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Physical abilities most used in swimming



The human body has different motor attitudes called physical capacities, these are necessary to carry out sports activities such as swimming.

It is not a simple joke to consider swimming as one of the most demanding and complete sports in the world. This sport receives these adjectives thanks to the convergence of physical capacities that occur during its practice.

Athletes focused on this discipline must develop various training plans in order to perform swimming in good conditions. It is not enough just to have a good technique or to love the movements in the water.

Physical abilities used in swimming

Physical capacities are the qualities that an organism possesses to carry out any physical effort. The genetic factor is the most influential of all in this regard.

However, there are other aspects that can contribute to its improvement. One of them is the training consistent and well planned, according to the activity to be performed.

In the case of swimming, many are the physical capacities required. For this reason, this sport has an enormous reputation in terms of complexity. Next, we will see which are the most used in this sport.


Swimming is characterized as a competitive sport through racing; therefore, speed becomes one of the most important physical abilities to develop during your practice.

Training her regularly strengthens everything that is relative to her; from the reaction capacity of different body segments to the time of travel from one place to another.


Physiologically, without sufficient strength, the muscles cannot react to an internal or external stimulus. For this reason, without the improvement of this physical capacity, it would be practically impossible to swim.

Regardless of the style that is practiced (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly), all swimmers must have sufficient strength to move:

  • Explosive force.
  • Resistance to force.
  • Static force.
  • Maximum strength.

Physical abilities: flexibility

Flexibility is considered a quality characteristic of gymnasts. However, it is part of the select group of physical abilities most used in swimming.

This is characterized by the ability of the body to perform movements of joint width, which indicates that both muscles and tendons must be prepared for such execution.

Working flexibility adequately allows the athlete to improve technique with respect to the sporting gesture. On the other hand, body segments such as the extremities offer less resistance when in contact with water.

Aspects of flexibility they bring to swimming are:

  • Malleability: property of the skin to be folded.
  • Plasticity: muscular or joint property of adopting positions different from the common one.
  • Mobility: joint property to execute various movements.
  • Elasticity: muscular property to deform according to the stimulus.


It is about the aerobic condition that is used in long-term tests not only in swimming but in all sports disciplines. Also, it is distinguished as a cardiorespiratory condition due to the role played by these organs (heart and lungs).

A swimmer without this physical ability performs poorly; however, with arduous training, it can be boosted without problems.


It is one of the physical capacities most used in swimming and lifeguarding class, this is evidenced by the technical gesture of the stroke in relation to the kick. For example: in freestyle, the stroke must be asymmetrical with respect to the kick (right to left and vice versa).

The lack of stimulation of specific and general coordination makes performing any style in swimming impossible.

Physical capabilities united for a purpose

Physical capabilities are relative to the body and depend on factors such as genetics and training. These do not work in a specific way, but rather work together to adequately develop swimming.

It is impossible to work speedily without taking force into account and vice versa; For this reason, training should focus on exercises that go from the specific to the general, always hand in hand.

In addition, training in this sport must be well planned, sequential, and focused on the style of swimming that you want to learn or improve.

Within this training, it is possible to find exercises used in sports such as gymnastics, weightlifting, or athletics, thanks to the convergence of skills and abilities previously exposed.

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Learning to swim out of the water, is it possible?



lifeguard recertification
Lifeguard Recertification

Find out about the importance of the land environment when learning to swim.

Learning to swim is one of the most common activities around the world thanks to the benefits of swimming. To achieve this, many people go to swimming pools or other places with water surfaces. But did you know that this wonderful sport can go far beyond water?

Possibly, conceiving swimming outside of environments such as pools, rivers, or other areas where it is practiced regularly is considered crazy for many. However, learning to swim can be done in water-free environments.

Learn to swim

The first thing that appears in the mind of a person who wants to learn to swim is to attend a swimming academy or school. It is the most logical since the principles of this sport are used there and it is taught from the simple to the complex.

In the swimming academy, the processes of familiarization, adaptation, and approach to the various styles that swimming comprises are carried out. Of course, a diagnostic test is performed first to determine how well the apprentice and future swimmer knows.

Is it possible to learn to swim out of water?

While the idea sounds far-fetched, swimming can be conceived out of the water, at the least part of it. Yes or yes it is necessary to enter an aquatic surface to achieve aspects such as flotation and familiarization, therefore learning to swim must always be linked with the water.

Despite this, there are many methodological exercises that can be carried out outside the pool. These favor the learning of swimming; therefore, learning to swim does not depend solely and exclusively on aquatic surfaces.

Exercises to learn out of the water

To improve your technique and learn to swim better, different exercises can be done out of the water. This does not mean that aquatic surfaces such as the pool are left aside, but rather that they emerge as an alternative to improve what is related to this sporting discipline.

The following are exercises to improve both technique and physical condition, fundamental aspects of learning to swim.

Hold your breath

Breathing is one of the fundamental points in swimming. To learn to swim, it is advisable to have good lung condition in order to resist underwater. To do this, exercises can be done out of the water holding your breath.

Standing with the arms accompanying the inspiration, it is necessary to hold your breath for 30-second intervals. After a time, breathe out slowly through your mouth and repeat at least 10 times.

Chair kick

Swimming styles are made up of strokes and kicks, movements that allow propulsion in the water. To learn to swim, it is necessary to coordinate both movements; therefore, the technique must be gradually improving.

A methodological exercise out of the water is the chair kick. The only thing that is needed is an armchair or a wall of 30 or 40 centimeters high to sit down.

Sitting at the end of the chair (toe), asymmetrical kicks are performed simulating the gesture of freestyle and back. 5 sets of 15 repetitions are carried out. Also, symmetrical kicks such as butterfly or chest kicks can be done, following the indications of the monitor.


This is one of the best-known exercises in functional training. The main objective of its practice is to work on aerobic conditions and resistance to strength, aspects necessary to learn to swim.

Being one of the most demanding sports, swimming requires a high level of physical condition. For this reason, the exercises that work on this quality should be done regularly.

An advantage of this exercise is that it is only necessary to count on the body to execute it. The burpees should be done starting in the standing position; then the knees are bent and the hands are supported. Then feet back are carried into position by the pushup. Finally, he climbs in and takes a jump. The best thing to do is to perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions each to gradually adapt.

Water is essential to learn to swim

In conclusion, water is the essential element to learn to swim. However, there are many tools such as methodological and conditioning exercises that can be performed out of the water.

Therefore, swimming learners and lifeguard recertification are advised to get the most out of the exercises out of the water to improve their aquatic performance.

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