Swimming is a far more effective way of toning your muscles than any other form of cardiovascular exercise. When you swim you not only get all the cardio advantages of your workout, you are also working on your muscle tone. Swimming provides water resistance, which has a similar effect on the body as a light weight on a resistance machine or using dumbbells. The amount of resistance involved will be relative to the force you are pushing the water with, this allows you to control how hard you’re working with relative ease. When the sun is out, don’t just splash about; do a few laps and reap the rewards.
At Ready Steady FIT we suggest using a mixture of different strokes in order for you to work on different muscle groups. If you are after a more fast-paced workout then front crawl is the stroke to chose as it generates the most force of any stroke, primarily using the pectoral muscles in the chest and and lat muscles of the back to power your swim.
Breast stroke requires the most coordination and skill as you will have to move your lower and upper body in sync in order to power through the water using the muscles in your chest, shoulders and arms. This stroke is not typically performed at a great speed which makes it a good choice for overall strength building and cardiovascular exercise.
The least intensive of all the strokes is the back stroke which is the best for a recovery swim between intense workouts at the gym. Backstroke uses the muscles of the back and the hamstrings.
The most difficult of all swimming strokes and by far the most difficult to master is the butterfly stroke. It’s a perfect way to boost your metabolism and is a great stroke to perform as an interval training session when you’re in the water and want a more challenging workout. It requires full body tension and some serious power in the shoulders and back.
Make sure you alter intensity, stroke and distance for an ultimate workout.