How to Burn More Calories While Swimming
How to Burn More Calories While Swimming
Get the most out of your swim by using strokes and methods that burn the most calories. Increasing calorie burn improves your workout and can get you closer to your weight loss goals. Find out what factors determine how many calories you will burn and how to use that information to maximize the burn.
Factors that Affect How Many Calories You Burn While Swimming
In the water, not all workouts burn the same number of calories. For instance, the number of calories burned during an hour-long swim can range from 400 to 700. Other aspects of the workout will determine which of these values you are closer to burning, including the following:
- Duration: The longer you swim, the higher the total number of burned calories you can reach.
- Intensity: Hard and fast swimming burns more calories than slow, easy strokes.
- Efficiency: If you become too efficient at a stroke, you will reduce the number of calories burned.
- Stroke: Some swim strokes incorporate movement from more parts of the body or require you to work harder, and thus, burn more calories.
- Weight: Your body weight contributes to calorie burn. If you weigh more, you will burn more calories.
How to Burn Calories Swimming
When swimming as an exercise, you will likely burn a lot of calories. To get the most from your workout, increase the time and intensity while changing up your routine to avoid becoming too efficient in the water. Plus, you can choose the type of strokes that burn the most calories. If you want to increase the length of your swim sessions, do it in five-minute increments each week until you reach your goal time. Doing this gradual increase will help you avoid burnout.
What Kind of Swimming Burns the Most Calories?
All types of swimming burn calories. If weight loss is your goal, adopt a healthy diet paired with your exercise to ensure you don't take in excessive amounts of calories to make up for your workouts.
Depending on the water temperature, you may burn more calories by swimming in cold open water. Your body must generate extra heat to keep you warm, which burns calories. If the water feels so cold that you sacrifice using the correct form for your swim strokes, you won't get the same benefits. This is because you will be changing the effort required for the strokes and potentially reducing calorie-burning. To avoid this problem, wear a wetsuit when swimming in water with temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Swimming in a temperature-controlled pool is ideal for those who want to focus on their stroke form. Learning new strokes and working on more intense strokes can help you to burn more calories, even in a heated pool. As your body uses different muscle groups for the various strokes you use, you will get a better workout than using the same swimming stroke every session.
What Is the Best Swimming Stroke to Burn Calories?
When you want to improve your calorie burn, some strokes will offer a better workout than others. Other strokes are easier to sustain for a long time, allowing you to swim longer without wearing yourself out. We'll review each stroke and the benefits it can offer:
- Breaststroke: One of the lowest calorie-burning strokes is the breaststroke, which averages a burn rate of 200 calories per half hour. However, you can swim longer and build your cardiovascular strength and stamina with this stroke. It also works your chest, upper back, legs and triceps.
- Backstroke: The backstroke burns slightly more calories than the breaststroke with an average of 250 calories per 30-minute workout. Choose this stroke as another option for boosting your stamina. It can also help improve posture and the flexibility of your hips, which both may need attention if you have a sedentary job.
- Freestyle: While you may choose a freestyle stroke for racing because it's the fastest option, it only ranks second in calorie burning. On average, you will burn around 300 calories when you do this stroke for half an hour. It does a great job of giving you a workout to tone all your major muscle groups in the back.
- Butterfly: The most intense calorie-burning stroke in the pool is the butterfly stroke. This powerhouse stroke burns up to 450 calories per 30 minutes, but it may be the most difficult to learn. In return, you get a great exercise that strengthens and works most of the major muscle groups in your body, which may explain its high calorie-burning value.
Benefits of Swimming to Burn Calories
Swimming provides a whole-body workout that is less stressful on the joints compared to high-impact aerobics. Consequently, many people in recovery from injuries from more intense sports use swimming as a way to rebuild their stamina, muscle tone and aerobic capabilities while improving the recovery process.
Competitive swimmers already know their sport facilitates massive calorie burn, which is ideal for those whose goal is weight loss. Plus, swimming can help those with asthma or multiple sclerosis to exercise without worsening their conditions.
While swimming works your entire body, it can also help you to maintain your mental health. Those who get regular aerobic exercise, like swimming, have better sleep quality than those who don't. In a study of dementia patients, participation in aquatic exercise improved mood and psychological well-being.
Statistically, swimmers have a 50% lower chance of death compared to their inactive peers. The calorie-burning, mood-boosting, sleep-helping and muscle-building benefits of this exercise likely play roles in this connection. Whether you want to build your stamina, lose weight or maximize your calorie burn, competitive swimming gives you a way to do that. Rather than relying only on yourself to schedule workouts, your team will rely on you to attend practices and improve your skills. Plus, with a team, you have others relying on your ability in the pool. You cannot miss a workout, or you will let them down.
