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Swim some laps while wearing fins to add variety to your workout.
Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images
Whether you're training for a race or you're just working out to get in better shape, most swimmers experience a point in time when they reach a swimming plateau. When this happens, you'll feel like you're in a rut. It'll be tougher to swim faster, and you might even find your swim times decreasing. If you're doing the exact same workout routine every day, you'll be more likely to experience a plateau. Change things up a bit and you'll find a way around the plateau in no time.1.
Swim faster. Sometimes you hit a plateau because your current routine used to be tough but your body's adjusted to it. You might simply need to push yourself even more. Time yourself, and make it a goal to beat your fastest time. Swim two to four laps at your top intensity and give yourself only a 60-second recovery break. Then build up to swimming six to eight laps with high intensity and give yourself only a 20 second resting break. Switch up the pace, the number of laps and the timing of your rest breaks to give your body variety.2.
Add weight training to your routine, including doing squats and lunges while holding weights. Instead of swimming every day, add weight-training exercises two to three times a week. By lifting weights on land, your muscles will start contracting more efficiently when you swim, your core muscles will strengthen and help with balance while swimming and your swimming kicks will become more powerful.3.
Add swimming gear to your workout. Instead of just swimming laps, add in some gear to mix things up a bit and give your body new challenges. Swim some of your laps with fins on your feet or while holding swim paddles. Try swimming with a kickboard so you're forced to focus on your legs. Changing things up will focus the training on different parts of your body and help you overcome your swimming plateau.4.
Socialize while you swim. Sometimes your plateau happens because you've gotten bored and made swimming a solitary sport. Find a peer group and start swimming laps with them at least a couple times a week. They may have techniques you haven't used that you can learn from. The competition of swimming with a peer group might also give you extra motivation to overcome your plateau.
- Swim paddles