Tuesday, April 5, 2016

5 Free Tools to Learn, Track, and Get Better at Swimming

Apart from being an essential life skill, swimming is one of the best exercises for a full body workout. Plus, it can be relaxing and help you de-stress. It’s one of those activities that everyone should take up at some point.
As usual, the Internet is ready to help you out. A variety of free apps and websites offer advice to beginners, help intermediates get better at swimming, and offer tools for experts to track their laps and push themselves to a better workout.

MySwimPro (Android, iOS): An All-rounder App with Workouts, Tracking, and Videos

Whether you’re taking your first dip into the pool or already know your breaststroke from your backstroke, the MySwimPro app is a must-have on your phone. The sheer amount of features it offers is mind-boggling when you consider it’s free.
There are a series of instructional videos to visualize your swim before you start, a variety of different suggested workouts (with customization), and a built-in tracker that lets you log your laps and see how you are improving steadily. Plus, a simple option to export your workouts to PDF lets you print them out and take them to the pool in case you don’t have a waterproof case for your phone.
Download: MySwimPro for Android (Free) | MySwimPro for iOS (Free)

Swim Smooth (Windows, Mac): Learn the Perfect Technique to Swim Freestyle

Swim Smooth’s big draw is the free stroke visualization app advertised at the main page. A free download for both Windows and Mac, this simulation shows you the perfect technique for the freestyle stroke. You can view the swimmer from eight different angles, so that you understand aspects like head movement, how the hands move, and so on.
What’s more, the Swim Smooth web site is filled with information about different swimming FAQs, like how to breathe while swimming, rhythm and timing, and more. Head to the site, download the visualization app, and then see what you need to learn.

Effortless Swimming (Web): A YouTube Channel of Excellent Swimming Videos

It’s difficult to understand everything about swimming through the written word alone. A video demonstration can often make the difference, which is what Effortless Swimming brings to the table.
A large series of demonstration videos will help you understand the nuances of swimming technique and improve your overall approach to it. Experts also make short videos with tips and tricks about swimming. It’s actually informational, so you might want to set up YouTube for educational purposes and get the most out of this rich resource.

100 Swimming Workouts: Simple List of Workouts for Every Type of Swimmer

Some people know their way around a pool already, and just want to swim without apps to aid them. If that sounds like you, then head over to 100 Swimming Workouts, which keeps things simple by giving free beginner, intermediate, advanced, 1-mile, and open water exercises.
It reminds me a bit of Darebee, which we covered in detail already. Much like Darebee, the simplicity of 100 Swimming Workouts is extremely appealing. Just check the workout that fits what you want to do, and jump into the water. Each workout’s goals are clearly stated, along with how many yards you will be covering, so you won’t spend too much time clicking around aimlessly. The site also hosts a few short, helpful articles and tips.

Swimming Times Conversion Tool (Web):Easily Convert LCM to SCY

When swimmers discuss their times, it’s usually followed by an acronym: LCM or SCY. LCM stands for Long Course Meters (50 meter pools), while SCY expands to Short Course Yards (25 yard pools). These are also Short Course Meters (25 meter pools).
Now, you know your pool, but that doesn’t mean the timings of your friends or competitors are in similar pools. So when you’re comparing, you’ll need to convert. Swim Swam’s free conversion tool is dead simple, and works perfectly on desktop and mobile. Bookmark it!

Do You Know Other Swimming Apps and Sites?

This isn’t a comprehensive list of swimming-related resources. The Play Store and App Store are full of great apps, and the Internet probably has swimming web sites we haven’t heard of. So if you know of a great one, share it in the comments below.

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