Competitive swimming also gives you a goal to work toward. If you achieve your initial aim, you can continue to compete at higher levels as your skills improve.
Give Yourself an Edge in the Water With Our Swim Products
Give yourself an edge in the water with men's swimsuits, women's swimsuits, goggles and more for competitive swimmers at Kiefer. Plus, we offer gear for facilities, water fitness and training. Whether you need to shop for your team or yourself, make your first stop Kiefer for the products you need from brands you trust.
Swimming vs. Running: Which is a Better Form of Exercise
Swimming vs. Running: Which Is a Better Form of Exercise
To determine whether swimming or running is better for your health, you need to evaluate the goals you want to accomplish. Consider whether you want to lose weight, gain muscle, build endurance, improve stamina, or adopt a healthy lifestyle. Aerobic exercises can increase your memory, combat cognitive decline, and reduce stress. No matter what you choose, know that you're choosing to improve your health.
You need very little equipment to perform either activity, but sometimes facilities are more readily available for one sport depending on where you live. You could also perform both activities and engage in cross-fit training, but if you want to choose one, hopefully, this guide will help you determine which would be best for you.
Pros and Cons of Swimming vs. Running
Running and swimming are the two of the most popular sports in the United States for a good reason. Both activities require very little investment, and you can begin training and seeing growth quickly. Both sports burn many calories and are healthy ways to adopt a better lifestyle. While both can give you a deep sense of accomplishment, deciding which is better depends on your ultimate goals.
Running is the most popular sport in the U.S. It requires little to no equipment, and you can perform it in any of your favorite locations, including a local park, a gym, and even your living room.
Here are some of the pros of running:
- You can run virtually anywhere and anytime.
- Running comes naturally to humans.
- You don't need any additional equipment.
- Running is one of the least expensive exercise options.
- You can increase your oxygen-carrying capacity.
Although running is convenient, it comes with disadvantages. You may find it challenging to find the motivation to run the same course every day, and you are more likely to injure various parts of your body.
Some more cons of running include:
- You can become easily dehydrated in hot weather.
- Injuries are common.
- Some people struggle to remain engaged and interested.
- Running puts a significant amount of strain on the knees and other joints.
- Running mainly involves working only on your lower body.
Following right behind running as a popular exercise in the U.S. is swimming. Besides being a way to get fit, swimming is a life skill that can save your life. Knowing how to swim correctly can assist you in oceans, pools, and lakes where accidents may happen or when weather affects water conditions.
Consider these pros of swimming:
- You experience much less stress on your joints.
- It's refreshing to swim when the weather is warm or humid.
- There's a lot of versatility in the exercises you perform.
- You can work a variety of muscles through various activities.
- You can tailor workouts to target your needs.
- It's a total body workout.
- You can have a lot of fun in the water.
- You can typically swim even if you're injured compared to other sports.
Despite being a fun way to get in shape, some logistical challenges are worth considering. You also need to anticipate more time for your workouts and practice mental discipline to stay focused.
The following are cons of swimming:
- Swimming is not the most effective form of weight loss.
- It may be tempting to relax instead of finishing your routine.
- Depending on your location, water may not be easily accessible.
- Preparing to get in and out of the water can be time-consuming.
- You may find water less inviting in the winter or during cold months.
Which Burns More Calories?
If you're looking to lose weight, you'll likely want to know which sport will help your burn the most calories. Keep in mind that you will burn calories by getting regular exercise regardless of the activity you're performing.
Swimming burns more calories than running the same distance. However, your weight will affect the number of calories you burn. Some studies show that in 30 minutes, someone weighing 155 pounds will burn 294 calories while performing low-impact step aerobics and 168 calories while performing water aerobics.
Something to note is that burning calories does not mean losing belly fat. Running can more effectively get rid of belly fat than swimming. Furthermore, even though swimming typically burns more calories, different strokes will exert various amounts of energy. While freestyle and butterfly strokes are effective calories burners, the backstroke requires significantly less energy and burns considerably fewer calories.
Why Swimming Is Better Than Running for Exercise
Running focuses on the lower body and is hard on the joints, while swimming is low-impact, works all muscles, and doesn't pressure the joints. You can swim to improve your body strength and tone it in your work areas. Furthermore, cold water strengthens your immune system and improves your blood circulation.
Swimming vs. Running for Cardio
Cardio is an excellent exercise that strengthens your cardiovascular system and promotes healthy heart changes. Both forms of cardio can encourage weight loss, burn calories, and strengthen your overall system. However, swimming works more than the upper body and helps strengthen every area of your body.
