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Swimming In Singapore: The Definitive Guide 2018

Swimming is an important life skill and the only sport that can saves you and others life

It is no secret that swimming is one of the most important sports and skills to have for survival and the betterment of health !

Swimming has been practiced as both a sport and as a leisure recreational activities for many thousands of years.

Reaching the proficiency of great swimming is one culmination of many swimming techniques: you need to master floating, manipulation of water, freestyle swimming, backstroke, breast-strokes, butterfly swimming, turnings, starting, diving techniques, survival in open water and survival swimming.

It might seems effortless for people who have reached the highest level of swimming and competition.

For beginner or novice, on the other hand seems like an exhausting chore which can be done well with people who have a natural talent for it.

Bottom line? If you want success in swimming, you need to follow a systematic building of solid foundations of skills and techniques with enough reading, following instructions through swimming lessons and many hours of practices.

swimming in singapore
swimming in singapore
Don’t have time to read the whole guide right now?

No worries. Let me send you a copy so you can read it when it’s convenient for you. Just let me know where to send it.

swimming in singapore

Swimming Fundamentals

swimming in singapore

Swimming Pools

swimming in singapore

Swimming Apparels

Training Equipment

swimming in singapore


Water Manipulation

swimming in singapore

Freestyle Swimming Techniques

swimming in singapore

Backstroke Swimming Techniques

swimming in singapore

Breaststroke Swimming Techniques

swimming in singapore

Butterfly Swimming Techniques

Chapter 1 : Swimming Fundamentals

Swimming can be defined as simply the act of knowing how to propel oneself through the water.

Last year we have done a research on best way to guide children to know how to swim. Research shows that weekly swimming lessons and intensive programs seems to be the most cost-effective and the most effective ways to pick up swimming.

The facts: Swimming differs from the other sports in many different ways. Swimming is not a natural activity for human beings. Humans bear little resemblance to species that are geared to operate in the aquatic environment. Humans do not have gills in order to swim thus humans have to make certain adaptations- in part to accommodate the differences and also to take advantages of them.

For swimming success, you must first become accustomed and comfortable in the aquatic environment which differs quite dramatically from land-based environment which we typically operate on a daily basis.

#1: Why is swimming so different from the other land-based sports?

Humans operate on a daily basis in a land-based environment. Understanding the key differences between humans and aquatic creatures will help us easier in identifying the differences.

As most terrestrial creatures, we walk upright and the natural position for most of our waking hours is basically vertical. In the water however most of what we do involves being horizontal and this differences take some time getting used to for most people.

Most sports, success depends largely on strength and speed. In swimming, however there is nothing solid to push against, thus though strength matters in swimming, it will much more crucial to be able to know how apply pressure to the water in the correct way. Water is naturally a fluid, it moves around you rather than resolute resisting you in the way a solid does. Similarly too, the speed in swimming comes not necessarily from how fast you move your body parts but rather using the movements to put pressure on the water in an effective way.

Chapter 2 : Swimming Pools

Before diving into swimming pools, it’s good to know what are the different types and sizes of swimming pools available.

swimming in singapore

Why is this important?

Knowing all this various configurations will help to prepare us better know where to go for better learning and training.
When it comes to swimming, there are 2 kinds of swimming pools you can see readily:

#1: LCM- Long Course Meter Pool

Long course meter pool is often referred to as the Olympic-Size pool. LCM Pools are 50 meters long.

swimming in singapore

#2: SCM- Short Course Meter Pool

Short course meter pool is often referred to as the Training Pool. SCM pools are 25 meters long.

swimming in singapore

#3: Competition Pools

Olympic-size pools also known as competition pools share certain standard features such as starting blocks, set of backstroke flags. Flags or pennants are strung across the pool’s lanes 5 meters from the edge of the swimming pool to signal backstroke swimmers that they are approaching a wall – crucial safety feature.

Competition pools are also outfitted with starting blocks or platforms. During competitions, thin sensor will be attached to pool walls to record timings of each swimmer’s first touch.

swimming in singapore

#4: Pool Races

Every national swimming federation has its own unique minor rule variations, majority of swimming meets and races take place in the pools rather than in open water environments.

Swimming venues around the world organize varying events featuring various strokes and distances but all competitors start at the same time and adhere to the same rules of the prescribed stroke, the finish order is ranked from the fastest to the lowest. “Similar” swimmers are categorized and put to swim together via “heats” events and timed with the fastest swimmers declared as the winner.

swimming in singapore

CHAPTER 3: Swimming Apparels

It is not secret that learning and practicing swimming is the effective ways to pick up the sport of swimming and preparing yourself for the competition.

