When it comes to full-body workout that’s both easy to do and easy on the joints, nothing beats swimming. And with summer fast approaching, it’s time to seek out your nearest pool, put on your swimsuit and dive in.
Not only is swimming a great cardio workout, but it tones and strengthens your entire body from head to toe, and improves flexibility as well.
Here’s how swimming shapes your figure, giving you that enviable “swimmer’s body.”
Sculpted Arms And Shoulders
Nothing sculpts your arms quite like swimming – especially if you’re struggling to tone your shoulders and triceps. All swimming strokes work to target your upper arms, forearms and shoulders, including breast stroke, the butterfly, and front and back crawl. There’s a reason why swimmers have such large, chiseled shoulders, and its because these are worked for every stroke in the water.
You can almost feel the fat melt away when you’re swimming. There’s constant core tightening happening as your body tries to stabilize itself in the water, which means that you’re constricting and working our abs without having to do a single crunch. Many people finish a swimming workout with sore abs.
Strong, Shapely Back
Swimming often recommended to people who have back pain or other joint issues, because it both allows you to strengthen and tone while being gentle on the area. Strengthening your back and the muscles along your spine can help correct several postural problems and give you a leaner and shapelier look – the perfect “swimmer’s body.” The breast stroke and butterfly are especially good for this.
All forms of swimming engage all the major glute muscles – as well as several minor ones. Every time you kick, your glutes power your legs, bringing you a step closer to the perfectly rounded derriere that you can proudly flaunt in your bathing suit. If you want to up the ante, try holding on to a kick board, and utilize just your legs to propel you forward using the breast stroke. You’ll find it’s a lot harder when you don’t have your arms to help.
All that kicking really burns the fat and builds up the muscles in your thighs and calves. Your legs can still get a good workout even if you haven’t mastered the basic swimming strokes. Tread water for several minutes or kick vigorously in the pool as you hold on to the sides. To increase the intensity, throw in a kick board: grip it firmly with your hands and travel as many lengths as you can comfortably handle, kicking vigorously all the while.
While swimming shapes and tones your muscles, it is not very effective when it comes to adding bulk or strengthening your bones. For that, you will need to add some form of weight training or pylometrics into your exercise routine.
The goal is to have a balanced workout regime that incorporates cardio, strength training and balance, for a well-rounded fitness program that never leaves you feeling bored.