Unlike other fitness regimens, swimming engages every muscle group and energy system! Water is 800 times denser than air, and that added resistance allows for an awesome total body workout.
Related: 10 Reasons You Need To Try Swimming
The benefits of swimming are many. Here are a few you might not have known about:
1. Improves Coordination
Swimming improves flexibility, range of motion, and functional strength in the water. This leads to improved core strength and mobile stability in all your joints, as well as stronger muscles and enhanced motor skills.
Related: Dryland Workouts for Swimmers
2. It’s Joint Friendly
It’s joint-friendly. If you’re recovering from an injury and are eager to build strength, then look into starting a swimming routine to stay fit. If running is your passion, then swimming is a great way to work out on recovery days, allowing knees a rest from the pavement.
3. Burns Major Calories
Swimming is, without question, a very effective way to torch calories. Each competitive stroke engages different muscle groups so you’ll burn more or less depending on how much of each stroke you swim. The king of calorie-burning is butterfly. According to Nutristrategy.com, the calorie torching ranges from 649 calories for a 130-pounder to 1,024 calories for a 205-pounder.
Related: 5 Ways To Burn More Calories When You Swim
4. Improves Breathing Efficiently
In addition to improved heart health and stamina, swimming also improves how efficiently you breathe. This becomes very beneficial when doing other activities because you won’t be as out of breath after running up a flight of stairs.
5. It’s Optimal For Cross Training
A swim workout will actually improve overall performance at the gym (and vice versa!) When you’re training for a marathon or any other competition, jumping in the pool can offer you an extra edge over your competitors and improve your overall athleticism.
Related: A Beginners Guide To Strength Training
6. It Makes You Smarter
Your brain loves swimming. The extra blood and oxygen helps you become more alert, awake, and focused. It releases endorphins, the “feel good” hormones in our body. The graphic above shows how the brain literally lights up in more areas even after a 20-minute walk. The same thing happens when you swim!
Swimming requires your mind to make neural muscular adjustments to imbalances created from continuous movement through the water. As a result swimming improves dynamic balance and coordination, reflexes, bone density and muscular endurance.
Related: The Amazing Health Benefits of Swimming
7. It’s Muscle Lengthening
If you’re worried about bulking up (which you shouldn’t be), then consider swimming. Swimming combines resistance training with cardio, building lean muscle and boosting your metabolism. It also puts your body through a range of movements, helping your muscles stay long and flexible.
8. It Improves Your Ability To Stay Calm
Swimming is meditative. Swimming boosts endorphins that increase feelings of wellbeing. Plus the rhythmic strokes and sound of water make swimming much more relaxing. It’s been shown that swimming produces the same relaxation responses as yoga, and the stretching and contracting of muscles can heighten this experience.
Related: 10 Steps To Swimming Smarter Freestyle
Swimming not only helps with general physical fitness, but it encompasses a host of other benefits such as muscle toning, breath control, and meditative qualities. It’s a total body workout that is low-impact on your joints and also stretches your body—something it probably doesn’t get enough of.
For unlimited swim workouts, training plans and drills right on your iPhone, Android or Smartwatch, click here to start your free trial of MySwimPro ELITE COACH!
I am 70 and have been swimming since competing in college. I am within 5 lbs of my college weight. I can no longer run (ankles and knees) but still love a good workout in the pool.
I have been swimming in the local pool for over 30 yrs, I am now 54 yrs old. I swim 3 miles a wk, plus jog, cycle, & go to the gym. My heart rate can be 36 at rest, but mostly in the 40’s.
I started swimming because I had a torn ligament to my foot and was told it would help with a faster recovery. I started doing a few lengths & progressed from there.
Hi Shaun, that’s awesome! Let us know how we can help. Happy Swimming!
I love swimming being that I’m heavier than average. Just got this app for my Apple Watch 2 to track my progress. Can’t wait to dive in and get some data btw I’m 450lbs I usually do 3.2k trying to get lower in weight. I’ve gotten RHR in the upper 40s so far
Welcome to the community Lawrence! Let us know how we can help in your journey! Happy Swimming!
Great article👍🏽 I recently discovered a love for swimming due to a knee injury. It’s the only cardio and physical rehab I’m getting currently which has been a complete life saver!
