Swimming For Weight Loss

The great thing about swimming is you can do it all year round. Once the sky turns gray, days seem to get shorter and shorter and the nights are icy, the thought of running can become a chore. Swimming not only acts as a spectacular cardio exercise that helps you lose weight, but also is great for your soul to dip in a warm, ambient pool and swim at your own pace. Even greater if it’s followed by a replenishing steam in the sauna or steam room

Find you local swimming pool here.


Benefits of swimming

Swimming is not only an excellent way to work out your entire body and cardiovascular system, but also is a fun way to switch up your workout routine from repeatedly going to the gym or jogging round the same mapped out routes. 

There are endless reasons why swimming is so popular amongst children, adults and elderly. As it is impossible to name them all we have merely listed a few below: 

  • Swim workouts work your whole body, inside and out. Even though it doesn’t contribute to the added stress on your body which ‘normal’ gym workouts do, swimming still successfully increases your heart rate, tones your muscles, and builds strength and endurance. 
  • Swimming allows you to burn calories with minimal impact on your bones and joints, making it a great choice for those suffering with arthritis and joint pain who still want to keep fit. 
  • Studies also show that swimming actually helps you sleep better at night, and can help with insomnia. Although “land” exercises can also benefit this, swimming is much more appealing to the likes of running for older persons with sleeping problems. 
  • Swimming is also a great exercise option for pregnant women. Although it’s always worth talking to your doctor beforehand, swimming is typically safe to do throughout all three trimesters, not only for the mother-to-be but also for the baby. 


Is swimming good for weight loss?

As you probably already know, when trying to lose weight cardio exercises are amazing for burning the pounds. However, we bet you didn’t know that an hour of swimming burns almost the same amount of calories as running.

It’s said a 160-pound person burns approximately 423-715 calories an hour, depending on how vigorous the swim is, and a 240-pound person might even burn up to 1,068 calories an hour. Whilst a 160-pound person running at 5mph burns, on average, 606 calories. Compared to only 292 calories cycling, and 365 calories using the elliptical trainer. 

This being said, just like any exercise the more likely you are to burn fat depends on how much you push yourself. 


Best swimming strokes to lose weight

Depending on the muscles being worked, different swim strokes can result in a greater calorie burn. We’ve listed the best swimming strokes to lose weight and tone up your body below.

1. Butterfly is the best swim stroke to tone and build muscles as it’s the most demanding. It successfully targets your chest, stomach, arms and back muscles, as well as improving your flexibility. However, the stroke itself is quite hard to get right, so maybe try something a little easier if you’re just starting out in the swimming game. 

The average calorie burn is around 450 calories for 30 minutes.


2. Front stroke comes in second place, and is the fastest of all competitive swimming strokes. The rigorous flutter kicking and constant alternating movements makes it a great option for toning your stomach, glutes and shoulders. Learning to do this stroke is moderately difficult to learn, however if you attend adult swimming lessons it’s one of the first strokes you will master. 

The average calorie burn is around 300 calories for 30 minutes.


3. Backstroke is a great option for those that haven’t perfected breathing under water. Through propelling your arms behind you and kicking your legs profusely, the backstroke will benefit your core muscles and work the major muscles in your arms and legs, as well as improving the flexibility of your hips. The swimming stroke is great for office workers as it successfully strengthens your spine and improves your posture.

The average calorie burn is around 250 calories for 30 minutes.


4. Breaststroke is actually the optimum cardiovascular workout compared to other strokes. Although on average it burns less calories, it helps strengthen your heart and lungs, whilst also toning your thighs, upper back, triceps, hamstrings and lower legs. Don’t be fooled though, breaststroke is the easiest to become complacent in so you must first master the proper movement before you start seeing the pounds shred off.

The average calorie burn is around 200 calories for 30 minutes.


Tip: select your swimming stroke preference and find out how many calories you’re crunching here.


Beginner swim workout

By now you will probably know that swimming is a spectacular option to lose weight, and you’ll just want to dive head first into the deep end and instantly see results. However, for your own safety you should take part in our adult swimming lessons until your instructor says you are ready to swim by yourself.

Once you are ready to tackle the inviting waters of our pools yourself, we have detailed a recommended workout below to get you started on your weight loss journey. Although some strokes are better for losing weight, we would recommend keeping your routine varied to keep your body and mind entertained.

Warm up

2 x 50m freestyle swim (whatever stroke you are most comfortable with) 

30 second rest each round


2 x 50m kick freestyle (hold one of our complimentary kickboards out in front of you and only use your legs)

30 second rest each round


2 x 50m breaststroke (at a relevantly slow pace)

30 seconds rest each round


Rest 1-2 minutes


Main workout

1 x 50m front stroke at a steady pace

30 second rest


1 x 25m front stroke at a fast pace

45 second rest


Repeat 3 times

Rest for 1 minute


1 x 75m breaststroke at a steady pace

30 second rest


1 x 25m breaststroke at a fast pace

45 second rest


Repeat 3 times

Rest for 1 minute


1 x 50m backstroke at a steady pace

30 second rest


1 x 25m backstroke at a fast pace

45 second rest


Repeat 3 times

Rest for 1 minute


1 x 75m butterfly at a steady pace

30 second rest


1 x 25m butterfly at a fast pace

45 second rest

Cool down

1 x 100m slow swimming


Hint: typically one length of a training pool is 25m.


Relax and unwind

Our heated, indoor pools provide the perfect environment for experienced swimmers, casual users and those looking to increase their endurance in the pool.

Enjoy a dedicated swim lane for uninterrupted training, or feel free to enjoy a leisurely dip.

After your swim workout... make time to wind down with our poolside facilities. Sweat it out in the sauna, soothe sore muscles in the steam room or take a dip in the toasty bubbles of our whirlpool spa.

Explore our heated pool and spa facilities facilities here.


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