By Amy Padilla//Contributor Coach | Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Summer is the best time to work on additional training goals to help boost your overall athletic performance both in and outside of the pool. With the extra time available in your normally hectic schedule, it is important to focus on aspects that will advance your fitness and nutrition regimen.
Each week, we will highlight different areas you can add to your regular swim practice routine that you will benefit from not only physically, but in other areas as well.
Cycling is an excellent way to strengthen your leg muscles while keeping the heart rate up. Whether you ride a stationary bike or enjoy bicycling around your neighborhood, it is a wonderful exercise to add to your fitness routine this summer. Cycling burns between 400 and 1000 calories per hour, depending on the intensity and rider weight. In addition, cycling builds muscle around the hamstrings, quads, glutes and calves. This means that stronger legs will transition into a stronger kick in the water. Cycling is also low impact, which means that it doesn’t put strain on the knees, feet and low back when compared to other aerobic exercises.
- Jump Rope
Jumping rope can raise your heart rate two to three times faster than other exercises, and still offers the same benefits as running with less impact on the joints. Research has proven that jumping rope can help you burn about 1,300 calories per hour. This activity strengthens your calves, hamstrings, quads, glutes, triceps, biceps and shoulders, giving you a full body exercise that is great for both toning and cardio. Jumping rope is also a fun exercise, especially when you learn different jumps, hops, and tricks such as double unders, cross-overs and skips.
Walking just 30 minutes daily can increase your cardio fitness, reduce excess body fat, increase endurance, boost muscle power and strengthen bones. It is low impact and can be performed at any pace. Walking can become a great warm up or cool down to your morning swim practice as well as encourage an optimistic mindset for the remainder of the day. Walking strengthens the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and stomach muscles. Swimmers can walk independently or coordinate team group walks in between practices to make the exercise more of a pleasurable experience.
Hiking is a wonderful way to build muscle in your legs and core as well as enhance your flexibility and coordination. Because hiking is often centered around nature and beautiful scenery, it has been proven to also lower stress levels, improve a person’s mood, and enhance mental well-being. Moreover, hiking improves cardiovascular health, decreases the risk of respiratory problems, increases your sense of balance, and helps to control your weight.
Supplementing hiking in between your swim training can significantly influence your mental attitude and focus during swim practice in a positive way. Stronger legs from the activity will benefit your strokes, speed and endurance.
Cardio kickboxing is an aerobic workout that builds both upper and lower body strength, increases the heart rate, and helps burn fat and calories. Kickboxing can burn up to 450 calories per hour due to the constant kicks, jumps, punches, weaves and bobs during the exercise. Core power is also improved as you balance to perform the routines. Tae-Bo is a form of kickboxing that combines the activity with other martial arts, and is a popular style for beginners and advanced athletes alike.
Both Tae-Bo and other types of kickboxing exercises can be performed at home by following along with online or DVD videos or you can also enroll in classes at a local gym or fitness center. As a bonus, kickboxing reduces stress, and teaches valuable self-defense skills that develop when learning the activity.
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