This blog post is sponsored by Hydrorevolution! Use code MYSWIMPRO for 20% off your purchase.
When you’re getting started with swimming, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. With so much to think about while you swim, it’s easy to fall into bad habits if you aren’t careful.
It’s understandable that you might not be doing things quite right when you’re new to the sport. Today we’re sharing the 7 most common missteps we see beginner swimmers make, and how to fix them!
1. Not Having a Plan
When you’re brand new to swimming, it’s ok to head to the pool without a workout. But once you’ve gotten your feet wet (both literally and figuratively!), it’s time to start a structured plan!
Once you have established a solid routine, it’s important to find a training plan that will help you maximize your time in the water, keep you motivated and help you progress over time. The MySwimPro app has a few great options for beginners, including the Getting Started plan and the Couch to 1k plan.
2. Swimming Too Fast at the Start of the Workout
It’s really common for new swimmers to dive in and start swimming really fast at the beginning of their workouts. And we don’t blame them — their bodies are feeling good!
However, going out too fast can negatively affect your performance for the duration of your workout, and may leave you feeling extra fatigued when you’re done. Instead, conserve your energy so you can finish the workout faster than you started. Think about building your speed throughout your swim.
Begin your swim with a dynamic warm-up on deck, followed by an easy swim in the pool before starting your main set. This will loosen up your muscles and prepare you to feel great for your entire workout!
3. Not Cross Training
Swimming is an incredible form of exercise. But if you’re really focused on getting faster, it’s important to incorporate cross training into your routine. Many swimmers call this “dryland training,” and it can include bodyweight workouts, weight lifting, yoga, cycling, running and more.
Related: How to Cross-Train for Swimming
Mixing up your activities works your muscles in different ways, helps prevent injury, and builds strength that will translate into your swimming.
For at-home dryland training programs, check out the MySwimPro app! Our training programs are great from beginners and advanced swimmers, and include minimal equipment. Try the Dryland for Beginners plan to get started!
Low Impact Cross Training with Hydrorevolution
If you enjoy swimming for its low-impact benefits, you’ll love cross training with Hydrorevolution! Their drag resistance equipment is specially designed to help you build strength in the water without putting excess strain on your joints.
You control the level of resistance based on how hard you pull, or how quickly you move. We have been loving these products:
Aqualogix Hybrid Fins add resistance to your legs to help you improve your kick strength. They come in 3 sizes and are great for all levels of swimmers, especially if you’re trying to improve your kick!
Aqualogix Bells come in 3 sizes and will fire up your upper body. You can do punches, chest press, flys, curls, tricep extensions and more.
The Aquastrength Barbell allows you to simulate kayaking and both push and pull movements. It’s a great cardiovascular and strength workout!
Use code MYSWIMPRO for 20% off Hydrorevolution training products! >
Head to the pool and use Hydrorevolution equipment for a dedicated cross training workout, or try it out for some low impact movement on an active recovery day.
4. Taking Too Much Rest Between Sets
When you’re swimming multiple repetitions of 50 meters, 100 meters, etc., your rest time is crucial. If you take too much rest between reps (2 minutes, 5 minutes), you start to lose the aerobic benefits of swimming.
Related: What is Interval Training?
It’s important to rest enough to let yourself recover, but not to let your heart rate drop too much. Following a structured workout with intervals will help you control your rest time.
Make sure to take rest when you need it, but know that your body is stronger than you think. We improve when we push ourselves out of our comfort zone!
5. Not Having the Right Gear
Related: Why You Should Wear a Swim Cap
Gear is super important in swimming. When you first get started, you should have the following:
- Swimsuit (no t-shirts or basketball shorts!)
- Swim Cap (especially if you have long hair!)
If you want to take your gear to the next level, you can add these items to your swim bag:
- Hand Paddles
- Hydrorevolution Resistance Equipment
Check out our favorite swim gear! >
6. Swimming Too Much
It’s easy to bite off more than you can chew when you’re new to swimming. You’re loving the sport and want to get better, so you go swimming every day and try to max out your distance each time.
Related: How to Prevent Swimming Shoulder Injuries
While we commend you for your effort, you may be overdoing it! It’s better to build up your distance gradually, so your body has time to adapt and get stronger. Otherwise, you may be stuck with pesky shoulder injuries that will require time off to heal.
A well-structured training plan will progress you safely over the course of a few weeks or months, based on your goal. If you stay consistent, you’ll improve and be able to swim a lot further. Be patient!
7. Going Through the Journey Alone
Swimming is a very social sport, and it can be hard to stay motivated if you train alone. Whether you swim with your local Masters team, with friends or fully solo, make sure you’re part of the MySwimPro Global Community Facebook Group. More than 10,000 swimmers from all over the world are ready to welcome you, support you and hold you accountable to your goals!
What advice do you have for new swimmers? Share in the comments, and make sure you download the MySwimPro app. To get 20% off Hydrorevolution training products, use code MYSWIMPRO >
Many of us have been forced to stop swimming from one day to the next and then had a break of several months, as the pools have been closed. How can we prepare for getting back to the pool? Let’s say we know the pools will reopen in two weeks and we haven‘t been swimming in 3-6 months. Could you guys do us a favor and suggest a „get-back-to-the-pool“-training plan with cross training (DL, run, yoga) and swim?
Hi Maria! Check out this video for some tips about making a swimming comeback! https://myswimpro.com/blog/2018/09/21/how-to-make-a-swimming-comeback-in-5-steps/
Depending on your skill level, you may also enjoy this 4-week training plan: https://myswimpro.com/blog/2018/06/21/4-week-beginner-freestyle-training-plan/
As a senior swimmer, l swim 5 or 6 times a week. I started swimming laps at 63, I was 364 lbs and looking to develop a exercise routine I could stick with and enjoy. The ladies who I watched swim seemed to not work that hard and swam for 60 minutes or better so I thought I could do the same. I swam my first length of the pool and said I’m going to have to learn to do this. Utube videos and later after finding MySwimPro that’s how I learned to swim. I asked lifeguards and other swimmers for critique, as you can’t see yourself swim.At 6’5” and 250 lbs I still have a lot of mass to pull thru the water for a 67 year old but manage to swim 2500 yards in 60 minutes. I use paddles for the first 1200 and finish the rest freestyle and backstroke.I haven’t figured out how to flip turn with paddles but do so on the rest of my swim.Music and the MySwimPro app are the two best tools period for anyone who spends time logging time and distance in a pool. Thanks for all you do!
Thank you so much for sharing your story, Richard! Keep up the awesome work!