Swimming Life Hack (Workout and System)

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(photo: Stew Smith)

You may have found it difficult to get to a lap pool during the COVID outbreak. Many gyms and pools are still closed and your normal swim center with the Olympic pool is limiting the number of people who can swim at once. I have found the swimming life hack to help you find a lane to get swim workouts completed.

The swim bungee system is available on Amazon, but you could easily make your own with a belt and approximately 10 feet of rubber tubing for about $5-10.

(photo: Stew Smith)

Here is how I use it: With a backyard pool that is not suited for serious lap swimming, hook the rubber band through the filter system and back onto the belt or fasten it to some other sturdy thing outside the pool.

I have seen a few people tie a boat anchor to a rope and place it in the ground a few feet away from the pool or tie it around a tree or post. This may require some creativity depending on your situation, but with just a few pieces of equipment you can build your own “endless pool” and swim for time. You can also hook it to the end of a dock on a lake for safer dockside swimming.

(photo: Stew Smith)

Here Are Some Workout Ideas

You may know that it takes you a certain number of strokes to get across a 25-meter pool and you could count strokes to figure out your distance, but the best way is to set up timed intervals for your workouts.

Many people want to practice the combat swimmer stroke (CSS) for military spec ops PT tests. However, freestyle may be a better choice if you want to work on conditioning. Why not mix the two with 1-minute sets of each?

Try this:

Swim 5-10 minutes to warm up and stretch

Repeat 10 times Swim 1 minute freestyle Swim 1 minute CSS

This 25-30 minute swim workout (video) will help you get back on track and in swimming conditioning. You should be swimming daily, especially if you spent months without the ability to swim or take PSTs regularly. It may take a month to get back in the type of water conditioning you need to crush fitness tests again.

If you are just looking for some excellent and safe non-impact cardio activity, mixing in a variety of strokes will work the heart, lungs, legs and arms thoroughly.

Try this:

Repeat 5-10 times Swim 1 minute freestyle Swim 1 minute breaststroke Swim 1 minute underwater stroke. Allow the band to pull you back each stroke. See if you can build up to 5-6 strokes underwater with long glides “pull backs” in between.

Finally, if you perform a swim workout after a run or resistance training workout, do the following to loosen up from the previous workout:

Tread water 5-10 minutes (mix in no arms or legs only – especially on leg days)

Dynamic Stretches: Run in place in chest deep water 5-10 minutes

This is a classic way to end a workout with a light swim, easy tread and cooldown activity on a hot summer day. Enjoy the life hack. My swim bungee is now my swim buddy!

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Visit his Fitness eBook store if you’re looking to start a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle. Send your fitness questions to stew@stewsmith.com.

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