Swimming – the all-rounder if you want to work on your condition

lifeguard training

When we think of swimming, we often think of diving towers, slides and of course the fries at the pool. Or exciting competitions with professional competitive swimmers. But swimming as a sport has much more to offer. Swimming is suitable for almost everyone and it also has many health benefits with lifeguard training.

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It can bring you closer to your fitness goals and ideal weight , improve your fitness and help build muscle. Sounds too good to be true? In this article you can read why training in water is so healthy, how many calories you burn swimming and how you can also benefit from this intensive sport as a beginner.

Are you wondering which sport besides swimming suits you even more? Then we have no less than 33 exciting tips for you .

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This is how you improve your fitness with swimming

Are you curious about what swimming is good for? The answer to this question is very simple: swimming is healthy and it makes you quite fit . Learning to swim well and training in a way that suits your sporting goals are the only requirements. But even if you just go swimming for fun, your body benefits from the movement in the water. Swimming trains your cardiovascular system and strengthens your muscles without putting too much strain on your joints.

Your whole body is continuously challenged in the water. Which muscles you use the most depends on your swimming style . The least common denominator is the strain on your upper back muscles. This makes swimming ideal to relieve tension in your back. Read here about what else you can do to train your back .

Effective training despite low heart rate

During your training in the water, your heart rate is lower than on dry land. But this does not make swimming training any less effective than, for example, running or cycling . The main reason for the lower heart rate is the ‘ diving effect ‘: immersing yourself in the water stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system .

That is the part of your nervous system that is responsible for your recovery. In this function, it regulates, among other things, the unconscious control of your heart rate and the centralization of your blood circulation. Simply put, your body under water is completely focused on supplying oxygen to your vital organs.

The water pressure and the horizontal position of your body also play a role. They improve your heart’s stroke volume by simplifying blood flow. This means that your heart has to beat less often to transport enough blood.

Calorie consumption swimming

How many calories you burn while swimming depends on your training status and your physical condition . Your swimming style and training intensity also make a big difference. This much is clear: swimming leisurely laps and chatting with your neighbor burns more energy than sitting in a cafe. But you won’t set a new calorie record. You really have to put in a little more effort for that.

How many calories do you burn swimming?

The following figures show the average calorie consumption during swimming. They are rough guidelines for hobbyists and swimmers. The best way to determine your actual calorie expenditure for a workout is to use a fitness tracker suitable for aquatic sports.

Calorie consumption swimming

  • Breaststroke calorie consumption: 400 – 700 kcal per hour
  • Calorie consumption front crawl: 500 – 800 kcal per hour
  • Calorie consumption backstroke: 200 – 500 kcal per hour

Which muscles do you train with swimming?

As a swimmer you always train your whole body and you improve both strength and endurance. The focus is slightly different for each swimming style. But as with any sport, the same applies here: the technology makes the difference . The better you swim, the better you train your muscles. So what should not be missing after swimming training? A creamy Whey Protein protein shake !* Because you don’t just deserve it after a workout in the gym.


With breaststroke you mainly train your back , especially your broad back muscle (the latissimus dorsi ). Your abs stabilize your body in the water. Your glutes support the complex leg movement. And the front and back of your thighs also cooperate.


With backstroke you train all your glutes (the gluteus maximus, medius and minimus ) – just like during our 30-day Booty Workout . And thanks to the shallow location in the water, you also strengthen your core muscles with this swimming style , which should prevent your buttocks from sinking while swimming. Because a good part of the movement comes from your upper body, the latissimus dorsi also has to work.

Swimming in the supine position also improves the mobility of your shoulders . Therefore, and thanks to the relaxed position of your head and neck, after a long day at your desk, you can ease the tension in your neck by swimming on your back.

front crawl

For a front crawl you need a large number of muscle groups. Your chest , arms , shoulders , upper back , straight and oblique abs , but also your lower back , buttocks , hips and legs will take you forward in the water. Your broad back muscle and your trapezius muscle are the most important muscles during front crawling.

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