Swimming interval training is a great way to achieve a low impact workout outside the walls of your gym. Many people underestimate the results that can be attained by adding swimming into a workout routine. With all your limbs pulling and kicking, the result is a great cardio session and a full body workout. If swimming long, slow laps sounds boring, step up the pace and get your swim over with quicker. Another benefit of incorporating interval training workouts into your weekly fitness routine is the time savings. Instead of swimming slow, steady laps for an hour, give these below lap intervals a try!
Swimming Interval Workout #1
- Swim 10 x 50’s freestyle (meters) and take 15-20 seconds rest between each 50 meters. This will allow you to quicken your normal pace knowing that there is a short period of rest after each lap. Keep in mind, your rest times may vary due to your level of fitness. No matter what your rest time is, keep it consistent so you can monitor your progress. This interval training workout is designed to push your body and challenge you in the pool. Have some fun with it!
Swimming Interval Workout #2
- The second swimming interval training workout is based around time, and requires that you have a watch or some sort of clock to monitor each lap. Pick a normal lap time for yourself (say 1 minute for 50 meters. Each time you complete a lap in less than 1 minute, the remainder of that minute should be rest. (if the lap took 45 seconds, you have 15 seconds to rest before the next lap starts.)
Swimming Interval Workout #3
- Swim 50 meter freestyle as fast as you can. Turn around and do a slow back stroke for 25 yards as a period of rest. Repeat this 5 times (or until fatigue)
What’s So Great About Swimming?
Less Impact On Your Body
Did you know that when you are up to your waist in water, that your body only takes on 50% of your body weight? If you get in right up to your neck, you only bear 10% of your body weight. This means that your muscles and joints are protected by a watery cushion while they push and pull in the pool. Without the opportunity make any fast, unnatural movements underwater, you limit the risk of injury that is so common with weight-baring exercises that are out of the pool.
Great Cardio During Swimming Interval Training
While swimming slow, steady laps can be a form of easy exercise, why not pick up the pace and workout your cardiovascular system? By introducing swimming interval training into your pool routine, you are going to get your heart pumping and your lungs pushing oxygen to all the cells of your body. These types of bursts in exercise have continued benefits even after you leave the pool, as your body continues to burn calories at a high level hours after.
With a variety of swimming strokes to try, many of which are made up of full range of motion movements, it is going to help elongate your muscles and stretch them out. This increases the overall flexibility of your major limbs and muscle groups.
Swimming can be a great chance to workout with friends in a social setting. Set up a game of water polo, or play pool basketball. Get creative with your aquatic workouts, and you’ll have a hard time pulling yourself out of the pool…and probably a hard time getting out of bed the next morning as well.
Before Hitting The Pool…
Here are a few recommended items to pick up prior to hopping in the pool.
- Make sure you have a comfortable swimsuit that is well fitted to your body. You don’t want to deal with uncomfortable rubbing during your swims.
- Get a pair of goggles. Although they may not be a hot fashion trend these days, they are practical, functional and they are going to keep water and chlorine out of your eyes. Function over fashion, deal with it!
- For all you ladies (or men) with long, flowing locks, do yourself a favour and purchase a basic swim cap. Again, you may not see this style trending on the runways at fashion week, but you are going to keep your hair out of your face while you glide through the water. Who knows, you may even swim a bit quicker too.