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Top 20 Swimming FAQs

WILL WEARING A SWIMMING HAT KEEP MY HAIR DRY? 

No, your hair may still get wet but wearing a cap will keep it out of your face while swimming and does protect it a bit from the chemicals in the pool

SHOULD I WEAR GOGGLES?   

Yes, Swimming is much easier if you can see where you are going! You don’t need to wear the straps very tight, usually when goggles leak it is because the nosepiece is the wrong fit not the head strap

HOW CAN I STOP IT HURTING WHEN I GET WATER UP MY NOSE?    

Wearing a nose clip can make swimming less painful to the sinuses as well helping to stop that blocked nose feeling after swimming. Nose clips are small and discreet now and many top swimmers wear them

IS SWIM EQUIPMENT JUST FOR ELITE SWIMMERS?   

No, floats, fins and paddles are great for beginners as well as elite swimmers. Using a pull buoy or a kick board means you can isolate parts of the body and work them harder. Paddles & fins can aid beginners or give a more intense work out

IS IT OK TO USE A KICK BOARD WITH A BAD BACK?     

Using a kick board is a great way to strengthen legs but it can put pressure on the lower back. The smaller the float the lower the pressure it will put on or hold the float by the nearest end to lessen pressure 

IS IT CHEATING TO USE FINS?  

No, fins are great for keeping your ankles in the correct position to improve kicking. For weaker swimmers they give propulsion and help you go faster but for stronger swimmers, if you put some effort in, they create greater resistance in the water and therefore work legs harder

HOW CAN I STOP MY LEGS SINKING WHEN I SWIM?  

If you have a weak leg kick or a weak lower back it is common for legs to sink a little which makes swimming difficult. Putting pull buoy between your legs will help keep your body in the correct position and make it easier to swim for longer. You can either keep legs completely still or kick slightly for balance

HOW DO I DO BUTTERFLY KICK?       

The dolphin kick movement is almost like hula hooping. Keeping legs together kick from hips in small, quick, powerful downward movements. Knees should bend slightly with the motion and ankles should be floppy with feet slightly turned in. Wearing fins makes butterfly kick easier

WHEN SHOULD I BREATHE ON FRONT CRAWL?   

Breathe out while your face is in the water so you only have to breathe in while you turn to the side. Breathing alternately to each side on front crawl keeps your body balanced and taking regular breaths helps you to keep going for longer. Breathing every 3 strokes is ideal for regular swimming

SHOULD I BE LOOKING AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POOL ON FRONT CRAWL?   

No, you should be looking slightly forward towards the end of the pool. The water level should be in line with just above your eyebrows. This helps keep your body in a better position

WHAT IS STREAMLINING?   

It is keeping your body in the most hydrodynamic position to help you move faster through the water. When you push off the walls your arms should stretched out in front with one hand should be on top of the other. Your ears should be squeezed between your shoulders you should be long and tight, think of an arrow going through the water

HOW DO I DO BREASTSTROKE LEG KICK?  

Bring your heels up to your bum (not knees to chest) then kick out just wider than the body with feet turned out and finish by bringing feet together

HOW DO I GET THE TIMING RIGHT ON BREASTSTROKE?     

Correctly timing pull & kick is key to smooth breaststroke swimming. You must finish your kick before your hands part at the front. Breathe in as you squeeze hands together in front of you and out as you kick your hands forward

IS IT BEST TO LEARN DIFFERENT STROKES?

Yes, mixing up strokes in a session means you will use a wider range of muscles and therefore get a better all round work out. It also makes a swim session more interesting

SHOULD I DO THE SAME SWIM SESSION EVERY TIME? 

No, it is more challenging and fun to try different things. Mixing up pace, distances and strokes will give a much better work out and you’re less likely to get bored. Give yourself goals for each session

WHAT IS THE POINT OF A PACE CLOCK? 

It’s great to take your times for certain distances to compare from week to week to help you set goals. It is also useful to make sure you take the correct rest intervals

IS SWIMMING GOOD FOR ASTHMA SUFFERERS? 

The warm, humid environment at the pool can be good for asthmatics and the breath control you need for swimming can help strengthen lungs and give asthma sufferers a better quality of life. Always check with your GP before starting any new exercise

ARE THE CHEMICALS IN THE POOL BAD FOR YOUR HAIR & SKIN? 

Your body is good at adapting to its environment and if you wash & condition your hair and put on a good body lotion straight after swimming you shouldn’t have a problem

CAN YOU GET DEHYDRATED IN A SWIM SESSION?    

Yes, it is very easy to get dehydrated while swimming because you don’t notice if you’re sweating and you may not feel thirsty. Always have a drink bottle with water or a rehydration drink in and sip small amounts throughout your swim

CAN I EAT BEFORE SWIMMING?   

If you are swimming in the morning try to at least eat a cereal bar or biscuit as it is best not to swim on a completely empty stomach. You can get belly ache if you swim on a very full stomach so it’s best not to have a big meal right before

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