Personal trainer and fitness coach Donna Walker recommends swimming as an exercise because it is low-impact. We love the idea because the pool helps you stay cool while you get your sweat on! If you want to try swimming as a workout, here are a few suggestions for getting started.
Practice the Basics
Many of our regular swim moves (pulling yourself out of the pool, swimming wall to wall, and floating flat on your back) are great for whole-body exertion. By alternating between and repeating these tasks, you can get some healthy sweat going!
Run With Resistance
Have you ever tried to run in the water? It’s hard, right? The drag creates resistance that enables you to work your muscles while preventing the stress on your joints caused by running on solid ground. To take advantage of these perks for your workout, start in the shallow end and run in slow motion. Once you feel comfortable, head to deeper waters for even more resistance.
Serious swimmers often use drills to improve their performance. You can use these to work specific areas of your body. For example, you might try a kicking drill for leg work or a rotation drill to strengthen your core. Beginners may want to stick to simple drills at first like practicing a perfect arm stroke.
Swimming laps is a full-body workout involving the core, arms, legs, and even neck muscles. To maximize laps as exercise, do sets with each stroke, and switch after a few laps. Mixing it up (think: breaststroke to backstroke to freestyle) will work different muscle groups and maximize your results.
The Bottom Line
The results of swimming can be seen throughout the body, particularly by helping to tone your muscles – and it is an especially great option if you’re look need to minimize the strain on an injured joint. So, take our advice, and head to the pool!