Swimming and weight loss have long been associated with each other like weight lifting and muscle building. There are several reasons why it’s about time to include swimming in your current workout routine. Swimming routines and workouts are loaded with benefits from increased total body strength, to longer endurance, weight loss and leaner body. As you may have noticed, Olympians, professional athletes and professional swimmers to be specific have lean bodies, and none of which are overweight or obese. Whether you are a fitness enthusiast, a beginner in swimming lessons or would simply like to add twists to your current program, below are some of the guidelines that you can apply with involvement to your swimming workout.
- Go Slow. If this is your very first time in a long time to include a swimming workout in your program, it is essential to perform warm up exercises like stretching the upper and lower extremities, the back and the hips. This will provide enough stimulation to the muscles promoting better movement as you dive and stroke your way with every lap. Take your time to adapt to the water temperature and to the pressure that is provided by the water. You may also consult an instructor for swimming basics.
- The best swimming workouts for weight loss would be to perform laps in a standard or a public pool for beginners. You can start out with two laps, depending on the size of the pool. A larger pool such as Olympic sized ones for competition may take longer time and more challenging for beginners. Progress into two to three laps within the next few days or weeks of your program. Practicing different strokes is also valuable. The four different competitive strokes are freestyle, backstroke, breast stroke and butterfly stroke.
- The Stroke. When starting out in this routine, the freestyle is the most recommended for beginners. It is the fastest stroke and the easiest among the four competitive strokes. It delivers shoulder, back; core and leg workouts that promotes stress among the muscles, thereby providing total body workout and weight loss. Next to the freestyle is the breast stroke. However, this stroke requires shoulder and back endurance, as well as energy as it is probably the more taxing stroke among the two. It is advisable to select which stroke would be more appropriate for your comfort as you perform laps around.
- Equipment. Appropriate equipment is necessary for your swimming workout. It provides comfortable movement that will allow free movement of the muscles for better performance. The best equipment that you can use are one piece swimming suits. You may also purchase some goggles that you can use for your eye protection. There are also other accessories available like caps, ear plugs, floatation devices and many others.
- Treading. Treading water is one of the single best exercises for swimming and weight loss. Treading water allows you to tread through the water as you go against the resistance of the water which eventually works the upper and lower body muscles. In addition to that, it also promotes an increased heart rate and activity. You may start out by treading water for five full minutes while focusing on your breathing. Add five minutes with every workout as you progress or when five minutes become less challenging.
- Run. Weight loss with swimming routine does not only involve pure swimming at the pool. You can also perform running in place or jogging around the shallow waters of the pool. This exercise provides resistance and pressure as you raise your knees and force your step towards the water. This exercise burns enough calories due to its intense nature. You can start this exercise as a finishing touch after your one to two hour of swimming program. Run through the shallow waters for ten to fifteen minutes for a total of four sets with two to three minutes rest in between.
- Squats. This good old, reliable exercise in the gym using heavy weights is definitely a mass builder and also a fat burner. Do it in the pool and your burn calories, lose weight, trigger strength development and build muscle in your quads which will become the envy of your gym mates. Since the resistance of the water provides pressure and additional weight to your body, you will definitely get a leg workout that will blast your legs. Start this exercise by performing squats, done by placing your arms crossed over your chests, then by squatting down until your legs are almost parallel to the floor. Perform this exercise as many as you can for two minutes. Repeat for three to four more sets with 30 to 60 seconds rest in between sets.
Check out the video below on performing squats in the pool:
- Aside from doing swimming strokes, performing laps and doing exercises on water, you can also practice and perform diving as a part of your swimming for weight loss. Diving provides an explosive exercise to the muscles which also helps in burning fat. Make sure that you dive in a proper diving area of the pool to avoid injuries.
- The Routine. One basic guide that you have to learn in swimming for weight loss is the volume and the frequency of your workout. Performing one and a half to two hours of swimming workout a day, three to four days a week is enough to ignite your metabolism and for weight loss. This includes the stroke lessons and practices as well as the lap swimming for endurance and fat/weight loss. The finishing touches such as the squat underwater and the jog in place on water are performed after the lap swimming session. Don’t forget to provide rest period in between workouts to avoid overtraining.
Swimming has lots of benefits to the body such as weight loss, cardio vascular endurance and is also a mood booster. On the other hand, it can also help extend your social activity as you get to know different people during your lessons. One key guide is to learn every basic move and stroke before progressing into more advanced and challenging routines. Equipment is also necessary for better mobility. When unsure of what to do, stop playing know it all by asking a personal trainer in the area to avoid injuries, drowning and other embarrassing situations during your swimming and weight loss routine.[stextbox id=”grey” caption=”About the Author”]Jordann Campose is a fitness enthusiast and instructor. He currently works as a health care professional with part time work as a fitness instructor and weight loss teacher for people seeking results that will help boost their confidence and strengthen their whole being. [/stextbox]