Gentle Learn to swim exercises

While you learn to swim it’s incredibly important you put the work in away from your lessons. It’s vital you do this both in the pool, with friends and family, as well as exercising to boost your muscle strength, fitness and flexibility; all of which will help make you a better swimmer. These don’t, however, need to be high-intensity gym sessions or group exercise classes. No, in fact they can be relatively gentle. This will help to build up your strength, fitness and flexibility slowly to the point where you can get the most benefit from the swimming lessons. You’re also less likely to injure yourself if you take a gentle approach to your exercise regime.


With that in mind, we’ve come up with a few gentle learn to swim exercises to help you make progress in the pool.


Yoga’s one of the best learn to swim exercises. It’s great for building flexibility, range of movement in your joints, strength and cardio fitness, too; all of which are vital for swimming. Some of the top benefits of taking on Yoga while you learn to swim are as follows:

  • Improving mobility
  • Boosting strength
  • Recovery after your swimming lessons
  • Improving breathing and co-ordination
  • Improving your understanding of your body


Something that’s tied in with Yoga a little bit, stretching is an absolutely vital part of your learn to swim exercise regime. This is because swimming works just about all the muscle groups in your body, so it’s very important to warm up before you swim, as well as cool down afterwards.

It’s not just when you’re swimming that you should stretch, however, as stretching even when you’re not swimming will help keep you supple and flexible.

Core Exercises

Training your core is a particularly important learn to swim exercise. This is because swimming well relies on a strong and stable core, with plenty of stamina. As well as helping your swimming, however, it’ll also help with your posture and balance as well – both of which are really important for everyday life.

It’s important not to get hung up on ‘the core’ being ‘the abs’ either. They are not the same. Your abdominal muscles are part of your core, but they are not the only area you should be working on.
Here are some great learn to swim exercises for your core:

The Plank

The plank is one of the most basic core exercises. It strengthens your entire body and can be done anywhere – the gym, living room – anywhere!

How to do the plank

Lie face down on the floor, with arms at shoulder level and legs straight behind you (like a push-up position).

Tuck your toes under and lift up onto them so that only your forearms and toes are touching the floor. Your back should be straight from head to tailbone

The Superman Hold

To do the Superman hold, lie face down on a bench or other sturdy surface and place your forearms on the floor. Your legs should be straight in front of you with toes pointed (or flexed). Lift them up off the ground so that only your torso is supported by the bench, keeping core engaged throughout.

If this is too difficult for you at first try doing some single leg raises instead of full body ones until they get easier

Dead Bugs

Dead bugs are an excellent core training exercise for strengthening your lowest abdominal muscles. To do dead bugs, lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift arms off the floor, keeping elbows bent at 90 degrees; keep them close to your ears but not touching them.

Side Planks

Side planks are a great way to strengthen your core, improve posture and increase balance. They can be performed with either one or two legs raised (depending on your level of fitness).

How to Perform a Side Plank

Place yourself on your side in a straight line from head to toe. Your shoulders should be directly over your hips, and both feet should be flat on the floor.

Lift one leg off the floor so that only one foot remains touching it; keep this position for 30 seconds before switching sides.