Swimming and Building Muscles

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Similar to weightlifting, swimming is a resistance exercise. It’s a great hobby for all ages, because it helps strengthen the body while also strengthening the lungs! Although there are many resistance trainings similar to it, swimming does not have the negative effects you get from lifting weight such as hurting your back or neck. Why? Unlike weightlifting, swimming does not put stress on your bones and joints. You could strengthen and build your muscles without the usual pains associated with lifting weight.

What’s more, swimming engages all major muscle groups in the body— particularly theshoulders, abs, legs, triceps, and lats. The constant pulling and pushing in the water helps enhance endurance, strengthensthe lungs, and tones the muscles. In fact, just 30 to 60 minutes of swimming three to five days per week will result in a toned physique.

Swimming Exercises to Build Muscles

So how exactly do you build muscles through swimming? First, you need to warm up; this is an important step. Just like how you do it in the gym, warming up will prevent stiff muscles and joint pains after training. Tread in the water for five minutes as a warm up. Treading will help ease your muscle into the workout.

Using a kickboard, work out for five to ten minutes. Exercising with a kickboard will help target your leg muscles, toning and strengthening the muscles at the same time. After exercising with a kickboard, move forward to a pull buoy. Swim using the pull buoy for at least ten minutes every workout. Just like the kickboard, the pull buoy will help tone your arm muscles.

Muscle Building: Mixing Up Your Routine

The key towards building muscles is mixing up your training every two weeks. Why? Using the same routine will lose its effect on the muscles. The muscles could “get used to” a specific set of exercise routines so by using a variety of training exercises every two weeks, the muscles will not adapt to the work load, leading to faster muscle building over time.

For example, if you’ve been doing a lot of backstroke for the past week, mix it up with a combination of breaststroke and side stroke next time. You could also start trying out different strokes in the future—like butterfly stroke—to build your muscles.

Post-workout, don’t snack on carbs or you’ll waste your efforts! Instead, opt for a high-protein diet with little portions of carbs on the side. Ideally, your calorie intake should consist of 15% protein. You can also boost your protein intake by taking whey-based drinks or snacks. Whey contains essential amino acids that buildmuscles; it’s also low in calories.

Swimming is a great exercise, especially for those who are looking to tone or build muscles. However, it should not be done as an alternative to actual strength training. If you want to build muscles faster, we recommend combining strength training and swimming. Swimming alone is not enough to tone your legs, core, and back. You will have to start lifting weights as well if you want to tone these muscle groups.

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