Swimming – The Perfect Alternative To Your Fitness Program
Swimming keeps you fit and challenges your body’s physical form – flexibility, endurance, speed, coordination & strength – while being easy on your joints.
Running expert Sascha Wingenfeld underlines that those who swim regularly have found the perfect fitness activity to balance the effects of sitting in a forward leaning position day in and day out.
Work on your endurance
Good swim training comes with an array of positive, performance-boosting effects while taking it easy on your body. Even if the first steps into the cold water might require some will power, it’s definitely worth it in the end! Just try it out – here’s a couple convincing reasons to help you jump into the deep end:
Boost your endurance, spare your joints
“Many people who start with endurance sports struggle with the unfamiliar strain jogging puts on their joints. Swimming represents an ideal training alternative for them. The water supports your body weight, thereby keeping pressure off your joints – while at the same time allowing you to build important, supporting muscles with intense endurance training sessions,” Sascha explains.
All in one: endurance & strength training
Swimming is a challenge for the entire body. This activity not only improves your endurance, but allows you to gain muscles too.
Sustainable fat burning
Building more muscle helps you lose weight. The more muscles you have, the more fat you burn. This is why swimming can also boost fat burning in the long run.
Swim away tense muscles
The gentle movements when swimming help reduce muscle tension and pain in your neck, shoulders, and back, while strengthening your muscles.
You should swim for 45 minutes at least twice per week to sustainably improve your fitness and form. However, you’ll have to decide which swimming style and training program works best for you, and how to improve your individual performance,” the experts says. “There’s no right or wrong – every program and every stroke comes with its very own benefits and areas of application.”
Which swimming style is best for you?
“Endurance swimming” is the easiest method to get in a great, basic aerobic training while boosting your fat metabolism. If you really want to improve your performance and are looking for a challenge, try a more intense interval training.
“Which swimming style you choose for your training program depends on your personal fitness level and whether you feel comfortable in the water,” says Sascha.
The “normal”, frontal swimming technique is called breaststroke. Here, you can strengthen both your arms and legs. Good form is important here for your leg technique to spare your knees and avoid injury. Breaststroke is only recommended if you don’t have knee problems.
Those who spend most of their daily lives sitting, which can pave the way for hyperkyphosis, should try backstroke. This swimming technique helps keep your upper body flexible while being easy on your spine and strengthening the muscles in your upper back. But be careful, especially outdoors as it’s hard to stay on track when only looking up towards the sky.
Swimming the crawl trains your strength, coordination and endurance all at once, therefore being considered the “sports version” of swimming. This diagonal technique mostly strengthens your arm muscles while your legs are only used to keep you stable. A good swimming and breathing technique allows you to do the crawl in different intensities and within different training programs.
Every swimming style and program has their own advantages and areas of application. By combining all styles and training methods, you’ll get the best results. Due to the constantly changing stimuli and efforts, your body is challenged at all times.
“Every beginning is difficult – but it’s worth it! After a few training sessions, you’ll notice how moving in the water becomes easier and more fun. You’ll burn lots of calories while gently pushing your body to a new performance level,” explains our expert, Sascha.
And, honestly… swimming somehow combines both pleasure and work(ing out). Especially in summer there’s nothing better than jumping into the cool water and taking a break, right?