7 Tips for Swimming Newbies

Work On Your Swimming Technique

Technique is extremely important in swimming. If you do not have the technique, you run the risk of exhausting yourself sooner, and not getting very far in the water.

"Technique is an extremely important aspect of swimming," Howorth says. "Starting out at a comfortable pace gives you the freedom to process what you are doing and, in turn, make stroke adjustments."

More: 10 Elements for a Perfect Freestyle Stroke - Part 1

As far as what stroke beginners should try to master, standard freestyle is best. Howorth recommends freestyle because it is generally the fastest stroke and allows for slightly less exertion than other strokes.

"Freestyle allows people to train for extended periods of time without your heart rate getting too high," he says.

Try Pool Running

You don't have to swim all the time. Put a kick board under each arm, flat against your body and move your legs like you're running. This is great for runners trying to recover from injury and is a challenging workout.

Injury Risk

While swimming is often a prescription to rehab an injury, people with a history of shoulder injuries should heed some caution. Howorth explains while injuries can result from swimming, they are easily preventable.

More: Exercises to Prevent Swimmer's Shoulder

"The most common injuries in swimming are shoulder injuries due to repetition with poor technique," he says. "This is why I recommend starting out at 50 percent effort and getting the help of a coach to give you some advice with technique."

Where to Swim

Take time to research gyms or clubs in the area with pools. Some may have a drop-in rate if you only want to swim a few times per month. Your local YMCA is a great place for a pool and also offers many aquatic programs that can help you get started.

Once you feel more comfortable, research Masters and noncompetitive swim teams to keep in swimming shape.  

More: 4 Focused Swim Workouts

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