Serious athletes have to do more than simply practice their own sport. They must participate in all-around training and body conditioning in order to improve their general fitness and become the best possible competitor. Most athletes participate in a huge variety of training exercises whether it’s plyometrics or ballet. But one of the best training opportunities for an athlete is actually swimming. Here’s why more and more athletes are turning to swimming as a form of athletic training and signing up for swim classes in Los Angeles.
Increasing Lung Capacity
You’d be hard-pressed to find a support where lung capacity doesn’t matter. Athletes of all kinds learn to control their breathing to optimize performance. The more athletic activity you do, the greater your lung capacity needs to be to avoid getting winded. Swimming helps teach breath control, leading to an increased lung capacity over time.
These two related skills allow athletes to perform at a higher level for longer periods of time. Whether you’re learning to exhale with each strike in kickboxing or learning to control your breathing for long-distance runs, swimming can help with that.
Total Body Strength and Endurance
Which muscles do you think your body uses when swimming? If you said arms, you’re right. You’re also right if you guessed abs, back, legs, or any other major muscle group in the body. Swimming is a total-body workout, but in addition to this, it combines muscle strengthening with muscle endurance training.
How do these differ? Muscle strengthening exercises, such as weight lifting, typically focus on building the muscles for shorter, larger exertions. Muscle endurance focuses on training the muscles to exert a lower level of force but for a much longer period of time. While both of these can be important for sports, few exercises will provide strength and endurance training at once. Swimming does just that.
Cardiovascular endurance refers to more than just controlling your breathing. It also refers to your body’s ability to provide sufficient blood and oxygen to your extremities throughout physical exercise. Increasing your cardiovascular endurance takes persistent training and a lot of work, but swimming is a great way to put that work in.
Because swimming is a total-body workout, and because it requires perfect breath control, you can improve your cardiovascular endurance quite rapidly with this activity. And, the better your endurance, the longer you’ll be able to play at peak performance—no matter what sport you’re in.
Body Control and Coordination
True athleticism is about more than just brute strength; it’s about every part of your body working together in perfect coordination to achieve a desired goal, whether that goal is landing a triple lutz or improving your shooting percentage from the three-point line. Because swimming requires every part of your body to work together to propel you through the water, you’ll be training your muscles to work in perfect coordination, which will translate to better performance on the court, the field, the ice, or anywhere else you compete.