Why can't I swim

Adults can also learn to swim - that's how it works!

From FITBOOK | October 07, 2020, 12:31 p.m.

Swimming is the ideal sport, it is said again and again. Does that also apply to someone who did not make their seahorse as a child? Yes, say experts - adults can still learn to swim. FITBOOK tells how the fear barrier can be overcome, how much time you should invest and what is important when choosing a swimming course.

Fear is the biggest hurdle

The first jump into the water is unusual. This applies to children as well as to adults. But if you have never learned to swim at a young age, it becomes all the more difficult in old age - and you may even develop fear of the water. But it is worth overcoming it, because adults can still learn to swim.

Never miss any more FITBOOK topics - subscribe to our newsletter here!

Basically, swimming is very healthy - especially for adults: The sport is easy on the joints, thanks to the natural buoyancy. "In the water we only have to carry 20 to 25 percent of our body weight," explains Janina-Kristin Götz. She works at the Faculty of Sports Science at the Ruhr University in Bochum.

To be able to swim - what does that actually mean?

What makes swimming the ideal sport for everyone

Movement in warm water can therefore even have a relaxing effect. In contrast, the energy expenditure increases in cold water, and the metabolism also gets going. And: swimming is a full-body sport. All muscles have something to do, but at the same time the load can be easily controlled. Swimming is therefore also well suited for rehab or for building stamina.

Basically, swimming is still not a panacea for fitness. Because the right technique is particularly important - and it has to be learned first. This is especially true for the breaststroke. “The popular breaststroke causes massive problems in the neck area and often also the lower spine,” explains Ulrike Urbaniak, Chairwoman of Mastersport at the German Swimming Association.

The main reason for this is the uncomfortable posture of the head when you don't want to dive underwater. Backstroke is a sensible way to start, especially for people who only learn to swim as adults. Above all, taking a breath is easier because you can breathe freely at your own pace.

The first step in learning to swim

The first step to becoming a swimmer is not breathing or technique - it is simply getting used to the water. "Adults should go into a pool with waist-high water for their first attempts at swimming," says former professional swimmer Toni Embacher, who told FITBOOK. It is particularly important for these people to proceed slowly and carefully. Because: Motor skills decline from the age of 30. "It is important that people can always stand down and stand up."

Pro tips to help you learn to swim faster

The professional recommends that adult newbies enroll in a special course for adults. The following applies: the smaller the group, the better. “The group size of ten people should not be exceeded under any circumstances.” Optimal from his point of view: a 1: 1 or 1: 2 training. To be able to swim safely, you have to calculate 20 "water hours" - the units usually last 45 minutes. "Getting into the pool twice a week is ideal to keep that feeling of water and security."

Also interesting: what you have to be able to do for which swimming badge

Then it also works to quickly get the fear of the water under control!

Tutorial: learn to crawl in four steps

Do you want to go one step further and learn to crawl? Here Profi Embacher shows you how to do it in four simple steps.

Tutorial: Learning to swim back - relieves the spine

Learning to swim as an adult is definitely possible. And then maybe you want to get a swimming badge as well.

Your data security when using the share function