Swimming Workout

Swimming Workouts

Swimming can be used for a variety of reasons. It is a means for people to travel across water without aid. It also can be used to cool down if a person becomes too hot. The most common reasons for swimming in the present include competitive swimming and swimming for fitness and fun.

Swimming can work a wide range of muscles depending on the style, including all the core muscle groups. Swimming is especially useful in working the deltoids, pectorals, hip, hamstring, quadriceps, triceps, and gluteus maximus. The biceps, abs and calf muscles are used as well. In addition, swimming is an excellent aerobic activity in that the buoyancy of water creates low joint stress.

Swimming has been proven to help both the heart and lungs and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. It is also helpful in building strength and endurance. It is an excellent way to burn calories. A 150 lb. swimmer swimming at 2 miles an hour can burn 900 calories in that hour. Unfortunately, due to the cooling effect of the water, calorie burning stops as soon as a person stops swimming which means that most land based exercise is more efficient for weight loss than swimming.

Cost: $40 to $100

The only cost of swimming is the simple gear necessary, and usually a gym or pool membership. If you swim outdoors, choose safe areas with lifeguards or only swim with a partner.

Activity Locations: Gym

In order to stay safe while working out, it's best to visit your local gym's pool for workouts. You can also find some outdoor swimming areas with special times for exercise but these are only available for a portion of the year in most areas.

Types of Movements

There is a large variety of styles of swimming which can be used to get or stay in shape. There are four which are also used in competitive swimming. These are the butterfly, breaststroke, backstroke, and front crawl which is also know as freestyle. Technically, in a freestyle event, a person can choose any of the four styles but since the front crawl is the fastest, it is most often chosen which is why many the terms have become somewhat interchangeable.

People who swim for recreation and fitness most often use the breast stroke, a side stroke, the front crawl, or the dog paddle. People tend to be experimenting increasingly with other strokes which add variety to a workout routine. Many fitness swimmers practice with added resistance from a swimming machine which shoots out a jet of water or with elastic bands to hold the swimmer in place.

Mental and Physical Requirements

There are few physical requirements to begin swimming workouts. In fact, swimming has been used as therapy for amputees and paralytics to strengthen certain muscles since they have undergone a major physical change and need to readjust. Usually a special stroke using just legs or just arms is used.

Equipment Requirements

  • Swimming Suit
  • Swimming Cap
  • Goggles

Mental and Physical Benefits


  • Improved Mood
  • Reduced Anxiety
  • Decreased Stress
  • Improved Self-Esteem
  • Improved Focus


  • Weight Loss
  • Improved Immune System
  • Better Cardiovascular Function
  • Increased Resilience
  • Decreased Blood Pressure

Aerobic Effect

Swimming Workouts

Swimming is considered an aerobic activity because it keeps the heart rate up for an extended period of time which allows the blood to become oxygenated better.

A swimsuit is necessary to swim. Also, a swimming cap can be used to reduce resistance produced by hair. Wetsuits can be used for insulation when swimming in cold water.

Swimming machines can be used to shoot a jet of water which increases a swimmer’s resistance. Elastic bands can be used to hold a swimmer in place and increase resistance.