How do I Choose the Best Swimming Classes?

Sheri Cyprus

There are many different types of swimming classes offered in most communities today. To choose the best ones for you, decide on location and time, but also the type of swimming that suits your goals as well as skill level. A person who is afraid of the water will need a different type of class than someone who has been swimming for years and hopes to learn some new swim strokes.

Water aerobics is an exercise performed in a pool.
Water aerobics is an exercise performed in a pool.

If you're the type of swimmer who has trouble mastering the basic front crawl stroke or can't even stay properly afloat in the water, take a beginner's class or private lessons. If you opt for group lessons over private swimming classes, make sure there will be other students at your level if you think you'll feel self-conscious about your ability. At the same time, never be embarrassed about something you can't do when you're making the effort to learn. Look for an understanding instructor if you're at all nervous about the water. He or she can teach you to doggy paddle with your head above water, then learn to stay afloat on your back before helping you learn kicking techniques and swimming strokes.

Intermediate swimming classes will teach the backstroke.
Intermediate swimming classes will teach the backstroke.

If, on the other hand, you thrive in the water and hope to improve your strokes and speed to join a swim team, look for a coach experienced in these types of workouts. You may want to challenge yourself with a new environment such as learning about swimming in the ocean instead of taking more pool-based sessions. Life-saving techniques as well as more advanced swimming classes might be best for you if you hope to keep learning new water skills.

Taking an intermediate swim class that teaches the side stroke or backstroke may be best if you're already familiar with the crawl. Fitness swimming classes can help you improve your speed as well as your stroke techniques. Swimming faster with a proper form in the water can help you tone your whole body since both the arms and legs move a lot in the sport. If you decide to take swimming fitness classes, it's best to work out in a pool between lessons, if possible, to keep at your level.

As a fun fitness alternative to actual swimming classes, you may want to take water aerobics. If you take the deep water type, your feet won't be touching the pool floor. You'll likely use floats to help keep your head above water while doing deep water aerobic movements. If you choose a pool facility in which you can swim laps or do water aerobics after your swimming lessons, this may be best if you find the class too short.

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