The Four Pillars of Swimming

The Four Pillars of Swimming

I. Technique


In Swimming technique trumps all and comes first and foremost. Learn to instill good habits even when you start to feel yourself tire. It’s harder to move forward with bad form, and only leads to more bad form.

To begin  – get to know yourself. Self evaluation and self awareness are the keys to progress. Know your strengths, establish your areas of improvement.

Perfection is not a realistic goal, but strive to be the best version of yourself, and there in self you’ll find perfection. 

Too often people try hard to beat the water to force themselves forward. They end up thrashing inefficiently, not feeling the water, not working with the water, not creating efficient movement.

The most efficient swimmers look effortless in the water, achieving this by incorporating their whole body effortlessly.
Aim to find a balance between swimming with force and swimming with the water. Find a flow in your stroke.

When swimming in good form, you should feel you could cross an ocean if need be. Good swimming should feel like dancing – fluid and rhythmic.

Good technique defines good athletes – showing their consciousness and intelligence about their movements.

Training with proper form you work the correct muscles groups gaining the maximum return for effort and avoiding injury. A proper technique base leads to more enjoyable and gratifying swims.

Your improved mentality and technique in the water will stay with you when you exit the water.

Swim with posture and form that you would like to transition into you day.

Vitality and health come from understanding one’s own body. You can benefit from all aspects of swimming at whatever level you are at.

” Today I will not fight my body – I will kill it with kindness. I choose to befriend my body – instead of working against it. No matter water it does to revolt against me – because I only get this one body – I will use it. “

The Four Pillars of Swimming

II. Flexibility


Swimmers are know for having great flexibility.
Being dense, heavy, and tight does not benefit one’s buoyancy. Being flexible increases range of motion and allows for elongation, both of which benefit your swim.

Aim for a high distance per stroke, meaning you would rather take 30 strokes to go the distance rather than 45. Don’t swim sitting into your hips, or with bent short arms.

Our bodies are our vehicles to sense the world and the water.

So we store emotions in our bodies. Sometimes stress and anxiety feels like stiffness in our joints. As we check in with our body, we find being flexible allows our minds to be more open as well. Suspended in water, our bodies might feel as flexible as they can be – in this antigravity environment, swimming challenges us to reach farther, taller, and feel fuller.

Success comes not from only results, but from embracing the process.

Watch Leila’s Stretching Video

The Four Pillars of Swimming

III. Breath

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Swimming is one of the heaviest cardio vascular workouts, being as its full body – chest, legs, arms, core. A stead and controlled breath allows for swimming fluidly.  In no other exercise does awareness of our breath play such a vital role as it does in swimming. This is a benefit of swimming, this needing to learn to work your breath.

Ultimately connecting your movement to breathing increases your efficiency and aerobic condition.

Breath bridges the gap between body and spirit.

In swimming we never breath shallow or from short breaths. We are allow breathing deep into our chest.

In  our everyday lives, our  breath is passive and something we hardly slow down to listen to. In swimming we wake up our awareness to our breath and begin breathing actively. Our breath deepens, the mind takes over control, and relaxation increases. Breath out, release the stress of your everyday life. Breath in, fill your lungs with the goodness and purity of oxygen.

Watch Breathing Video

The Four Pillars of Swimming

IV. Strength


Flexibility and strength go hand and hand.

Swimmers bodies are both lean an strong.

After establishing proper technique and developing flexibility, strength and power are built  upon this foundation.

Strong mind, strong body

Some find swimming to be an addition to their workout regime, others use it as a means for checking in – or checking out. Some find answers in the water, others ind themselves.

The tranquility of swimming routinely strengths our veins, our resolve, and our inner spirit. Through our disciplined actions we find we are stronger than imaged.

A river can cut through a rock not because of its power but because of its persistence.










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Leila blogs about swimming technique, her swimwear design, and featuring news clips.