Swimming Skills - Winter

Maintain Swim Skills Through The Winter

COVID has put the kibosh on many things for nearly the past year. Since then, we’ve seen many creative ideas crop up in terms of staying engaged with family and friends, attending virtual concerts, online fitness classes and so much more.

If you have a backyard pool, you likely spent a lot of time in it all summer but now that winter is here, it’s much harder to find ways to continue swimming since so many places are closed or limit access.

Swimming has so many health benefits. Swimming builds endurance, helps to tone muscles, helps to improve cardiovascular fitness. It also helps you maintain a healthy bodyweight, and healthy heart and lungs. It’s simply a good all-over body workout since nearly all of your muscles are used.

So what do you do this winter to help maintain your fitness and stay in shape for next spring?  There are many exercises that can help you do both.

Strengthen Your Arms & Legs
Do hamstring stretches, prone holds, sprints, push-ups, sit-ups, and streamline burpees to strengthen arms, legs and core.

Strengthen Your Kick
Even if you can’t make it to the pool you can still improve your strokes and build muscle. Practicing flutter kicks can be a great exercise for your core.

To do flutter kicks, lay on your back with your hands together underneath your rear. Then elevate your legs slightly alternate kicking your legs. Do this for 30 seconds, rest and repeat.   

Strengthen Your Core
Planks are effective for both your upper and lower body, as well as your shoulders, arms, and glutes. To do a plank,

  • position yourself like you are about to do a push-up with your arms slightly wider than your shoulders length.
  • Raise yourself onto your toes, squeeze your glutes and hold your head in line with your spine.
  • Hold this position for 20 seconds or longer.

Other “core” exercises include: 

  • Bird Dog – Get on your hands and knees, and hold your spine as flat as possible. Then extend your left arm and right leg out away from your body but do not go higher than your spine. Hold this for three to four seconds and then switch limbs.
  • V-sits – From a seated position, raise your legs to a 45-degree angle. Then extend your arms out to your knees and hold this position for 10-30 seconds.
  • Scissor crunches. Lie on your back with legs flat on the ground, arms at your side.  Raise your right leg straight up towards the ceiling and extend your left arm to meet your right foot.  Hold this pose 15-30 seconds and then switch limbs.

Not only will all of these exercises help keep you in shape throughout the winter but you’ll be in better form once swim season returns!

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