Scared to Swim? 6 Workouts & Tips For Every Level to Win in the Water

Water wins- Athlete Daily

It’s an invaluable tool for aerobic conditioning and rehab. It’s an easy way to work around knee pain, back pain, get lean and just give your body a break from heavy weights. It’s in the CrossFit Games every year.

So why aren’t more people using swimming to stay in shape, get out of pain and alleviate nagging injuries? Water can do some really awesome stuff. (If you don’t believe us, check out these water-based patches that are being tested out in the NFL.)

You know about the importance of hydration already and how vital that is, especially in the summer months.

Assuming you know how to swim, (we’ll be giving you some tips and drills to hone your technique in the coming months) if you’re not sure where to start here are a few ideas. Each session is broken up into a traditional swim session and a swim WOD, and then ranked based on your ability level.

If you’re making your swim a training day, do the swim plus the swim WOD. If it’s an active recovery day, you may want to just pick one or the other and try to limit the recommended sprinting (stick to that 75-85 percent range instead) and just get your heart rate going.

Don’t have access to a pool? Swimming bug your shoulder? Keep reading for ideas on helping you deal with an upper body injury as well as general mobility and assessment. Smarter athletes are stronger athletes!

Workout 1 (Beginner/Intermediate)

500yd warmup (Two rounds of: 100yd free, 100yd kick, 50yd choice stroke)
5 rounds of 50 yd. freestyle swim building to a sprint by the fifth one. (1 minute rest between rounds.)
2x 100 yd off stroke (anything but freestyle) swim working on technique for the first 75 yd and sprinting the final 25.
200 yd cooldown

Note: If you’re dealing with a knee injury, you may want to avoid breastroke kick. You can avoid the stroke completely or do a breastroke stroke with a flutter kick.

Swim WOD Level 1:

5 rounds for time:
25 yards swim
20 sit ups
10 walking lunges (5 per leg)

Workout 2 (Intermediate)

200 yd freestyle swim warmup, followed by 100 yards of stroke
3 x 100 yd backstroke at a building pace (easy, medium, working up to a hard pace at the end). Resting :25 seconds between
3 x 100 yd breaststroke at a building pace resting :25 between
3 x 100 yd butterfly at a building pace resting :25 between
Rest 2 minutes 
4 x 100 IM (25 butterfly, 25 backstroke, 25 breaststroke, 25 freestyle). Working on stroke technique. 30 seconds rest between each.
200 yd choice stroke cool down

Swim WOD Level 2:

15 minute AMRAP:
50 yards freestyle swim
25 pushups
15 V-Ups (lay down a towel if need be)

Water wins- athlete daily

Workout 3 (Advanced)

300 yd freestyle swim warmup, followed by 100 yards of stroke and 100 yards kick (choice stroke)
3 x 100 yd backstroke at a building pace (easy, medium, working up to a hard pace at the end) resting :25 seconds between.
3 x 100 yd breaststroke at a building pace resting :25 between
3 x 100 yd butterfly at a building pace resting :25 between
Rest 1 minute
4 x 100 IM (25 butterfly, 25 backstroke, 25 breaststroke, 25 freestyle). Working on stroke technique but keep a solid effort (75-85 percent). 30 seconds rest between each.
200 yd choice stroke cool down

Swim WOD Level 3:

4 rounds:
25 yards underwater swim (try to make it the whole way if possible. If not, come up and go right back down. Don’t swim toward the wall while breathing above the water.)
50 air squats
30 sec hollow body hold.
*If you are concerned about the underwater swim, do this with a buddy.

NON-SWIMMING SECTION

LIFT IDEAS (upper body injury): Find a safety bar if the regular rack is an issue. Back squat, front squat, deadlift (if this won’t irritate your upper body injury), hip thrusts, glute bridges, split squats, good mornings, single leg deadlifts, lunges (using dumbbells, back rack, front rack), back extensions, hip extensions, reverse hypers, sled drags, sled/prowler pushes, banded hamstring curls.

CONDITIONING IDEAS:

5 rounds for time:
200m run
50 air squats

Max distance in 30 minutes: sled drag @ 75% bodyweight

For time:
30 back squats 95/135 lb
Follow immediately with 4 rounds of:
10 pistol squats (5 each side)
20 tuck jumps

25 minute AMRAP:
10 front squats
10 box jumps
20 weighted sit-ups

Two rounds:
400 m walking lunges
400 m run

FIX YOURSELF

Hips: http://theathletedaily.com/fix-your-hips/

Ankles: http://theathletedaily.com/activelife-ankles/

Shoulders: http://theathletedaily.com/performance-care-shoulders/

Mobility help: http://theathletedaily.com/dr-quinn-mobility-myths/