There are a variety of reasons that one to one swimming lessons work better than group lessons. As an adult, the biggest benefit is that one to one lessons will be tailored to your needs, goals and starting point. Strictly Swimming Lessons London will design your one to one lessons to bring the best results. Whether you are an adult looking for an introduction to swimming or an adult looking to improve your stroke or fitness, our swimming lessons will meet your needs and personal goals.
Beginner Level Adults
Adult’s wanting to learn to swim usually have a different starting point. Some adults have an absolute fear of getting into the swimming pool. Other adults can easily enter the swimming pool and swim with a few swimming strokes but have absolutely no balance in the water and need to then put their feet on the pool floor. Within Strictly Swimming Lessons London, our aim is to work on all problems in a clients’ stroke, breathing and balance in the water, amongst many other elements. Our tailor-made lessons will work on your problems during your private time with your coach (rather than working on the problems that the group may have). Many adults whom have never learned to swim often have a fear of the water. Splashing and movement of the water in the pool can often exacerbate this fear during a group lessons, whereas a quieter, more peaceful private swimming lessons is often a better option for people with a fear of water and wanting to develop their confidence in the water.
Improver Level Adults
Equally for adult ‘improver’ one to one swimming lessons, the biggest benefit is that clients will often progress much faster than in a group lesson. Strictly Swimming Coaches London will focus in more detail on your problems within your swimming strokes and correct your individual problems. One to one interaction with your coach will allow clients to excel to a higher level, as you discuss your problems in your swimming strokes in more detail. Our coaches will devise both a short term and long term plan for every one of our private clients, which only adds to the experience of taking private lessons. We also will arrange all of your one to one lessons at a time that is convenient to you. Many of our clients are unable to commit or make every week of our group lessons, so our one to one private lessons can be scheduled around your commitments
Are you finding it difficult to increase your speed in the water? Are you looking to combine some speed swimming training with your current endurance workouts? Do you find that you are not moving any faster in the pool or in your triathlon no matter how hard you try? Then let’s look at some tips on speed and sprint training that we can show you during our lessons.
How to train for sprint swimming?
Sprint swim training can be gruelling and exhausting, but having a good coach taking you through the best way to develop these steps will lead to you increasing your power and speed in the water (even over longer distances). Developing your stroke and technique are obviously vital in improving performance and overall speed in the water, but what are the main elements that you should be looking for when aiming at ‘speed work’ in the pool?
Breathing during sprint swimming
Breath-holding (otherwise known as hypoxic work) is part of swimming at top speed. This method includes limiting the number of breaths per length or over a given distance. Some swimmers hold their breath for the entire length of the pool, whilst others breathe once per length, or equally novice swimmers may start with taking a breath every five arm strokes. All these techniques will develop your breath holding ability.
During sprinting, it is imperative that a swimmer acclimatises to swimming at maximum effort and the breathing demands that such effort entails.
The ability to hold your breath during speed swim training can be developed more and more over time. When performing sprint freestyle or butterfly swimming, a single breath will interrupt the power, acceleration and flow of the stroke, hence why we see Olympic 50 metre sprinters not turning for a breath at all when racing.
Stroke rate and length
When performing sprint and speed sets, always try and increase your stroke rate (number of strokes per length) but maintain your stroke length at the same time. If you can increase your stroke rate without shortening your stroke length, you will inevitably swim faster.
Develop a strong kick
Swimming faster not only requires the arms to increase in speed but also the leg kick at the same to time (on any of the four strokes). The timing of the legs to the arms also needs to be maintained no matter if you are swimming at 60% effort or maximum effort. Using fins during sprint training can also benefit a fast and powerful leg kick.
Recruiting fast twitch fibres
Performing short, sharp sprints in the water over very short distances will develop fast twitch fibres in the muscle. Such fibres are needed for better sprinting and you can change your physiology and biochemistry with speed work in the pool. As a distance swimmer or triathlete, this recruitment of fast twitch fibres can be developed over time and you will see a difference in your sprinting ability in both training and in racing.
When to perform sprinting and speed work
Learning how it feels to swim fast is important, however, this does not mean that sprint swimming should be done during every workout. Depending on experience of this kind of training, we would not recommend sprint training every day but limit it to 3 times per week (please talk with your coach and we can advise you more).
On the whole, sprint training is performed at a higher intensity than distance training. Swimming at race pace can quickly lead to a spike in your heart rate and the build up of lactic acid in your muscles. The ability to delay the onset of lactic acid can be achieved with regular sprint (speed) work in the pool. With practice, you will see yourself your sprint training move to entirely different level.
It is no coincidence that the best freestyle (front crawl) swimmers across the world have an amazingly strong, powerful leg kick.
