Swimming can be one of the safest and most effective forms of cardio. Whether you are trying to lean out or to get stronger, swimming is easy on the joints, scalable to your goals and an excellent way to connect your brain, breath and body. Unlike running, spinning and rowing (all of which I love!), swimming focuses on a full range of motion of the shoulders and gets our hips and knees extended which can be just what our bodies need in today's technology-centric world. But it can be a big drag (literally) if your stroke or breath are off.
Michael Bonella, Claire Love and Megan Nazareno are three of San Francisco's top swim coaches and personal trainers. I asked them "What is the most common issue you encounter with form and how do you help your clients through it?"
I completed three years of swim instruction at CCSF. My mother has always had trouble keeping me out of the water. From sunny lakes to ice cold oceans, she claims I was born with the souls of a fish... who grew up to be a shark.
I swam competitively for 13 years; including one year for my Turkish college team while studying abroad. During some of my competitive years and after, I coached a swim team and did private lessons for 9 years; ages 3-18. When I started teaching adults at Equinox, I had to re-teach myself how to teach. Many adult swimmers come with decades-old ingrained fear or body misalignments from living the "9-5" that kids do not.
From a young age I always enjoyed swimming especially in the ocean. I swam recreationally throughout high school. In college I became a competitive combat sports athlete and would use swimming as supplementary conditioning for fights as well as a form of active recovery. When I decided to become a swim coach for Equinox, I took 6 months to work with a swim coach to not only better my swim technique but also understand how a client feels being coached in a pool.