There is a misconception amongst many fitness fanatics that a swimming workout is more catered for rehabilitation and warm-down exercises after a fierce gym session.
While swimming workouts do serve this purpose, swimming should, however, be recognized as an intense cardio or conditioning workout option for anyone interested in getting fit.
Benefits of a Swimming Workout
Swimming workouts are great because while proving to be intense and sustained workouts for your heart and muscles, they are low-impact workouts on your joints and are therefore kinder to the stress points on your body.
- Arms: Your arms are essential to any swimming stroke and will, therefore, be worked out during the session.
- Core: In order to stay floating in water, your core has no choice but to be engaged.
- Legs: To generate power through your swimming stroke, your legs are vital to creating propulsion.
- Back: Your back is particularly used for backstroke, but also for other water aerobic exercises
Types of Swimming Workouts
There are a variety of swimming workouts that you can choose from depending on personal preference:
- Distance training: For those interested in improving raw stamina and endurance. This one is particularly relevant for triathletes and fitness swimmers.
- Interval / Tempo training: Designed to improve overall fitness and better gauge your inner speed potential and fuel capacity.
- Speed endurance: Often referred to as ‘race pace’, this workout focuses on you pushing the accelerator for as long as possible in the pool.
- Sprint training: To test your brute speed in the water, sprint training is designed with longer resting periods to enable you to swim as quickly as possible over a short distance.
Beyond swimming specific workouts, swimming pools are often used for water aerobics, which incorporates many circuit training exercises, such as lunges and squats—but applying them in water.
Many leisure centers offer water aerobics classes, so give it a try if you're not a keen swimmer but want the benefits of exercising in a pool.
Swimming workouts provide intense aerobic and holistic body-strengthening, as well as providing a supportive environment for any potentially achy joints or muscles. In addition, the water in the pool provides a cooling effect while you burn calories, which reduces the feeling of fatigue.
- Price: In most cases, you will need to pay to access a swimming pool, whether that be an outside pool or an indoor swimming/leisure center.
- Equipment: It is a requirement for most swimming pools that swimmers where appropriate swimwear.
Don't hesitate next time if your friend suggests going for a swimming workout.
It contains many of the same benefits as going to the gym plus the advantage that your joints will not feel half the strain as they do when going for a run. As discussed, there are a wide variety of training options catering to all ages and all levels of athlete. So, go for a dip!