Freestyle + Thankful Thursday

Hey all! I love Thursdays—I get to share what I am thankful for, which always puts me in a fabulous mood!

Since it is June, and Summer finally decided to show its face (awesome salad anyone??!), I have started a Summer series. Most days the posts will be consumed by Summer tips, workouts, and recipes/eats :)

Think he is gonna go for a swim?


Ever since I was little I have been a little fish in the water. I love, love the water. My mom put us in swim lessons when we were very young, which I am very grateful for, but those lessons definitely grabbed my heart….and I never looked back.

I was on the swim team for years and years, and because of all that swimming, by the end of the Summer my hair was green. Yikes. I lived in my swimsuit, people. My favorite stroke you ask???


I love freestyle. I loved competing freestyle, I loved watching others swim freestyle, and I definitely always wanted to be in the freestyle relays. Freestyle is to swimming as walking outside is to fitness. You gotta learn it, it can be really fun and rejuvenating, and it is a great way to get in a hardcore workout.



Basic elements of the Freestyle stroke :

  • The Kick. It is called the ‘flutter’ kick. The movement begins in the hips (not the knees, which makes huge splashes). The knees should be close together as you kick through the water. The kick is what propels the person forward. As I tell my little swim munchkins, “If you stop kicking, you go down (i.e. you sink).” Major muscles worked : quadriceps and hamstring.
  • The Arms. The arms are almost like a windmill. Each arm circles behind, overhead (actually a bit to the side, by the ear), and then back in the water. Try not to cup the fingers, as this can slow you down. The arms work with the legs to power the body forward. Major muscles worked : shoulders, biceps, triceps.
  • The Breathing. This is the trickiest part, as most people don’t feel comfortable dunking their head in the water, just taking a quick breath to the side, and then putting their head back into the water. However, getting the breathing right can fix any motor problems that occur in the arms, legs, or core. Try not to breathe on the same side very time, or else one side of the muscles will be way more developed than the other. Try to breathe every 3 (or 5) strokes (meaning 1 arm movement is 1 stroke). Major muscles worked : the core, sternocleidomastoid muscle (neck).

Pretty much the entire body (and muscles!) work together in the Freestyle… that is one MAJOR reason why you should jump in today!

A quick workout could include doing 400-800 yards (depending on your skill, desire, and time), alternating between sprinting and ‘regular’ swimming each lap. It is HARD. Hello HIIT cardio in the pool!

Wishing I was in the pool with him instead of in the car....I am so not a car person. heh.

Thankful Thursday

  1. I am thankful my sister passed the NCLEX!!! She is an official R.N. now! Woot. So proud of her!
  2. I am grateful for the virtue of patience, because it has taught me much. I hope to work on that a bit more, though!
  3. I am so SO thankful for a great father whom we celebrated on Sunday. He is an amazing dad who is smarter than anyone I know. He is a neurosurgeon (aka brain & back surgeon) ya know. He does surgeries like it ain’t no thang. He has definitely taught me the art of loving and appreciating the body!!

Have a LOVELY day, especially if you’re headed to the pool 😉

If YOU swim, what is YOUR favorite stroke?? What are YOU thankful for today??

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  1. Does the doggie-paddle count?
    Obviously, I am not a very good swimmer 😛

  2. caroline says:

    Thanks for the shout out about the NCLEX! I am grateful for such a supportive family!!

    I do enjoy swimming. Sometimes I feel like it takes so long to get the same workout as if I went on a run. Maybe I should try your HITT exercise in the pool…

  3. Lindsay says:

    oh my goodness, was this swimming post just for me??? haha! i am still working on my flutter kicks! you have always been a swimming beast!!!!!!!

  4. I am not a swimmer….I used to love being in the lake but for some reason I’ve turned into an annoying girl who hates seaweed and fish…

    Truthfully I have not put on a bathing suit since well before I was “fat katie” which has been a few years and the thought of putting one on sort of makes me throw up in my mouth a bit… 😉

    I am thankful for my boss letting me go home 3 hours early today to enjoy the weather!! In what universe does that happen???

    • Oh Katie! You prob look fab in a swimsuit! Besides, who cares?! If you love being outside, the water is a great place to be during the hot, hot Summer!

      UMM that is the coolest boss ever!! Can I work there? PLEASE!?

  5. I’m sad when summer comes around for this reason. I can’t swim and have that “adult fear” of being in the water. I can stand on the side, but I feel like a fool when my friends are all having fun. I hate it. Maybe this year will be the year I pay for lessons.

    I am thankful for being on vacation!

    • DO IT!!! Swimming is an amazing skill to have, plus mastering a new hobby is very mind and body-boosting for the confidence! < ---which translates into success in a lot of areas. I am SO behind you on this one, Joanna :)


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