Main menu


DVIDS - News - Fort Bliss Holistic Health and Fitness Team Holds Swimming Lessons for Soldiers

Fort Bliss, Texas – Soldiers from Fort Bliss received a week of instruction in how to swim from a professional at the installation’s aquatic training center Sept. 19-23.

The Fort Bliss Holistic Health and Fitness Team conducted this training to expand Soldiers’ knowledge of proper swimming techniques and demonstrate the benefits pool physical training can have on physical readiness when it is done correctly.

While there are jobs that give soldiers the opportunity to be on oceans, lakes, and rivers, the military is primarily a land force, not known for its ability to conduct maritime operations. , so why would soldiers need to learn to swim?

“Being in the water can help us be better on our missions on land so we can recover faster,” said Jeff Utsch, tactical swimming instructor. “[Swimming] can be a career enhancer, extend careers, extend uptime, expand capabilities and other things.

Utsch says that with proper technique, a person can get into a pool and work as hard as ever to maximize their heart rate, but recover faster from exertion.

“As we get older, it becomes harder to do those rucks and runs because our bodies start to tire,” he said. “We welcome people who may have a hip injury or are not running as fast or are in pain, but swimming, with proper technique, can keep them fit without causing further damage.”

Utsch stressed that the first rule in swimming is do no harm, and to do that, people have to apply the right techniques.

“Too many people come to the pool and don’t know what they’re doing or don’t know how to plan a swim, so they stay away from the water,” he said. “When they get into the water they think it’s boring. The towers are too difficult, so why do it?

Utsch’s goal is to teach proper techniques to prevent injuries, then broaden soldiers’ minds about what being in the water can do for them.

“There’s a lot of research at the Counsilman Center for Swimming Science at Indiana University Bloomington on all the benefits of swimming, like just getting in the water and its effect on our blood pressure,” he said. “They did a 40 or 50 year study between runners, walkers and swimmers. The benefits of getting in the water and what it does for quality of life, longevity and most importantly health.

Health is just one of the benefits of water activities, he says.

“We have recovery, rehab, off-season conditioning, in-season conditioning, alternative weight loss training, all energy systems training that you can do in the water if you’re too tired. to do it on dry land,” Utsch said. “These are really extra arrows in the quiver, extra tools in the toolbox that few people use.”

He added that many older athletes like Tom Brady use aquatic training to prolong their ability to compete.

“Instead of tightening things up, we need to work more on lengthening our muscles to keep them looking younger, especially as we get older,” Utsch said. “Swimming can kind of be the antidote to getting tighter, getting older, and feeling much less flexible.”

This training is not just for athletes or the military, everyone can benefit from learning these skills, he said.

“I’ve taught people who can’t get out of the bottom of the pool and are afraid to get in all the way to Olympic swimmers,” he said. “They’re both going to get something out of this.”

A soldier has learned a lot about his own abilities during training.

“I think I learned a lot,” said Sgt. Christopher Higgins, a medical specialist with 1st Battalion, 67th Armored Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team. “I thought I was a good swimmer, but this class taught me that I really wasn’t as good as I thought I was.”

Higgins hopes to see more of this type of training and wants to see it added for the recovery or physical reconditioning of soldiers who need it.

“Units are always looking for things that don’t run and rucking or push-ups and sit-ups, and it’s one of those things that, when done right, is just as effective, if not more,” Higgins said. “Even if you have wounded soldiers, you can still incorporate them by swimming.”

Utsch, who works primarily with the Navy, said it was his first time working with Army soldiers. He does this training to give back and affiliate with great men and women of patriotic spirit.

“If the military instituted a swimming program, it would prolong careers. There would be fewer injuries, faster recovery from injuries, fitter soldiers and overall it would increase the capabilities of members of our armed forces,” he said. “We’ve shown how it can prolong the careers of great athletes, especially if they augment their training with swimming.”

He said that by creating good swimmers, we end up with fitter soldiers because evidence shows that people who swim are healthier and have greater physical endurance.

Soldiers should contact their holistic health and fitness instructors for more information on what swimming can do for their units.

Date taken: 20.09.2022
Date posted: 23.09.2022 10:21
Story ID: 429830
Location: FORT BLISS, Texas, USA

Web views: 5
Downloads: 0