Do you swim? It’s one of my favorite ways to workout so I’m so excited to have Angela from Happy Fit Mama here today to talk to you all about swimming and to give you a great beginner swim workout.
When most people think of a sweat producing, calorie torching, and lean body sculpting workout they think of running, kickboxing or cycling. What if I told you swimming is actually the only workout that burns more calories, boosts metabolism, is no impact to protect your joints and firms every muscle in your body? Just look at Dara Torres for inspiration. Hello lean, sexy body!
You don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to get a great workout in the pool. Whether you are looking to lose weight, rehab an injury or just add it to your regular fitness routine, swimming is a total body workout geared for everybody.
Read on for a great beginner swim workout!
You use all your major muscle groups including glutes, legs, core, back, shoulders and arms. Using all those muscles gets your heart rate up and the cardiovascular system pumping. An intermediate intensity workout in the pool can burn approximately 300 calories in 30 minutes.
Not only does swimming provide cardio but as an added bonus it’s a strength training workout to help build lean muscles. The water provides resistance with every stroke. The more lean muscle you have the more calories you are burning long after your workout is done. Swimming is also a workout that can be done for a lifetime. It’s relatively impact free so there’s no knee or hip pain or shin splints to worry about.
Basic Swimming Strokes
Free Style – The easiest stroke to learn. Arms rotate in a circular motion over the head as small kicks are used to help propel the body. The head is turned to the opposite side of the outstretched arm to take in a breath.
Breaststroke – Performed face down in the water without rotating the torso. The arms stay in the water and move together, while the legs perform a frog-kick.
Backstroke – Performed face up in the water. Arms are brought up and over one at a time like a windmill. Leg kicks are small powerful kicks similar to Free Style.
Beginner Swim Workout
Most lap pools are 25 meters or yards in length. Olympic size pools are 50 meters
100 meters Warm up, easy swim
50 meters Kickboard, easy swim
4 X 50 meters Moderately hard swim. Rest at the wall if need be between laps.
2 X 50 meters Easy swim
2 X 50 meters Moderate swim
2 x 50 meters Cool down, easy swim
Total distance: 650 meters
Do this Beginner Swim Workout 3-4 days a week. Gradually increase your time in the pool to 30 minutes. Remember to take rest breaks as often as needed. Swimming is a hard workout so it may take time to build up your endurance. Before you know it you’ll be swimming like a pro!
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Angela is an ACSM Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist and a RRCA Running Coach. She is the author of the healthy living blog, Happy Fit Mama. She lives on the New Hampshire seacoast with her husband and boy/girl twins. Follow along while she runs the happy fit life on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.