Hi Myswimpro . I have been swimming all my life . I have been swimming intensely and really love it. Have started ocean swimming and it is a different ball game as there is on black line like in the pool . I am looking for a swim mate or a friend that i can talk about swimming and different places where we swim . Regards Pete
Great job I love swimming!
Hello Pete, I started swimming at age 1 1/2. Dad threw me off the dock in Lake Minnetonka with Mom watching and said, “Either she will swim or drown! I swam like a worm and did it again and again, thought being catapulted was a blast! My first swim meet in Anoka, Minnesota, I was 3 and won my fist event of 25 freestyle. Now, 67, the oldest on a team in Middleton, Wisconsin.
Recently was in the hospital with sepsis in my bladder and kidney, Really wiped me out, but the next day I was back in the pool, but was pretty weak and down 15 lbs., but each day I got better and stronger. Doctor was at the high school pool with her kids and was very impressed when she saw me swimming at the high school pool. She said I inspired many adults who were watching me swim for 1 1/2 hours and got in 3,000 yds. My goal was to flip every turn and stream line and dolphin kick past that first meter marker. Each day I increased my yardage to get my endurance back. Sprinting is where I am not strong right now. It just zaps me, but I sleep like a log and jump out of bed with renewed energy. Keep swimming Pete!
Hi Pete my name is Maritza I am 52 years old trying to use swimming to build up upper body strength would love to chat to people like myself cheers
Great writing. Thank you. Keep it up.
Hello everyone, I am 31 years old male and been swimming regularly only for 1 year now. Hope I can get better especially at resistance as am only able to do 50 m stretches at a time. Anyway it really feels great to be swimming 3 times a week, looking forward to getting some useful tips from this app!!
I work out six days a week for an hour and a half I have four children that took swimming lessons I never did I’m a poor swimmer and I want to learn to swim better by the way I’m 78
Nice work! Thanks for sharing! Have you tried downloading our MySwimPro app?
Hi I am 12 years old I’ve been swimming for almost a year. When I read this I didn’t even know half the stuff thanks for the info 😋
Hi I use to be in a swim team as a child and would love to swim as part of my regular workout, where do I start? I’m slow and heavy, what’s a good time frame for beginners? Do I swim before weights or after?
Hi Emilie! Thanks so much for your message! That’s exciting that you’re interested in getting back into swimming. I recommend downloading our free MySwimPro app. You can use it on your iOS or Android smartphone, and even on your smart watch! Once you download the app, you’ll find many helpful training videos you can watch to improve your technique, and simple workouts that you can take with you to the pool. For a beginner, I suggest swimming before you lift weights, and try getting comfortable in the water for 15-30 minutes. Practice your flutter kick and freestyle first. Once you’re in the water for a couple days, you’ll get much more comfortable and stronger! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any specific questions 🙂 Thanks!
Hello. It is a great article, thank you. I am pregnant and 37 years old. I swim 5 days a week for 30 min. I prefer to swim very early in the morning (6 am) before work because I feel more peaceful (there is nobody except me) and clean about the pool. I think I am a morning person 🙂
Thanks Mavi for your great comment! Are you training with the MySwimPro app?
I was a competitive swimmer until 14 in the late 70s and 80s. After 3 kids and other life events I am trying to lose weight and turned to swimming again. It helps that my youngest is following in my footsteps and is on a swim team. I’m loving being in the pool and around the competitive environment again.
Hi Yvette, this is so great to hear! Are you training with the MySwimPro app? We’d love to hear your feedback on the app! Thanks 🙂 – Paige
Hello – I’m curious about why it’s recommended to warm up with freestyle. I begin my workout with breaststroke. I started doing so when my shoulder was bothering me with freestyle. I’m fine now, though, and wonder if there’s a reason for starting with freestyle. BTW, I’m 72 years old and swim 1.25 mile 4 x week. I’d swim everyday if I could. I work with weights on other days for bone strength, but I’ve rediscovered my love of swimming in retirement.
Hi Beth! Great question. Since freestyle is the most common stroke, a lot of athletes like to warm up with that stroke. We certainly are not opposed to warming up with other strokes. Whatever helps you prepare for a great workout, is great! I also personally like to switch up my warmups with some breaststroke, backstroke, and some underwater stretching.
