Swimming and Fitness in Shekou
Swimming is a sport that offers benefits both physically and mentally. Moreover, it is an exercise that people of all ages can enjoy. This sport, unlike most others, offers full-body support while working all muscles groups. Beyond the physical benefits, David Shomaker, head coach at the Dawei Awesome Swim Club in Shenzhen, also believes swimming enhances a person’s spiritual and mental health as well. The Dawei Awesome Swim team practices in Futian and, as of this month, in Shekou. In Shekou we work closely with the new Fusion gym and head trainers like John Graham, President of Fusion and creator of JGFitness, www.johngrahamfitness.com. Both John and David believe in swimming’s multifaceted benefits and focus on these in their swim and water aerobic classes.
David Shomaker started competing at age five and by age eight was swimming year-round. This sport has always been a balancing force in his life and enabled him to succeed in both the academic and business worlds. When he was first on summer swim teams, he was there to have fun. For the last year, running a swim team here in Shenzhen, David has tried to recreate that feeling for his students. Up until now, most of these students have been Chinese children who are expected to work hard and be successful in all endeavors. Just like David’s experience learning Chinese and, frankly, most anything else, he finds the best teaching methods involve keeping the students’ interested. “In our swim classes, kids are encouraged to have fun”, says David. “We play games and coaches jump in the water with students each class. I want the kids to forget about the stresses in their lives and exercise without unnecessary burdens. This is how I learned to swim.”
Whether you are training for competition or simply want a fun and relaxing health activity, swimming has you covered. With a professional coach, most kids take to the water easily and can learn to be self-sufficient and safe in the water within 10 lessons. “With kids, patience is the key,” says David. “We instruct students using tried and true methods starting with proper breathing and moving forward to breaststroke and freestyle.” Swimming does take perseverance and this life lesson can enhance other areas of life. Swimmers often do very well in school and naturally succeed in the business world to follow. Beyond these benefits, swimming is an important skill. Most of the world is covered by water and being comfortable and capable in the water is an invaluable skill to possess.
Beyond the wholesomeness of swimming as a sport, it is one of the most beneficial activities to do for your health. John Graham knows a lot about the fitness side of swimming and how simple exercises and training can greatly benefit your swimming performance.
“Performance in any sport or activity can be greatly enhanced through fitness.” Explains John. “Water aerobics is an activity that allows you to use the pool as your gym and the water as the resistance. This means of fitness is great for older people who need to avoid joint injury but still get in a whole body workout.” “Just by being in the water and staying afloat you are using so many muscle groups, it instantly becomes a full body workout!” says John.
John gives some examples of exercises that greatly help your swimming performance.
- Body weight pull ups. “your lats are the driving force in swimming strokes so using your own body weight and pull your body up to a bar greatly helps develops the strength in this muscle” explains John
- Another great exercise that John recommends is ‘The Swimmer’. Using a swiss ball, lie on the ball with your stomach and firmly grip the ground with your toes. Grab two light weight plates. While balancing your core on the ball do the same swimming stroke that you would perform in the water. This not only develops strength in your strokes but also in all your core muscles which are used in swimming.
- Lastly John says “not only is swimming a great outdoor activity but it’s ideal for everyone from older individuals to kids. It’s a great cardio activity and develops muscle strength. One hour of swimming is a safe, joint friendly workout that everyone will benefit from.”
David Shomaker moved to Shenzhen in 2008 and has run the Dawei Awesome Swim Club (www.daweiawesome.com) since 2010. He is a 17-time All-American swimmer from the USA and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.