Using the bathtub as a learning opportunity can have huge benefits. You can practice basic skills like blowing bubbles and getting the child’s head wet while they are splashing around and getting clean. Bring waterproof toys and a plastic cup with you for added benefits. Pour water over their head with the cup and practice getting their face wet. See if they can blow bubbles on one of their bath toys. Have fun!
Practice Arm Rotations in the Air
You don’t need a pool to practice your arm strokes! If they are learning the basics of the freestyle, kids can pretend to grab the sun and throw it on the floor. Or pretend to make a pizza and cut it in half when learning the breaststroke. Just make sure to practice in an area with ample space so as not to hit anyone else accidentally or break anything. Adults learning their strokes can practice this too!
Watch Swimming Videos
Learning through observation is an essential part of developing your child’s water skills. During your free time hop on Youtube and watch a host of water videos that will increase their swimming vocabulary and interest in the activity as a whole. From professional swimmers competing in a race to tropical fish exploring turquoise waters or entire channels dedicated to observing swim lessons, allow your child to immerse themselves in water related videos. You can ask them questions about what they’ve seen and discuss what they’ve learned. Did they see a swimmer swim a particular stroke? Do fish move different in the water than people?
Read Swimming Books
Bedtime is a great time to climb in and read books about swimming. Check out our Amazon list for recommended age appropriate books. There are lots of great reads out there that can capture your child’s attention and promote not only reading skills, but swimming too. Some recommended reads are:
Experienced Swimmers or To Build Endurance
Finding cardio friendly cross training activities out of the pool can help with endurance when swimming. Activities such as running, biking, or hopping on the elliptical or rowing machine can be done at the gym or at home. You can also take an exercise class that allows you to get your heart rate up and builds your endurance. These activities are not only helpful with cardio but can also help develop muscles that will aid you in swimming efficiently.
Stretching & Flexibility Work
Stretching at home or using a foam roller are great ways to ease soreness and help improve range of motion. And the best thing about it? It isn’t time consuming and can make a big difference! Throw on your favorite show after dinner and spend 10 minutes stretching and see how good it feels.
Weightlifting can surely help swimmers get faster and stronger in the pool! A good lifting program will complement any novice or competitive swimmer. And it’s a fact that resistance training is an effective way to swim faster, too. Exercises like pullups and squats are great ways to engage the whole body and support what you do in the pool. Remember that it’s not necessary to gain large muscle mass to see the positive impacts of swimming. Just watch any Olympic swimming race and notice how lean and fast swimmers are!
Working on your core will help swimmers to keep optimal balance and position in the water. The key to swimming more effortlessly is to have a long streamlined body position and a strong core will help promote that. Increasing your core’s stability will also reduce water resistance since you will be able to stretch out more and keep you positioned higher in the water. Some recommended core activities are flutter kicking on your back on the floor, holding yourself in a plank position, and doing supermans.