As much as the freestyle stroke is predominately powered by the arms and upper body, and only relies on the leg kick for a small amount of overall forward propulsion (around 10 to 15% and even less for novice and weaker swimmers), without a strong leg kick, you are at a disadvantage. The perfect freestyle kick can generate better balance, drive body rotation and lift the whole body higher in the water. Triathletes generally aim to kick less in their freestyle swimming stroke but without any kick, the body position is affected and as the legs can drop. To swim faster, you need to put the leg work in during your swim training and also develop leg strength in the gym.
Benefits of a strong freestyle kick
Tips to improve your freestyle kick:
Good butterfly swimming is fun to watch although learning to swim butterfly is often regarded as the most difficult stroke due to its unnatural style.
But it does not need to be! Yes, the butterfly stroke requires the most upper body strength of all the four swimming strokes, as the arms must recover over the water. And true, it is usually taught as the final stroke to swimmers who want to learn the four swimming strokes, due to the demands of the stroke. But learning to put this stroke together with the correct technique, can be a fantastic new swimming stroke within your weekly training sessions.
Competitive freestyle (frontcrawl) swimmers often train on butterfly workouts to help develop their upper body strength. Triathlon swimmers are training on this stroke more and more and seeing the benefits of the use of butterfly in their training sessions as they pull though the water more powerfully.
Building your butterfly stroke
Learning to swim butterfly with ease and confidence takes practice. This stroke developed over the years from breaststroke, initially swum with a breaststroke kick rather than the dolphin kick that is commonly used today. The undulating, wave like motion developed as the dolphin kick became the most efficient way of swimming the butterfly stroke (with two dolphin kicks per arm stroke ultimately become the fastest way of performing the stroke without interfering with the powerful double arm pull).
The butterfly stroke is best known for its undulating movement of the body, with a dolphin leg kick that comprises of both legs kicking down and then upwards simultaneously. Building the timing of all elements of the stoke (the arm cycle, the breath sequence and the leg action) is taught by developing each part separately by our Strictly Swimming Coaches in a series of progressive drills. Ultimately, all parts will be combined together and you will be swimming the full butterfly stroke.
Therefore, whether you simply want to learn butterfly as a new skill, or add to your triathlon training to develop upper body power and strength, our coached swimming lessons will help you develop your technique and achieve this.
The need for swimming drills in learning to swim correctly and efficiently has been adopted by swimmers and coaches across the world for decades.
A drill can be used by adult swimmers of all levels during lessons and is simply a specific exercise that focuses on a particular aspect of a swimming stroke. By isolating one aspect of the swimming stroke, drills have proven to correct stroke technique and speed up the learning process of new skills (for both children and adult lessons).
Swimming drills are designed to be progressive, teaching you one skill at a time. This progressive (stage by stage) process allows you to learn any of the four strokes at your own pace, with the knowledge that you are swimming in a controlled, emphasised manner.
There are various aims and goals when using drills during lessons, including developing balance in the water, correcting body roll, increasing hold on the water amongst many others. Correcting your drills during lessons is important if you want to master an effective swimming technique. Like children, adult swimmers should learn to build up a drill progressively and slowly (with logical sequences) and increase the level of difficulty of the drill as you feel stronger and more controlled. When reverting to your regular swimming stroke, you should feel stronger, faster and swimming with less effort.
Competitive swimmers train endlessly with the use of drills, as they have proven to improve swimming technique and efficiency significantly. Even adults learning to swim should and do follow the same method.
Why do adult swimmers need to practice swimming drills?
When we perform drills during our training or lessons, our movements are usually completely differently or exaggerated than we would normally perform during our regular swimming stroke. Old problems or bad habits in the stroke can be identified and eliminated by the sheer nature of emphasizing a stroke point during a drill. Isolating a stroke problem is vital in relearning any part of the stroke. The biggest issue in stroke correction for adults is getting the body to forget old patterns that actually feel natural (even if they are incorrect). With practice and lessons, drills can reprogram a swimmer’s action and muscle memory. Breaking down every single element into components, plus repeated practice of these components, creates this muscle memory and overcomes old habits. Training the body to replicate these actions over and over again is the ultimate goal of swimming drills. This ‘re-training’ of the body is needed on every single progression (stage) of the drill.
The best way to practice swimming drills as adults
It is very easy to perform a drill without a specific focus. Equally, one of the common problems of a training on swimming drills, is to focus on too many technique points. Select one technique component and focus completely on this component during a given swimming lesson. Once this is mastered, refocus on a new component on the next lesson.
During your lessons, always practice your drills by swimming steadily and controlled and never rush your stroke. Be aware that a new drill can take a couple of lessons to master.
The sooner you start incorporating perfect swimming drills into your routine as a beginner adult, the sooner you will gain strength, balance and power into your swimming. Our coaches and lessons will help you develop and extensive list of swimming drills that you can use during your own workouts to make you a faster, stronger swimmer.
Paul started competing in swimming from the age of 8 and eventually went on to represent his country all over the world. During his time at University, Paul specialised in Aquatics and the Biomechanics of Swimming and produced numerous theses on swimming performance.