Swimming Body Transformation – Introduction
What are the effects of swimming on body transformation?
It’s generally accepted that to be fit and healthy, most adults need to clock up around 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week.¹
This means activities like jogging, running, cycling, group exercise classes, or lifting weights.
150 minutes of regular exercise per week provides protection against chronic diseases, will help you manage your weight, and produce positive improvements in general fitness.
But, while almost any type of exercise is good for your health and could even help you live longer, there is one that could literally save your life – swimming.
Being able to swim is an essential life skill and could be the difference between drowning and surviving an unexpected encounter with water.
So, the question is, can you get in shape by swimming, and what are the benefits of hitting the pool instead of the gym?
This article reveals the benefits and positive effects of swimming for fitness.
What’s So Great About Swimming, Anyway?
Not sure if swimming is for you?
Consider these advantages and benefits:
While running is a great workout, it can also be hard on your joints.
When you run, your feet hit the ground with force roughly equal to eight times your bodyweight.
This can affect your feet, ankles, knees, hips, spine, and the associated muscles.
As such, running is not the best workout for heavy exercisers or those with underlying musculoskeletal issues, such as arthritis.
However, your weight is supported by the water when you swim, so there is very little stress on your joints.
Because of this, swimming is an excellent workout for overweight people, those with joint pain, and anyone who prefers to avoid high-impact activities.
As swimming is such a low-stress activity, you can swim almost every day if you wish, although three workouts per week should be enough to produce noticeable results.
#2. Minimal equipment required
Some people also use things like:
- pull buoys,
- pool fins, and
- webbed gloves, but these are nice to have rather than swimming essentials.
In short, for just a few dollars, you can start swimming your way to fitness.
#3. Full-body workout
There are four main swim strokes – front crawl, back crawl, breaststroke, and butterfly stroke – and between them, they work a remarkable variety of different muscle groups.
Unlike most types of cardio, which are lower body dominant, swimming works your upper body and lower body simultaneously.
As such, it’s a very time-efficient way to exercise.
You can swim to achieve several different fitness goals.
Long, slower-paced swims are good for building aerobic fitness, muscular endurance, and burning calories and fat.
In contrast, short, fast swims and interval training will improve your anaerobic fitness levels and tone and strengthen your major muscles.
You can even combine both types of swimming into one workout to achieve all these goals at once.
#5. A life skill
We’ve said it before, but it’s such a huge benefit that it’s worth mentioning again – being able to swim could save your life and even the lives of your family, friends, and strangers.
While no one plans on falling into the water, 12 Americans drown every day.
Being able to swim could prevent you from adding to this statistic.
7 Effects of Swimming Body Transformation
Are you on the fence about swimming?
Not sure if it’s the right workout for you?
Consider these amazing effects!
#1. Weight loss
Like all types of exercise, swimming increases your calorie expenditure, so, when paired with a sensible diet, it could help you lose weight, burn fat, and even get ripped.
Depending on how fast you swim, you should be able to burn a lot of calories, between 500-800 calories per hour.
#2. Better cardiovascular fitness
Cardiovascular fitness refers to your heart, lungs, and circulatory system.
It’s your ability to take in, transport, and utilize oxygen.
The fitter you are, the harder and longer you’ll be able to exercise, and the more calories you’ll burn per workout.
Better cardiovascular fitness will make many daily activities less tiring, such as walking up the stairs, gardening, and playing with your kids.
#3. Better cardiovascular health
Improvements in cardiovascular fitness are intrinsically linked to better cardiovascular health.
Swimming regularly can help lower your risk of several potentially life-threatening conditions, including:
- Heart disease
- Cardiac arrest
Swimming has also been shown to be an excellent intervention for lung and breathing problems, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
However, you should consult your doctor before you start swimming if you have any kind of lung or breathing-related illness.
#4. Stronger, more toned muscles
Swimming is one of the few cardio workouts with the potential to strengthen, tone, and even build all of the major muscles in your body.
Most notably, swimming works your chest, shoulders, back, core, hips, and legs.
Sprint swimmers are particularly muscular, which is why it’s worth doing some short, fast swim intervals if you want to shape up as well as get fit and control your weight.
Swimming emphasizes your chest, shoulder, and back muscles.
When well developed, these muscles will give your body an attractive V-taper.
Of course, if you are serious about hypertrophy (muscle growth), strength training is the best way to go, but combining swimming with your gym workouts should help you transform your body and sculpt the physique of your dreams faster.
See The 10 Best Strength Exercises for Swimmers + Workout for more information on the best weight training to improve your swimming.
#5. Improve sleep quality
Sleep is essential for overall health, fitness, and mental wellbeing.
Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night, but many people are bad sleepers and struggle to get enough shut-eye.
Swimming can improve sleep quality and duration and makes falling asleep easier.
Whether you want to lose weight faster, recover better from your workouts, or just be sharper at work, getting more sleep will help, and swimming could be the sleep aid you’ve been looking for.
#6. Reduced stress
Swimming is a rhythmical activity where your breathing is synchronized with your movements.
It can be vigorous but, at the same time, relaxing.
Swimming can even be somewhat meditative.
As such, swimming is an excellent way to reduce stress.
Stress is bad for almost every aspect of your health, both mental and physical, and can also lead to weight gain (comfort eating) and make it harder to lose weight and get lean.
