Do you want to lose fat and tone up? Your swimming sessions can become effective fat-burning workouts with a few simple tips.
The key is to mix the training with different swimming strokes, training aids, interval training, and water weights, and keep the training fresh and exciting by trying to hit new lap times.
A fat-burning swimming workout can burn around 300 calories in approximately 20-25 minutes if you plan and follow the proper swimming exercise.
For fat burning, try the following swimming exercise:
Swim four lengths, freestyle, with only 15 seconds of rest after each length. Then proceed to back or alternative freestyle in 8 lengths, to complete a full eight lengths in around 4 minutes. To add a little variety to the swim, swim the following four lengths with a kickboard, and take one minute per length. After using the kickboard, swim freestyle with a pull buoy for two minutes. Then change freestyle and back in eight lengths again, and complete this in 4 minutes. Finish with two lengths of your favorite stroke, achieved in one minute.
Turbocharged training with weights
By including resistance training in addition to swimming, calorie-burning will be turbocharged and help you build muscle mass, increase your metabolism at rest so that your body burns more calories before you even sweat.
You can start by setting up a workout in the pool with water dumbbells, or other handheld water weights, as part of your workout. Walking, squats, high knees (jogging on the spot), and upper bodywork on the triceps, biceps, and shoulders can all be integrated into a water workout with specialized water weights.
If you want to focus on your swim but still benefit from resistance training, you can try adding exercise aids to your drill sessions. Put on some Power Paddles (hand paddles designed to give resistance to the swim, aimed at the upper body) and swim.
Fire up your fat-burning with HIIT
Research says that you do not need hours in the pool to burn fat efficiently. Between 20 and 30 minutes of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), where you work for short strokes with near-maximum effort, has been scientifically proven to be an effective way to burn fat and increase fitness. Best of all, unlike low-intensity steady-state exercise (LISS), your body continues to burn fat long after you finish exercising – for up to 24 hours afterward.
The key is to increase your heart rate with intense effort intervals. Swim as fast as possible for 30 seconds, then rest between 15 and 30 seconds before sprinting again. If sprinting is not for you, stepping in the water is a great way to increase your heart rate.
Cool down with LISS
Are you more of a steady swimmer over longer distances than an energetic HIIT lover? That’s fine. You can still swim for a slimmer body. Low-intensity steady-state exercise, where you keep your body in the traditional “fat-burning” zone (60-70% of your maximum heart rate), is still a great way to lose weight. It lacks the long-term fat-burning after exercise that HIIT creates but burns fat effectively during the swim.