Don’t feel like overcrowded gyms? How to swim fit again | life and knowledge

Last summer was perfect for outdoor sports – especially for those who found busy gyms too unsafe, too crowded or simply too unfamiliar. The partly modest weather made it possible to stay longer outside without escaping from the heat. But summer is over and it’s getting too cold for real outdoor training. If you still do not want to go to the gym unmasked, you should consider going to the swimming pool. There you can easily book time and practice much more undisturbed sports than in a full studio.

In an interview with BILD, fitness trainer and triathlete Thomas Langer gives tips for effective swimming training and explains why the elderly should consider training in the swimming pool, and why all swimmers should include diving in their training.

Come back for the first time

Anyone who has not been in the pool for a long time should consider taking a swimming course. Here, the basic techniques are refreshed and any form errors corrected. “Most fitness studios offer these technique courses for free,” says Thomas Langer, who also offers personal training. “Be aware that distance swimming courses are also offered. Rather take a technical course. “

There is no rule of thumb for how many laps there are enough for a swim, but 1000 meters can be done for beginners and already has positive effects on endurance. “For advanced climbers, it must be at least 4,000 meters,” says Langer.

▶ ︎ By the way: According to Langer, crawl, backstroke and dolphin or butterfly style are the biggest fitness creators.

Do not underestimate diving

Swimming should be fun, break the monotony and give the body new impulses. To add even more variety to the workout, underwater diving is a great option.

“You get a better feel for your body because you have to listen more to your body,” says Thomas Langer. “You can also move in all directions and enjoy the weightlessness.”

Shorter distances are recommended in the beginning, as otherwise there may be a risk of diving accidents. Without exercise, after 20 to 30 seconds, the pressure will enter the chest and neck. This is a sign of rising levels of carbon dioxide in the blood. “You can move the feeling backwards in a very short time with targeted training (eg by diving for objects) and thus dive longer distances,” says Langer.

▶ A training tip from the professional: “Breathe completely into the water and let yourself sink to the bottom of the pool. There is theoretically enough oxygen in the blood to last a minute when concentrating. The blood pressure automatically drops in the water and the blood vessels constrict. ”

A good alternative for older people

Although breaststroke is particularly popular with older people, it should not be limited to it, if at all, it should be used sparingly. Langer says: “Breaststroke strains the cervical spine, hips and knee joints. It should be kept to a minimum.” Backstroke and front crawl are the best alternatives to staying in shape.

Even those who have joint problems should start swimming. With the exception of breaststroke (as mentioned above), weightlessness in the water does not strain the joints. “This makes swimming ideal for building your muscles in a gentle way,” says swimming professional Langer.

You must notice that!

The best tips from triathlon professional Thomas Langer:

▶ ︎ Too much footwork uses up your oxygen significantly faster, which can cause breathing problems. Concentrate primarily on the upper body instead of the legs.

▶ ︎ Keep your ankle loose when doing the crawl kick to avoid cramps. Constant tension while crawling can quickly cause this, especially in men.

▶ ︎ Do not forget to drink! You are not even aware of how much water your body is losing while swimming and it can promote cramps. Bring a bottle of water to the pool and refuel in between.

▶ ︎ Avoid backstroke when the pool is full. You swim almost blind with your head first, so the risk of accidents is similarly high.

▶ ︎ Straight out, left back! Swim counterclockwise.

▶ ︎ Choose a calmer course if you want to swim breaststroke and let your hair dry. Otherwise, the waves in the crawl space can cause friction.

Thomas Langer is a triathlete and works as a personal trainer in Berlin

Photo: private

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