Swimming provides a haven from the day’s stresses and is an excellent opportunity to reflect and think.
You may even find that swimming improves creativity and your problem-solving abilities.
#7. Swimmer’s body
If you get into the habit of regular swimming, you will change your body into a swimmer’s body.
What does a swimming body transformation look like?
Because swimming is a full body workout, this great exercise can actually change your body in some surprising ways that even a million dumbbell curls will not accomplish!
Besides reducing your body fat percentage and increasing your muscle mass, it will also improve your muscular strength for propelling yourself through the water, cardiovascular endurance, and lung capacity.
For this reason, competitive swimmers are often admired for their fitness levels and lean muscle mass, so why can’t you?
Swimming regularly will change your body from jello to one that is lean and muscular.
Of course, you have to maintain proper nutrition through clean eating as well as consistent swim workouts.
Professional swimmers are not just born with the perfect ripped body, they have to work hard for it and so do you.
How to get a strong and ripped swimmer’s body
A Few Swimming Drawbacks to Consider
There is no denying that swimming is a great way to get fit, control your weight, and tone up, and it’s also good for your health.
However, before you head to the nearest swimming pool and dive in, make sure you consider these drawbacks too.
We list these not to put you off swimming but to make sure you have a proper understanding of both the pros and cons of swimming for fitness.
Swimming is a skill
Learning to swim can take time and practice.
You may even need swim lessons from a swimming instructor.
Until you can swim proficiently, it won’t provide much of a workout.
To get the most from swimming, you need to be able to swim for 20-30 minutes non-stop, and that’s all but impossible if you can’t swim efficiently.
Won’t strengthen your bones
Because swimming is non-weight-bearing, it won’t do much for bone density.
As such, you may still experience age-related bone loss unless you include weight-bearing activities like walking and weightlifting exercises like deadlifts, squats, bench presses, or bodyweight exercises like push-ups in your weekly exercise schedule.
Otherwise, loss of bone mass can result in osteoporosis if left untreated.
Needless to say, you’ll need a body of water in which to swim.
This could be a pool, the ocean, a lake, or a calm river.
However, without water, you won’t be able to swim.
The best workouts are convenient and slot seamlessly into your lifestyle.
So, if you’ve got to commute an hour to find somewhere to swim, you may find that swimming is just too inconvenient to do regularly.
See the best Indoor Swimming Pools in NYC if you happen to live or will be in the City.
Not very sociable
While you can chat with a friend while at the gym, during a run, or when you are out on a bike ride, that’s not really possible when swimming.
Even if you go to the pool with a friend, swimming can be a solitary workout as you won’t be able to speak with your face in the water.
But, of course, you can still enjoy a quick chat between laps and at the end of your workout.
Some people may find swimming boring, especially if you do most of your swimming in a pool.
With nothing else to look at but the bottom of the pool, your workout may feel a lot longer than it really is.
Waterproof MP3 players and headphones can provide entertainment during a swim, but even then, you may still find swimming lap after lap tedious as there is very little to look at as you exercise.
Believe it or not, you still sweat when you swim.
You also lose water through exhalation.
As such, it’s possible to become dehydrated during a swim workout.
You can avoid this if you are doing a pool swim by leaving a water bottle on the poolside and drinking regularly to replace lost fluids.
But, if you do an open water swim, you may find it harder to rehydrate.
Dehydration can cause cramps, which can be a serious problem during swimming.
Pool swimming is a pretty safe workout, but open water swimming could be a riskier proposition, especially if you go alone.
With no lifeguards nearby and possibly far from shore, your life could be at risk if you get into difficulties.
As such, if you swim in open waters, it’s worth towing an inflatable safety buoy behind you for your own safety.
This makes you easier to spot and provides emergency buoyancy if you need a rest.
Some also have water bottle pouches so you can carry a drink with you!
While there is nothing nicer than a cool swim on a hot day, swimming in cold water temperatures is likely not your idea of fun.
Even though you’ll probably warm up eventually, the first few minutes of a cold-water swim will be very uncomfortable and could be enough to stop you from entering the water in the first place.
NFL 10-Time Pro Bowl Star’s Swimming Body Transformation
Swimming Body Transformation – Wrapping Up
Workouts don’t come much more all-encompassing than swimming.
Swimming will tone, strengthen, and even build all your major muscles, help you burn fat and lose weight, improve your cardiovascular fitness, and is good for your health.
It really is the all-rounder of workouts!
As well as being good for every aspect of your fitness and health, swimming is also a skill that could literally save your life.
If you spend any time near water, being able to swim will help lower your risk of drowning.
While learning to swim can take time and may not come naturally to some people, if it’s something you enjoy, it’s worth persevering.
And while swimming might not be the most exciting or sociable workout, there is no denying that it’s one of the most beneficial forms of exercise around.
As good as swimming is for body transformation, not everyone has access to a pool or the ocean.
Does that mean that you’re stuck?
No indoor pool, no problem!
Never give up on your dreams to change your body from Jello to “Hello, How are you doing?!”
With only a small amount of floor space and minimum equipment, you can set up a deadlift studio in your home.
How do I know?
Ten years ago I was obese with a 50-inch waist at the age of 55.
It’s not too late, no excuses!
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