We know swimming can give you a lean and chiseled body, just look at those Olympic swimmers and their ripped torsos. This is all due to their daily rigorous training, but it’s a fact that swimming burns a lot of calories. An hour of swimming can burn over 750 calories. Here is a guide on how to swim properly to lose as much as 2-3 pounds a week. Take a look.
Why is swimming effective
The way swimming shapes your body is through a perfect combination of calorie burn and muscle build. If you swim slowly you will burn around 500 calories, while an aggressive and vigorous sprint can burn more than 700 calories. This number is so high because water is 800 times denser than air, which means that you’ll be faced with a much bigger resistance with every move you make. Swimming is basically resistance training for your entire body, but your arms, shoulders, core, hips and glutes are pushing extra hard. So, swimming will not only burn a lot of calories, but it will build your muscles as well. It will also make your metabolism work faster, so you will still be burning calories even after you’ve taken a shower and gotten dressed.
Other benefits of swimming
Swimming is not only good for making you look chiseled and lean, it’s also kind to your body. You can swim every day without the fear of injuring yourself, no matter how much you weight. This is because in the water, there’s practically no gravity, you become weightless and your joints can relax. Running is great for your weight loss, but it’s murder for your joints. With swimming, you don’t have to worry about that and you can enjoy swimming whenever you feel like it. Swimming can also help you stay young and able-bodied longer. Also, it will keep your heart, lungs and bones healthy.
Get over the first few weeks
If you’re a beginner, try not to set high goals for yourself, for the first few weeks. Many people jump into the pool planning to swim for an hour and then go home. They usually get discouraged when they find themselves hanging for dear life after five minutes. You must remember that water training requires certain cardiovascular and muscle systems to adjust to water conditions. You have to exercise your lungs and train your muscles to work as one.
An effective swim routine
The key to an effective swimming workout is in intervals. Try mixing periods of work with periods of rest, use different strokes and split your routine into shorter segments. Not only is this routine more fun, it’s also more effective. Don’t worry about frequent breaks; your heart rate will stay elevated for a while.
An example of a routine
In the beginning, try this workout: do four lengths of an Olympic pool at your medium effort with rests between lengths if needed. After your fourth length, rest for 30 seconds. You can repeat this for 5 to 10 times depending on your fitness level and practice this routine 2-3 times a week. You can even use a kickboard to get used to swimming. However, you don’t need an Olympic pool to lose weight swimming. You can do all of this at home, just adjust the length number. Make sure your home pool is clean to avoid any potential health hazards. There are effective pool cleaners on the market that will work miracles for your pool and will keep you healthy and safe.
Try different strokes
Even though many people prefer freestyle because it’s easy to learn and it burns serious calories, try to mix things up a bit with different strokes. If you do so, you will exercise different muscles which will keep things fresh. Think about doing backstroke, which is good for your back and shoulder muscles and improves your posture, or try the breaststroke which does miracles for your hips and inner-thigh muscles.
For extra calorie burning workout try interval training. Swim one lap with 100% strength and one with 50%. This will up your calorie burning rate and increase your metabolism. Also, you can try swimming after you finish your workout in the gym. This way, you will enter an extra fat-burning mode. Think about getting real gear with a suit and a cap to reduce resistance. These will allow you to swim faster and thus burn more calories.
Swimming affects your appetite
To prevent gaining some weight when swimming you have to be careful how much you eat after your workout. Some people feel hungrier after swimming due to the exposure to colder temperatures. Keep this in mind if you start feeling extra hungry after swimming. You can also try swimming in warmer water.
Swimming can truly be wonderful for your body. It will make you lean, strong and flexible. It can also improve your posture and stamina. So, what are you waiting for? Jump in the pool and start pedaling.