Swimming Pool Workouts That Are Easy And Fun

Swimming is one of the best total body exercises you can perform. Because the water provides so much resistance, you get a great workout in a short amount of time. Plus, swimming can be relaxing and there are lots of ways to vary your workout so that it stays interesting. This article is a compilation of some of the best swimming pool workouts that will help you get in shape and burn calories in no time.

Benefits of Swimming for Exercise

Swimming is a great way to work out for several reasons, including:

  • You burn calories faster due to the water's high resistance.
  • More muscle fibers are activated while swimming than through many other forms of exercise.
  • Individuals with previous injuries or aches and pains often choose swimming because it is a low-impact workout. You won't get sore knees, shin splits or tired feet from swimming.
  • Those with weight problems, arthritis or musculoskeletal problems may also find it easier to work out by swimming due to the water's buoyancy.
  • Swimming is often more relaxing because it is quiet and doesn't come with as many distractions as some other sports or exercise activities.

Warm Up

It's important to make sure your muscles are warmed up before you begin any intensive swimming pool workouts. Here's a great way to warm up as soon as you hit the pool.

  1. Do two or three laps of freestyle swimming. Keep your pace very moderate - you shouldn't feel like you are pushing to go faster during the warm-up laps.
  2. Stop near the side of the pool to do a few stretches. Make sure to warm up your legs, back and arms well before continuing.
  3. If necessary, adjust your cap and goggles so that they are in the correct positions for your workout.

Interval Sets

One of the most popular swimming pool workouts is interval sets. These are great for cardiovascular conditioning. It's helpful to have a waterproof watch or a pace clock at your pool in order to push yourself for this exercise routine.

  1. Do a set of four laps swimming freestyle, trying to make each lap faster than the previous one. For your last lap, focus on making it a "sprint" towards the end.
  2. Rest for one minute after your first set of four laps, then repeat.
  3. Keep pushing to match or beat your previous times even as your tire from doing multiple sets. If needed, take longer breaks in between sets to recover.

Arms Only

Variations on normal strokes - like using only your arms to swim - are a great challenge. This exercise really focuses your workout on the upper body.

  1. Do a set of four laps swimming freestyle, but use only your arms to propel you through the water.
  2. Rest for one minute after your first set, then repeat.
  3. Keep pushing to match or beat your previous times even as your tire from doing multiple sets. If needed, take longer breaks in between sets to recover.

Kickboard Drill

Like the previous exercise, this uses a variation of a normal stroke to focus on the muscles in your legs and glutes.

  1. Using a kickboard, swim four laps freestyle using only your legs to propel you through the water.
  2. Rest for one minute after you first set, then repeat.
  3. More advanced swimmers can try alternating freestyle kicking and breaststroke kicking between laps to work the leg muscles in different ways.

Tread Water

Simply treading water can actually burn off as many calories per minute as a six-mile run, according to Fitness Magazine. Do this exercise in a quieter area of the pool so that you don't get in the way of anyone doing laps.

  1. Swim out to the deep end, or at least to an area deep enough that your feet cannot touch the bottom of the pool while keeping your head above water.
  2. Begin treading water. To do this, stretch your arms out to either side and make small circles near the surface of the water, keeping your hands cupped.
  3. To add more intensity to the exercise, lift your right leg out in front of you and attempt to keep it at hip level. Let your left leg point towards the bottom of the pool.
  4. Hold the leg positions for about five seconds and then switch. Continue this pattern while treading water for about 30-60 seconds, depending on your strength and stamina.

Make Waves

A pool activity that many kids enjoy can actually make a great workout for adults. This exercise works for back, abs, glutes and legs - plus, it's fun.

  1. Swim to the shallow end and place one hand on the edge of the pool. Place the other hand on the wall of the pool about a foot below the surface - this will give you added stability during the exercise.
  2. Float so that your whole body is at the water surface level.
  3. Keeping your feet and legs, start kicking like a dolphin. Your legs and feet should be moving all together like a dolphin's back fins.
  4. Continue kicking as hard as you can for about 30 seconds.

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