Swimming Workouts For Weight Loss – A Quick Start Guide

swimming-workoutsThe swimming pool is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think about working out or losing that extra flab. But as it turns out swimming is a great way to turbocharge your metabolism, strengthen every muscle on your body and make sure you are healthy and lean. Swimming is one of my favorite exercises, I used to be a competitive swimmer when I was a little kid. I wish I would have stuck to that one. But in anycase you don’t need to be Michael Phelps to make the most out of your swimming workouts.

Why Swim?

Swimming is great for a number of reasons. The most obvious reason I found was the fact that you can burn up to 800 calories an hour, or even 500 while taking a leisurely stroll in the pool. Water has 800 times more density than air and as a result every movement you have is going to work to strengthen your arms, legs, core, back, and anything else you can think of.

Surprisingly or perhaps not surprisingly, swimming is also pretty easy on your body compared to all of the other workouts that you could be doing. You aren’t struggling against the pull of gravity when you take a dip in the pool and your joints will thank you for this. Unless your body is used to strenuous exercise, your joints could probably use a little tender loving care. Even if you run into problems with arthritis later on in life, swimming is something that you will most likely always be able to enjoy.

Swimming Workouts

The vital part of getting started swimming is to make sure you have plenty of variety. You’ll be surprised the first time you give it a shot when you are exhausted just a few minutes in. The idea is to split it up into shorter intervals to make sure that you don’t get too tired too quickly. Here is a sample workout:

  • Swim the length of the pool four times at a fairly easy pace.swimming workouts for weight loss
  • Take a 30 second rest.
  • Repeat 5 to 10 times
  • Do this cycle two to three times a week until you are used to it. You can increase the pace and number of workouts per week once you are ready.

Note: You can increase or decrease the distance depending on the size of your pool. If you are swimming in an Olympic size pool then 4 times might be a bit too much at one go. So I would recommend adjusting your lengths depending on the size of your pool.

Try Different Strokes

Everyone enjoys a freestyle swim. It won’t take much to learn it and it is going to seriously burn some calories. But then if you are anything like me you might get bored of the same old routine or you might develop muscle imbalances. In order to avoid that try the backstroke and the breaststroke from time to time.

  • Backstroke: Keep your eyes up towards the sky/ceiling. Many people tend to look at their toes, which will make your hips sink. You are going to make a Y with your body. Reach back at a 45 degree angle to force yourself through the water. This takes stress off of your shoulders and will help make each stroke longer, reducing some of the workload.

  • Breaststroke: A breaststroke is simply a sweeping motion with your arms. Reach overhead with your palms together. Twist to rotate your palms out and pull through the water until your arms are even with your chin. Quickly bring your hands to your chest and reach out again. Whip through the water while bending and pulling your heels to your butt. With your toes turned out, kick your legs like a frog would as you reach with your arms.

Getting Started

If you are completely unfamiliar with swimming, you might be better off taking a swimming class or hiring a coach. It can take some time to get acquainted with the different strokes and breathing patterns. A ten minute workout is better than nothing and if that is all you can accomplish than you are doing just fine. You want to build up to 30 minutes though and be able to do that workout five times a week.

Burn Calories By Simply Lying in Cold Water

As a bonus, swimming provides an incredible workout by burning calories just by being in cooler water. I’ve tried ice baths, frozen neck packs, and more to help lose weight. Your body is determined to stay at 98.6 degrees and will do whatever it takes to stay there. Whenever you are in a body of cool water, the water removes heat from your body and cools it much more than cold air does. In response, your body will burn an incredible number of calories to keep warm. This is why Michael Phelps eats 9,000 calories a day. It isn’t just the exercise that requires that amount because spending that much time in cold water is going to make you burn serious calories trying to maintain itself.

Don’t come up with any excuses for avoiding this workout any longer. If you are reading about swimming workouts, chances are good that you have had an interest in it before. You now know how beneficial swimming workouts are and it isn’t as hard as you think to get started. Join the local YMCA or pool group and get started!

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