Swimming in Place: The Basics

Swimming in Place: The Basics

Swimming is an excellent way to stay fit and healthy, and it’s also a lot of fun. If you’re a swimmer, you’re probably familiar with the benefits of swimming. However, sometimes you might not have access to a pool, or you may have limited space to swim. In these situations, swimming in place is a great option.

Swimming in place is also known as stationary swimming, and it involves simulating the movements of swimming while staying in one place—like running on a treadmill, but for swimmers. It’s a form of exercise that requires a bit of equipment, such as a swim tether or resistance bands, but it can be done in any pool or body of water that’s at least shoulder-deep. Below, the San Diego pool and spa pros from San Diego Pools explain how to swim in place and offer some tips to help you make the most of your workout.

Equipment You’ll Need

Before we dive into the techniques, let’s talk about the equipment you’ll need. First and foremost, you’ll need a stationary swimming device, such as a swim tether system, swim resistance belt, or counter-current swimming machine. These devices use the water’s resistance to provide a challenging workout while keeping you in one place.

You’ll also need swimwear, a swim cap, and goggles. The swim cap is particularly important because it reduces drag, and the goggles allow you to see underwater and maintain proper form.

Once you have the equipment, attach the swim tether to the pool wall or any other stationary object. If you’re using resistance bands, tie them to the pool ladder or another fixed object. After that, put on your harness and attach it to the end of the swim tether.

Now you’re ready to start swimming in place. Begin by standing in the pool, holding on to the wall, and starting to swim as you would in a regular pool. The swim tether will provide resistance, making it harder to move forward, and you’ll need to use more energy to keep swimming.

Techniques for Swimming in Place 

Swimming in place requires some different techniques than traditional swimming. The goal is to create a constant flow of water past your body, which provides resistance and allows you to swim in place. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Use a high cadence – To maintain a continuous flow of water past your body, you’ll need to swim with a high cadence. This means you’ll need to take shorter and quicker strokes than you might during regular swimming. A high cadence creates more resistance and allows you to maintain your position.
  • Focus on your form – When swimming in place, your form is critical. You need to maintain a horizontal position in the water and keep your body straight. Keep your head down and your arms extended, and make sure your kicks are small and quick.
  • Vary your strokes – To keep your workout challenging and engaging, try varying your strokes. You can switch between freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, and butterfly. Each stroke works different muscle groups and provides a different challenge, which can prevent boredom and keep you motivated.
  • Use intervals – Swimming in place can be intense, so using intervals can help you build endurance while also allowing for recovery. Try swimming hard for 30 seconds and then resting for 15 seconds. Repeat this pattern for 10–15 minutes, gradually increasing the length of your intervals and reducing your rest time as you improve.
  • Breathe properly – Proper breathing is essential for any type of swimming, but it’s especially important when you’re swimming in place. Take deep breaths and exhale fully to ensure you get enough oxygen. Practice your breathing techniques during your warmup so you feel comfortable when you start your workout.

Benefits of Swimming in Place

Swimming in place is an excellent form of exercise that provides a full-body workout and offers several benefits, including:

  • Low-impact exercise – Swimming is already a low-impact exercise, but swimming in place can be even gentler on your joints because there’s no impact from pushing off the pool wall. This makes it a great option for people with joint pain or injuries.
  • Endurance – Swimming in place can help you build endurance and increase your cardiovascular fitness. Because it’s a constant swim, it can be more challenging than regular swimming, so it can help you build strength and stamina.
  • Engaging different muscle groups – Swimming in place involves several different muscles, including your arms, shoulders, back, chest, abs, and legs. 
  • Cardiovascular exercise – Swimming in place increases your heart rate, boosts circulation, and strengthens your heart and lungs. Regular cardiovascular exercise can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular conditions.
  • Burning calories – Swimming is a highly effective calorie-burning exercise, and swimming in place can burn just as many calories as swimming laps in a pool. According to the American Council on Exercise, a 150-pound person can burn up to 272 calories in just 30 minutes of swimming in place.

If you’re looking for the perfect way to boost your physical fitness levels, swimming in place can be exactly what you need. As an award-winning swimming pool contractor San Diego families and businesses have trusted for more than four decades, San Diego Pools can create a custom pool for you that offers a great way to exercise as well as a place to relax and get away from it all. Give us a call today at 888-707-7786.

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