Thank you so much for your message, you are an inspiration hearing about how swimming is changing your life in retirement. Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂 Happy swimming. – Paige
I agree with you . There is no valid reason to start the warm up with the free style . In fact , it shpuld start with few flutter kicks , few drills , followed by back stroke & breast stroke . The good news is , Myswimpro allows you to create your own sequence of the sets .
I am so happy I came across this article. It is the reminder I needed as to why swimming has always been my go to exercise when life feels out of control especially after a long winter.
Thank you for the reminder of why I should be consistent with it.
So happy that we can help you out! Thanks for reading 🙂
Personal Continuos Learning
Self Discovery of inner strength
Intrinsic Positive Self Talk
I can, I will. I shall Attitude
Powerful body, mind and Spirit balance
Meditation of Spiritual meaning
Communication skills Within waves of sound
to be a truthful Brain, inspiring Brains
Inner Masterpiece to BE
Memories achieve success in life events and transitions between each one and the external world to be respected and achieve success in life’s purpose
Achieving positive success in life
Today and every day to be conscious …. keep swimming!
I liked it when you mentioned how swimming burns a lot of calories because of the fact that various muscles become active when a person is doing it. This will surely serve as a good way to convince my sister to have a pool constructed in the yard. She is the one who wants to get slimmer after all, and this sport will provide her what she needs. Thank you!
I was an avid swimmer up until my 40’s. After a heart attack and a kidney transplant I became ambivalent about working out. Now I am 68 years old, and had gone from 175 lbs up to 220. I went on a diet and am back in the pool found 1/2 mile 4 times a week. I have started regaining some endurance and muscle tone, despite all of the side effects of the anti rejection meds I take. Swimming is bringing me back to a healthier life!
That is amazing to hear!! Are you training with the MySwimPro app? If so, we’d love to hear your story and share it with our blog followers. Send us an email at email@example.com.
Keep up the hard work!
Hello, I have an above-ground pool and I would like exercises to do in it. Can you help me?
Hi Celine, that’s great! Yep we can help! Just go to the ‘More’ section in the app and adjust the pool length so it is custom to your pool. Then you can do workouts and training plans with the custom pool length. Enjoy!
It sure got me when you said that a swimming workout will surely help the person as it improves the overall performance at the gym. My brother might try that out once he is “ready again” to train at the gym. For now, he needs to relax. He will still be staying at the water, but he will be tubing instead of swimming. I wonder how that works.
Hi I am 33 Male , live in Malaysia, I just start swim academy , I am looking for swimming friend to practice in Kuala Lumpur Area
I am reading your blog and I get the right information about swimming benefits. Swimming is helpful for good health. You shared the benefits are useful. Great blog. Thanks for sharing this info.
Thank you! Download the MySwimPro app for some more tips and workout ideas!
Pingback: 21 Remarkable Benefits of Swimming (For Everyone!) – Sportsver
Pingback: 5 Ways to Relieve Back Pain So You Can Sleep Better | Bellingham Athletic Club
I was a water polo player and a lifeguard in my youth. Recently I developed severe asthma and arthritis ( I am 43 😓) which made standing, walking or going up and down stairs nearly impossible. Since July ( when my local swimming reopened after lockdown), I have been going everyday and swimming 2.5 km a day. I no longer need my blue inhaler and my knees have improved so much I can do most activities I was unable to do prior to my daily routine. I feel a brand new person and I also managed to lose 6 kg. And MySwimPro has played a huge part in this. ❤️
That is so amazing to hear! Keep up the great work!
It’s October 2020, I started swimming May 2019 at 45 years old. I’ve gotten some direction, swam with Masters for 10 weeks. I’m now into week 4 of MySwimPro endurance training, running, and cycling as well as doing dryland swimming and weights. I feel great and agree this article is on target. Swimming is hard, but e is a bit of zen to it.
Keep up the amazing work!
It stood out to me when you explained that the endorphins and rhythmic strokes involved in swimming help to make it really relaxing. My daughter has been having trouble dealing with occasional anxiety for the last six months or so. Maybe I’ll look for private swimming lessons for her to take now that you’ve helped me see it could be beneficial for her!