and endurance in the water. Interval training alternates swimming at a high and a low intensity to improve the fitness level of your cardiovascular system in a more effective way than long slow swimming. An interval workout begins with a steady slow pace to warm up the body for five to 10 minutes. For the interval training itself, the number of laps or distance you swim, and the rest periods in between, can vary according to your fitness level.
Core strength is essential for swimming. The Swim Smooth website says that having a strong stable core makes you more torpedo-like so you spear through the water in a straight line, allowing you to glide easily. Train your core outside the pool with exercises like the plank and bicycle twists. Performing a plank is as simple as holding the top of a pushup. Keep your stomach drawn in tight and keep your body in one flat line. Hold this position for one minute and repeat three times. Bicycle twists are preformed with your hands behind your head and reaching your left elbow to your right knee and then right elbow to your left knee. Crank out 30 twists.