But here is the deal:
Choosing the right suit is an important part of appreciation of swimming and providing comfort in the water. Swimsuits differ and unlike the ones you wear to the beach is not necessarily the best choice for swimming workout. Swimsuits provide maximized fit and functionality.

swimming in singapore

#1: Swimsuits

Male Swimwear

  • Brief
  • “Jammer” which runs from waist to just above the knee made of material of nylon, spandex, polyester or combination.
swimming in singapore

Female Swimwear

  • One piece suit covering the body from the mid-thighs to the shoulder in varying style and cut.
  • Bikini better known as the two piece swimsuits.

Training purposes

  • Swimmers may opt for less expensive, less restrictive providing some extra elements for training purposes such as the increased drag of looser suits.

#2: Goggles

Goggles comes in all kinds and shapes from snorkeling, scuba diving ones to the ones used in triathlon. When it comes to selecting and purchasing of goggles, quality assessment should be on the basis not of the price but of the fit. The best goggles are the ones that fit you and fit your face.

swimming in singapore

Testing the goggles fit

✔ Place the eyepieces on your eye sockets, below the bony part where the eyebrows are located, in the softer part of each socket.

✔ Without using the strap, press the goggles gently on the soft tissue and see if they stay even for just a few seconds.

✔ If they do, Cheers~ you have got the good fit!

#3: Caps

Swimmers with long hair usually wears cap:

✔ To keep the hair out of the way and reduces the drag

✔ Provides a measure of protection from the sometimes harsh chemicals

✔ Provide a measure of protection from environment factors

swimming in singapore

Bad environmental factors for wearing caps as a measure:

✔ Outside sun and UV factors

✔ Bacteria in the water

✔ Chemical in the water such as residual like suntan lotion came off other swimmers

✔ Runoff from chemicals on the deck during rain

✔ Chemical from pollution that can be found in open water environments

swimming in singapore

Materials in the making of swim caps:

✔ Latex

✔ Silicone

✔ Neoprene for those swimmers in cold weather

Always keep in mind that swimming caps are like rubber bands and can stretch and break, do take care of it and follow the care-and-use guide in the packaging.

CHAPTER 4: Training equipment

4 Reasons to use training equipments

✔ Conduct drills

✔ Improve swimming specific movements by increasing the resistance

✔ Assistive device to enable swimmers to isolate a specific movement or set of skills

✔ Make many skills and drills mastery easier

swimming in singapore

#1: Kickboards

✔ A kind of equipment made of some foam to provide flotation

✔ Its purpose is to provide a buoyancy assistance that swimmers can isolate and train the kicking motion.

✔ Used to train all 4 competitive strokes

swimming in singapore
swimming in singapore

#2: Fins

Fins commonly used in swim training to add resistance to kicking motion, helps people to swim more easily or to make the workout harder. Fins comes in many shapes and sizes, examples of some of the fins are monofins and the breaststroke fins.

#3: Paddles

Like goggles and fins, paddles comes in a variety of shapes and sizes as well. They are often used to create extra resistance by increasing surface areas of the hands. Novice swimmers are advised to use smaller paddles to minimize the risk of injury.

swimming in singapore
swimming in singapore

#4: Pull buoys

Pull buoys are used for isolation and training for certain techniques. Usually fitted in the between the thighs just above the knees and the swimmer will keep it in place by squeezing the thighs together. This kind of arrangement will prevents the swimmer from using any effective kicks in freestyle or backstroke thus train the pulling motion of the swimming arm stroke.

#5: Snorkel

Snorkel is designed for swimmers to focus fully on their strokes without the added concern of when and where to breathe. Standard swimmers’ snorkels are typically center mounted rather than offset like they are going for scuba diving, with a strap that will goes around the head.

swimming in singapore

CHAPTER 5: Floating

Body movements are controlled by the brain, the activity of swimming – an unnatural activity for humans that require complex, timed movement requires us to program the brain and direct the body effectively in water. This technique is better known as developing “muscle memory” involving the brain imprinting and patterning.

swimming in singapore

Why master floating first?

The first step to move from vertical position to the horizontal neutral position which serves as the foundation for swimming in all 4 competitive strokes.

The key pointers to master floating?

