There’s no better time than summer to add swimming to your cardiovascular workouts, and once you get started, you may want to stay in FitClub’s pools all winter long. Whether you’re new to swimming for exercise or just looking to mix up your swim workout, FitClub has a plan to get you fit in the water.
Swimming not only burns a lot of calories, but it also strengthens and tones the entire body with no impact on the joints. Swimming tones your arms, legs, glutes, and core because the water has approximately twelve times the amount of resistance as the air. It’s this resistance and cardiovascular combination that lets swimmers burn calories while getting a total body resistance session at the same time.
Because swimming is easier on the joints than other forms of cardiovascular activity, it’s a complimentary cross-training activity for runners and weight lifters alike.
If the idea of long laps staring at a black line on the bottom of the pool doesn’t excite you, there are ways you can spice up a workout session in the pool for more excitement and calorie burn.
- Add HIIT to your swim. Just like any other form of cardiovascular exercise you enjoy, increasing the challenge by adding high intensity interval training ups the calorie burn and will make the workout fly by. Challenge yourself to add short sprints to your swim for one length of the pool, and then swim easily on the way back to catch your breath. Repeat the HIIT workout or add it between long swim intervals to get your heart rate up and max out on the calorie burning potential of the workout.
- Isolate specific muscle groups. Adding a few laps with the kickboard gives your legs a great workout by isolating the muscles you need to kick yourself from one end of the pool to the other. You can also use the pool buoy (the white Styrofoam tool found near the kickboards), by placing the pool buoy between your knees and holding it in place while you isolate your arms to propel you through the water. Isolation of specific muscle groups forces those muscles to work harder than when they work in combination with one another. Mixing in the kickboards and the pool buoys also eliminates boredom and makes the workout seem faster.
- Have fun. If you loved swimming when you were a kid or still enjoy splashing around in the backyard for fun, you can incorporate that element into your workout. Just because you’re working out and getting fit doesn’t mean a swim can’t still be fun. Challenge yourself or a workout buddy to a race and see if you can get faster. There’s no shame in throwing in a summersault or handstand at the end of your workout if that’s what makes swimming fun for you!
Do you have a favorite work out plan for the water? Share your favorite lap routine in the comment section below.