Summer is here and that means putting out the lawn furniture, planting beautiful gardens and getting pools open and ready. If you haven’t used a pool as an underwater gym, you’re missing out on a great training tool. The resistance of the water is great for building strength and swimming at a quick pace makes for fantastic cardio. As an added bonus, swimming is a virtually impact-free workout, which means the risk for stress injury, is far less than that of frequent runners or weight lifters. Your joints will thank you.
Maybe you didn’t know about the benefits, or perhaps you’ve been skipping laps because you don’t quite know where to start, but we’ve got you covered. Take a look at our beginner swim workout and choose the water over the weight room.
You can adjust this workout by changing the number of reps or distance to best suit your fitness level. All double and triple digit numbers that are not labeled are yards and the single number before the ‘x’ is the number of sets.
Skill Level: beginner/ intermediate
Total Distance: 1,200 yards
Warmup (relaxed pace)
1 x 100 pull—using a pull buoy to keep your legs stationary, pull yourself through the water using only your arms.
1 x 100 kick—holding a kickboard out in front of you, use only your legs to power yourself through the water.
1 x 100 swimmer’s choice
Rest 30 seconds between sets
30 seconds wall kick—with hands on the side of the pool, focus on kicking feet as fast as you can.
60 seconds vertical sculling
Minimal rest between sets, do 3 sets
Main Set (intense pace)
4 x 50 breaststroke
4 x 50 freestyle
8 x 25 under overs—from start, swim underwater as far as you can, when you come up for air freestyle to opposite wall. On return, breaststroke on the surface of the water.
2 x 50 backstroke
Rest 30-60 seconds between sets
Warmdown (relaxed pace)
1 x 200 swimmer’s choice
Editor’s note: always check with your doctor and be mindful of your fitness level before beginning any training program.