✔ The transition from vertical to floating on your back

✔ The transition from vertical to floating on your front

✔ Balancing on the centre of buoyancy in a streamlined position on your front

swimming in singapore

Always remember that being relaxed and comfortable is the key factor in all success in learning how to swim.

CHAPTER 6: Water Manipulation

Body movements are controlled by the brain, the activity of swimming – an unnatural activity for humans that require complex, timed movement requires us to program the brain and direct the body effectively in water. This technique is better known as developing “muscle memory” involving the brain imprinting and patterning.

The key pointers to mastery of water manipulation?

✔ When you know that you have achieve an aquatic position that minimizes the drag

✔ Get the feel of the water and where it slips off your hands when anchoring your hands during the crucial catch phase of a stroke.

✔ Using a sculling motion for propulsion

✔ Using flutter, dolphin and breaststroke kicks for propulsion both from the front and the back.

CHAPTER 7: Freestyle Swimming Techniques

Freestyle swimming have gone by many names, including the Trudgen stroke, Australian crawl and the front crawl. The crawl stroke is one of the fastest competitive swimming strokes and became synonymous with freestyle. A good freestyle is efficient and effective.

swimming in singapore

The key pointers to mastery of swimming freestyle?

✔ Reach – discussed with the catch and pull movement

✔ Rotation – involves turning the body over by rotating around the anchor point (hand)

✔ Relaxation involves in the learning to relax the body parts that are not helping you to swim more efficiently

Swimmers that master freestyles find it as easy as eating. To that end, this structured steps and skills, once you have mastered all these skills, you will be well on your way to an effective freestyle stroke.

✔ Horizontal body line

✔ Rotation on a long axis

✔ High elbow catch

✔ Pressure on the water throughout the stroke

✔ Kicking rhythm

✔ Effective breathing

✔ Effective timing

swimming in singapore

CHAPTER 8: Backstroke Swimming Techniques

Backstroke swimming was first introduced into the international competition at the 1900 Olympic game 1900 in Paris as compared to freestyle event which started years earlier at 1896 Games. The great advantage of backstroke over all the other strokes is that the swimmer’s face can be out of the water all the time. Swimmers who master backstroke develop great balance on the water and in turn benefits their freestyle swimming.

swimming in singapore

The key pointers to mastery of swimming backstroke?

✔ Horizontal body line

✔ Rotation on a long axis

✔ Splash-less entry and effective catch

✔ Pressure on the water throughout the stroke

✔ Kicking rhythm

✔ Effective breathing technique

✔ Effective timing

A good horizontal position is the most important key element of an effective backstroke and also lays the foundation for applying force to the water to achieve propulsion.

CHAPTER 9: Breaststroke Swimming Techniques

Breaststroke swimming have gone through many phases and holds a position in many cultures around the world. Due to the previous stroke, it was theorized to have originated from the mimicking of a frog, though the modern version there are some differences in terms of the kick.

Breaststroke is the first and only stroke used for first recorded crossing of the English Channel by a swimmer.

swimming in singapore

What are the advantages of swimming breaststroke?

✔ The possibility to breathe after every stroke, judge and see where you are going and use the stroke to achieve survival and water safety.

✔ Slowest among the 4 competitive strokes but the gradation and subtleties make it potentially the most complex as well

✔ Use sole forces and energy on legs

What are the key pointers to mastery of breaststroke?

✔ Good body position

✔ Effective catch

✔ Pressure on the water throughout the stroke

✔ Kicking rhythm

✔ Effective breathing

✔ Effective timing

Breaststrokes and butterfly are considered the “short axis” strokes and are really about timing and rhythm. Both of this strokes rotate on a shorter axis, through the chest laterally rather than on a long axis (down the spine) but key pointers are the same and common for all of the strokes.

swimming in singapore

CHAPTER 10: Butterfly Swimming Techniques

Butterfly stroke is the fourth of the competitive swimming strokes developed around 1930s as a measure to minimize the drag caused by underwater recovery of the arms in the breaststroke. This technique is much faster as compared to breaststroke but requires a substantial amount of energy. The most basic motion of butterfly is the dolphin kick and the undulating rhythm in which both the legs and arms are in sync with precise timing.

The most important element of a good execution of butterfly stroke is the use of the body’s core muscle, also the greatest source of power to successfully perform the stroke. Activation of the core muscle to integrate with the arms and legs is crucial to swimming butterfly.


Mastery of butterfly stroke is the same as breaststroke with one more skill added to perform an effective butterfly.

✔ Acceleration throughout the stroke

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