Lounging by the swimming pool is a way to show off your body, but if you actually get into the pool you can get a workout that gives you a body worth showing off. A swimming workout makes use of the water for both buoyancy and resistance, making the exercise suitable for everyone.
Propelling yourself through the water uses more muscles than you might realize—you can work nearly all the major muscles—and swimming regularly will get you into great shape. Water is 12 times more resistant than air, so swimming will help you build strength quickly.
Different swim strokes will work different muscles harder, so vary your swimming routine to get a complete workout. You can take private swim lessons in Houston or at your local swimming pool to master all the strokes. If you don’t do the strokes properly you won’t get the full benefit of the exercise.
According to Harvard, swimming is good for your heart and overall health, especially since it doesn’t stress the knees or other joints. Improving your cardiovascular (heart) fitness is important for overall health because a stronger heart can pump more efficiently and get oxygenated blood to the rest of your body more easily. The breathing required in swimming also helps to enhance your lung capacity.
You probably don’t think about your neck muscles too often, though you should, because without them your head would flop around like a bobble-head doll. Swimming is a great way to develop strength in your neck as head position is a critical part of each stroke.
Back and Core
Your core abdominal muscles and lower back muscles help keep you afloat and balanced in the water and let you maintain proper position to minimize drag.
When you swim backstroke, your lats pull your arms around to propel you through the water.
Of all the strokes, crawl does the most for your back. Your obliques work in the crawl as you rotate your body; they do the same in backstroke. Butterfly makes heavy demands on your core to stabilize your position, and your body is partially lifted out of the water by core muscles.
Arms and Upper Body
Shoulder and arm muscles are involved in every stroke, all the way down to the hand, held in proper position by wrist and hand muscles.
Breaststroke is one of the best strokes to work out your arms and upper body; if you do the stroke properly it involves all of the pectoral muscles as well as muscles of the upper back.
The front crawl is also an excellent stroke to work your upper body. It involves arm muscles including triceps, biceps, and deltoids, and also requires effort from the shoulder and back. The crawl also uses forearm muscles and hand muscles, not to mention the trapezius muscles needed to rotate your shoulder.
Backstroke works your biceps as you traverse the length of the pool; extending your arm as you approach the wall utilizes your triceps as well.
Every stroke involves a kicking action that works the leg from buttock to toe.
Glutes are a key part of the leg work in the butterfly. They help the legs move together in one motion.
The flutter kick used in the crawl works muscles from the calves to the quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
Legs provide most of the power to the breaststroke. The breaststroke’s frog kick will work the entire leg. It utilizes the same muscles as the crawl and also strengthens the adductor and abductor muscles.
You can do a lazy backstroke or you can kick vigorously; when you do it vigorously, you give the hip flexors and hamstrings a thorough workout.
It takes more than just a little splashing around, but done properly, swimming is great exercise that works your entire body. Pay attention to your form and show off the results at the next pool party you attend.