Swimming is, without question, a very effective way to torch calories. In order to improve your fitness level and continue seeing results, you have to keep your routine fresh and work your body in different ways.
Next time you dive in for a swim, be sure to apply these simple techniques to torch more calories!
1. Train Every Muscle Group
Unlike other sports, swimming can work every muscle group while still being low impact to your body. Pull and scull sets work your upper body, while kicking sets hit the legs. Sprint kicking with a kick board or in streamline will elevate your heart rate and lift caloric burn!
Tip: Make sure every workout includes kicking, pulling, and stroke work.
Each competitive stroke engages different muscles so it’s important to incorporate stroke and IM work into your training plan. In addition to shredding your body, training all the strokes develops a strong feel for the water! Whether you’re training for a triathlon or pool race, you’ll get more out of your body when you train all the strokes!
Tip: Incorporate an element of IM or stroke work into every workout. A little bit of stroke work in warm-up will go a long way in improving your caloric burn and overall fitness level.
3. Pick Up The Pace
If you find yourself swimming at the same pace day in and day out, increase your intensity. The rate at which you swim is highly correlated to your caloric burn per unit of time. For example, research from the American College of Sports Medicine estimates that a 155-pound person swimming freestyle fast for one hour will burn 704 calories, but only 493 calories swimming slowly. You’ll know you’re swimming fast enough if you can no longer hold your pace for an extended duration (over 200 or 500 meters).
Tip: Find a swimmer who’s faster than you to train with – it could be the perfect motivator to pick up the pace!
4. Do Interval Training
If you don’t already do interval training, now’s the time to start! This is one of the easiest ways to track your performance and keep your body engaged. You’ll get much more out of swimming 10 x 100s on a set interval than just swimming a 1,000 straight. Breaking up your workout into sets on a specific interval allows you to maintaining a higher rate of speed and stroke integrity, which will lead to improved swimming performance.
Tip: Keep track of the intervals you train on and how much rest you get. If you don’t have a clock, go by breath count (EX: 5 x 100s at 10 breaths rest).
5. Add Equipment
If you want to burn a lot of calories – throw on your equipment! The best three pieces of equipment for increasing caloric burn are your fins, paddles, and snorkel. Fins and paddles dramatically increase muscle activation and therefore elevates your rate of speed and heart rate. Training with a snorkel not only helps with technique but also with aerobic conditioning. Used together, swimming with fins, paddles, and a snorkel will give you a killer workout and refined feeling of speed in the water.
Tip: Always start a workout without any equipment, and then once you’re warmed up, start to add each piece of equipment!
There’s a reason that swimming is one of the most beneficial and universal forms of exercise in the world—it’s low-impact, and great for your body. So whatever your goal is, get out there and get swimming, and be happy!