Swimming is the ticket if you’re looking for a refreshing way to get fit. Imagine sculpting your body, building endurance, and burning calories all while floating in a cool, inviting pool. Swimming is a fantastic full-body workout suitable for all fitness levels. Whether you’re a beginner dipping your toes into the water or an experienced swimmer ready to dive into a new challenge, there’s a swim workout tailored to help you reach your fitness goals. That’s where these swim workouts to get fit come into play.

Swimming offers a unique combination of cardiovascular and strength training benefits. The water resistance provides a low-impact workout that’s easy on the joints but tough on the muscles. Plus, the variety of strokes and techniques means you can target different muscle groups and keep things interesting.

If you’re ready to make a splash in your fitness routine, let’s explore seven of the best swim workouts to get fit. From my childhood summers spent doing laps in the pool to my years helping swimmers of all levels enhance their performance, I’ve logged countless hours in the water and on deck. Now, I’m thrilled to share my insights on swim workouts that genuinely make a difference.

Below, I’ll break down each workout, explaining how it helps you get fit and how to perform it, and provide a sample routine to follow. Whether you aim to build muscle, burn fat, or improve your overall endurance, these workouts will have you gliding through the water with purpose and precision.

Remember, your safety is paramount. Always be smart, use a flotation device for assistance, and swim near a lifeguard. We want you to enjoy your swim workouts while staying safe and secure.

Workout #1: Freestyle Intervals

freestyle swimmingfreestyle swimming
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When you’re looking for productive swim workouts to get fit, freestyle intervals fit the bill. This style of training is a fantastic way to boost cardiovascular fitness and build muscle endurance. By alternating between high-intensity sprints and recovery periods, you can maximize calorie burn and improve your anaerobic capacity. This workout challenges your heart and lungs while engaging your core, arms, and legs.

You’ll start with a five- to 10-minute warm-up of easy freestyle swimming, then alternate between swimming at a high intensity for a set distance (such as 25 or 50 meters) and swimming at a moderate pace for the same distance to recover. This cycle will be repeated for the duration of your workout.

Example Workout:

  • Warm-up: 10 minutes of easy freestyle
  • 10 x 50 meters sprint, with 50 meters of easy swimming in between
  • Cool-down: 5 minutes of easy freestyle

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Workout #2: Breaststroke Endurance

The breaststroke is excellent for building endurance and strength in your chest, shoulders, and legs. It’s also a slower, more controlled stroke, which makes it perfect for longer swims that improve aerobic capacity.

Focus on a steady, consistent pace that you can maintain for an extended period. Keep your movements smooth and efficient, ensuring your breathing is rhythmic and controlled.

Example Workout:

  • Warm-up: 5 minutes of easy breaststroke
  • Swim continuously for 20 to 30 minutes at a moderate pace
  • Cool-down: 5 minutes of easy breaststroke or freestyle

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Workout #3: Backstroke Intervals

Backstroke intervals target your upper back, shoulders, and core while improving your cardiovascular fitness. The backstroke allows for a different range of motion compared to other strokes, providing a well-rounded upper-body workout.

Alternate between fast-paced backstroke sprints and recovery periods of easy backstroke swimming. Focus on maintaining good form and a strong kick throughout the workout.

Example Workout:

  • Warm-up: 5 minutes of easy backstroke
  • 8 x 50 meters backstroke sprint, with 50 meters easy backstroke in between
  • Cool-down: 5 minutes of easy backstroke

Workout #4: Butterfly Drills

The butterfly stroke is one of the most challenging and effective strokes for building upper-body strength and power. It engages the shoulders, chest, and core, providing an intense workout that burns many calories.

Incorporate drills that break down the butterfly stroke into manageable parts, such as single-arm butterfly or kick drills. Focus on maintaining proper form and technique to maximize the benefits.

Example Workout:

  • Warm-up: 10 minutes of mixed strokes
  • 4 x 25 meters butterfly, with 25 meters easy freestyle in between
  • 4 x 50 meters single-arm butterfly drill, with 50 meters easy backstroke in between
  • Cool-down: 5 minutes of easy freestyle

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Workout #5: Kickboard Sets

Using a kickboard isolates your lower body, allowing you to focus on building strength and endurance in your legs. This workout is excellent for improving your kick technique and increasing the power of your lower-body muscles.

Hold onto a kickboard with both hands and perform kicking drills using different strokes, such as freestyle, breaststroke, and butterfly kicks. Keep your core engaged and maintain a steady, powerful kick.

Example Workout:

  • Warm-up: 5 minutes of easy freestyle
  • 4 x 100 meters freestyle kick
  • 4 x 100 meters breaststroke kick
  • 4 x 50 meters butterfly kick
  • Cool-down: 5 minutes of easy kicking

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Workout #6: Mixed Stroke Pyramid

A mixed-stroke pyramid workout incorporates multiple strokes, which help target different muscle groups and keep the workout engaging. The pyramid structure gradually increases and decreases the distance, providing a balanced mix of endurance and intensity.

Swim a series of increasing distances using different strokes, then reverse the order. Focus on maintaining good technique and pacing yourself to complete the entire pyramid.

Example Workout:

  • Warm-up: 10 minutes of easy mixed strokes
  • 50 meters freestyle, 50 meters backstroke, 50 meters breaststroke, 50 meters butterfly
  • 100 meters freestyle, 100 meters backstroke, 100 meters breaststroke, 100 meters butterfly
  • 150 meters freestyle, 150 meters backstroke, 150 meters breaststroke, 150 meters butterfly
  • 100 meters freestyle, 100 meters backstroke, 100 meters breaststroke, 100 meters butterfly
  • 50 meters freestyle, 50 meters backstroke, 50 meters breaststroke, 50 meters butterfly
  • Cool-down: 10 minutes of easy mixed strokes

Workout #7: Sprint and Distance Combo

Combining sprints with longer, steady swims provides a comprehensive workout that boosts speed and endurance. This approach helps improve your overall swimming performance and maximizes calorie burn.

Alternate between short, intense sprints and longer, moderate-paced swims. This combination challenges your body in different ways, ensuring a well-rounded workout.

Example Workout:

  • Warm-up: 10 minutes of easy freestyle
  • 4 x 25 meters sprint, with 25 meters of easy swimming in between
  • 2 x 200 meters steady pace swim
  • 4 x 50 meters sprint, with 50 meters of easy swimming in between
  • 2 x 400 meters steady pace swim
  • Cool-down: 10 minutes of easy freestyle
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