The Most Efficient Swimming Workout
Whether a daily run through the park, working out at a local gym, or participating with a workout video on television at home is your regimen, staying fit and healthy is a goal many of us strive for on a daily basis. One of the best options for toning up, slimming down, and losing weight is a mild to vigorous workout in area swimming pools available at YMCAs, community centers, and public pools, or using your own backyard above ground pool to exercise. Utilizing a series of routines using different strokes, equipment, and techniques not only increases metabolism by toning and firming muscles, it also burns up unwanted calories. A solid swimming routine can burn anywhere from 500 to 700 calories making a good start to shaping up.
Because swimming pools provide the flexibility of removing gravity, swimming allows swimmers to be, in effect, weightless. The routines incorporated in a swimming regimen that includes kicks, pulls, pushes, and lifts has a less negative impact on the body. A well-planned swimming workout can affect your entire body including hips, shoulders, glutes and arms. There are four basic swimming strokes: backstroke, freestyle, butterfly and breaststroke. The backstroke, like freestyle, is a much easier stroke than the breaststroke or butterfly. The freestyle stroke is a good choice for beginners using swimming pools for exercise.
An efficient swimming pool workout incorporates the use of a variety of techniques including which stroke to use, exercises to incorporate while swimming, and exercising accessories, such as kickboards, dumbbells, and a pull-up or dip bar. Plan a swimming routine for a pre-set period such as an hour’s workout session to incorporate a series of freestyle sprint or fast swimming laps. Rest between laps and repeat the routine, keeping yourself hydrated as necessary. Add the backstroke lap to work the shoulder muscles. Incorporate underwater laps to the routine to work the arms and legs for overall body toning.
Use a kickboard during the sprints to work the leg muscles and to build stamina. A kickboard also allows swimmers to use different swimming strokes to work the arms and shoulders such as the breaststroke and butterfly. Another swimming accessory is the use of dumbbells. Use the water as a resistor when pulling the dumbbells upward through the water towards the chest. This exercise works on building up, strengthening, and toning the arms. If there is time left at the end of your workout session, allow your body to relax and swim freestyle at a regular, leisurely pace.
An area swimmers are interested in, especially those who compete or those who prefer a personal goal, is building up swimming stamina. While this is an individual process, there are several things swimmers can do to help build up endurance. Incorporate a running routine along with the swimming routine for a double-impact of muscle toning combined with increasing stamina and endurance. Start each day with a healthy meal before taking on the rigors of an exercise routine. Begin the day’s regimen with a short run to loosen and warm up the entire body. Running also serves as a positive process for building up leg muscles.
When incorporating the routine at the pool, the goal is to reach a pre-set number of laps. To attain the goal, push forward both physically and mentally. Focus on something other than the swimming, discomfort, or the tiredness of the muscles to help reach the goal. Once the goal is achieved, at the next workout, increase the number of laps to the next level. Repeat this process until the individual goal is reached.