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Swimming Work-out Plan

swimWhen I think of working out, I think of getting up at 6:00 in the morning to squeeze in some gym time before work. It took me years (literally) to bring myself to get a gym membership because I had a dreaded regular routine workouts... With the heat wave, all I want to do is jump in a pool so why not get a workout at the same time.

I found this article...

 

Now that I've read this A pool might not be the first place you think of going when you're looking to shape up and slim down—but perhaps it should be. No other workout burns calories, boosts metabolism, and firms every muscle in your body (without putting stress on your joints) better than swimming.

Why Water Works

An easy swim burns around 500 calories an hour, while a vigorous effort can torch almost 700. And because water is nearly 800 times denser than air, each kick, push, and pull is like a mini resistance workout for your entire body—especially your core, hips, arms, shoulders, and glutes. So in addition to blasting calories as you swim, you build lean muscle, which ignites your metabolism so that you burn more calories once you've showered and dried off.

 

Water basically neutralizes gravity, so you become virtually weightless when immersed, giving your joints a much-needed vacation. "You can swim almost every day without risking injury.".. And that makes swimming something you can do for your entire life.

Start with a plan to swim for a solid half hour then split it into shorter segments, mixing in a variety of work and rest intervals, and using different strokes, drills, and intensities.

  

Shape your total body with this swimming workout plan.

Different Strokes:
Freestyle is a fan favorite because it's easy to learn and it burns major calories. But it pays to mix things up. "Using various strokes balances your muscles and helps beat boredom," says Shinofield. Two to try are backstroke (it improves your posture by working your back and shoulder muscles) and breaststroke (it uses the hip and inner-thigh muscles, which are often missed in other workouts). Get the most from each stroke by following this advice from Shinofield:

 

Backstroke:
Eyes up. Look straight up at the sky or ceiling—not at your toes, which causes your hips to sink—so your head is in line with your spine. Make a Y. Reach back with each arm at a 45-degree angle to your body; it places less stress on your shoulders and makes your stroke stronger.

 

Power up your stroke with these strength-builing moves.

 

Breaststroke:
Sweep through. Reach your arms overhead, palms together. Rotating your palms outward, pull down until your hands are nearly level with your chin. Bring your hands inward by your chest, then reach again. Whip it. Bend your knees and bring your heels toward your butt. Turn your toes outward and kick your legs back and together (like a frog) as you extend your arms forward.

 

Crawl Crib Notes:
Synchronize your stroke with these tips.

 

Head and shoulders:
Align your head and neck with your spine, and keep your shoulders relaxed. Look at the black line on the bottom of the pool with your head in a neutral position. This will prevent your hips from sinking and keep your body level in the water.

 

Hands:
Pull through the water, keeping your fingers pointed toward the bottom of the pool. Your hand should trace an imaginary line on the pool's bottom. Also, avoid cupping your hands. When they're relaxed, with your fingers slightly open, they'll propel you forward more easily.

 

Elbows:
Your elbow should always be higher than your wrist.

 

Triceps:
Finish each stroke by extending your arm fully behind you until your hand is close to your thigh.

 

Hips:
Rotation starts with the hips and core. Pivot your hips 45 degrees with each stroke. The kick starts here too. Imagine you're trying to kick off a pair of flip-flops in the water.

 

Slip into these island-inspired styles and look your hottest poolside.

 

Feet:
Keep them close together and in line with the rest of your body. They should be pointed naturally, fluttering at about six kicks per stroke.

 

Mouth:
As you rotate your body to the side to breathe, rotate your head (don't lift it out of the water) and take a breath through your mouth. Exhale gently and gradually under the water until your next breath.

 

 

 

Source: Robert Pearson, Head Swimming & Diving Coach at Macalester College in Minnesota.

 

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