Swimming takes the cake when it comes to which exercise is a better form of cardio. There is more resistance in water than in the air. Kicking in the water requires more effort than stepping on the ground.
It's also easier to incorporate weights in the pool. You could perform a dumbbell workout to work your arms and shoulders and take classes focusing on full-body training. You can include a variety of fitness bells, exercise disks, and more into your water routine, but you likely can't jog around the block with weights in your hands for an extended time.
Swimming vs. Running for Endurance
Building endurance in either sport requires repetition and consistency. Whether you're trying to run or swim longer distances, practice will enable you to hone your skills and muscle memory.
Swimming is more effective at building endurance than running. When you swim, you're pushing against the water's resistance rather than only the air when you run. Your muscles become conditioned and trained, which helps to build endurance.
It takes time to get familiar with the proper breathing technique to swim and challenge your lung capacity appropriately. Once you do, you'll be able to swim longer distances with fewer breaths between your strokes. There are plenty of swimming workouts available to give you a good starting point where you can easily track your progress.
Running will also help build some endurance to run longer distances in a shorter period. However, because swimming works so many muscles, the endurance you build in the water will aid you in other sports, exercises, and activities — including running.
Water Fitness Swimwear From Kiefer Aquatics
Kiefer Aquatics has been operating for over 73 years. Kiefer was started by Adolph Kiefer, a 1936 gold Olympic medalist. Since then, we've worked to continue reinventing how we swim. With equipment inspired by his designs, we've created gear that can improve the way you swim and further build your muscle and endurance.
We know a thing or two about what swimming can do for your body, health, and headspace, and we hope we've helped you end the swimming vs. running debate. You can use our collection of water fitness equipment to build your endurance and hone your skills. Check out our variety of water fitness swimwear to get you working out in quality gear as soon as possible.
Learn More About Aquatic Fitness:
- Guide to Dryland Swimming Workouts and Products
- Upper Body Water Workouts with Kiefer Dumbbells
- Basic Gear For Fitness Swimming Part 2
- Swimming Stretches
- Swim Fitness During Pregnancy
- Essential Swim Gear for Water Aerobics and Aqua Therapy
- Basic Gear For Fitness Swimming
Upper Body Water Workouts with Kiefer Dumbbells
If you're looking for some water dumbbell workouts to do at the pool, here are a few options. We've outlined the gear you'll need, and a few different types of upper body exercises to try. Give it a go, and let us know how your workout experience was in the comments below!
- Kiefer Water Workout Dumbbells
- Kiefer EZ Grip Foam Water Dumbbells
- Kiefer Water Exercise Discs
- Kiefer Easy Grip Hand Bells
- Kiefer Deluxe Foam water Dumbbells, or
- Kiefer Basic Water Workout Dumbbells
Water Dumbbell Exercises
Body Position: Upright, bent over at the hips, staggered legs in lunge position.
Starting with your hands extended straight behind you, palms down, past your hips, slowly draw your hands and the dumbbells towards your chest, then release.
Tricep Push Downs:
Reverse! Start with your hands at your chest, palms down, push your weights past your hips and control your recovery bringing them back to your chest.
Body Position: Wide leg stance, shoulder width apart, standing straight up.
Elbows at shoulder height, hands up like a goal post. Straighten arms and bring your dumbbells directly above your head, then slowly return to goal post position.
Amp up the difficulty:
Squat or bend your legs as the weights come down to goal post position and straighten your legs as you straighten your arms. Level Up: Jump as you push up, then come down to a squat to reload in goal post position.
Begin in chest deep water. Begin with weights in front of your chest, straight arms, palms facing each other. Pinch your shoulder blades together as if you were trying to hold a grape between them and open your arms wide like a ‘T’. Return to hands in front, release your shoulder blades.
Begin in chest deep water. Alternate arms pushing/punching your dumbbell out to a straight arm and then pulling them back in close to your chest.
Learn More About Aquatic Fitness:
Essential Swim Gear for Water Aerobics and Aqua Therapy
Aqua aerobics is that fun looking class with upbeat music and fitness fans getting their groove on. But what water aerobics gear do you need to join in? Mostly just a suit but might we make a few suggestions to amp up your enjoyment.
Not into all the song and dance? Aqua therapy or workouts in the pool utilize much of the same equipment to boost up your success rate and overall conditioning.
Equipment Needed for Water Aerobics
Running, walking and dancing can do a number on the soft bottoms of your feet. Depending on how textured your local swimming hole’s plaster is, a pair of water shoes or water socks can save you some major discomfort. Speedo’s Surfwalker Pro’s are fast drying and slip on and off easily with no laces or straps. With a snug fit and grippy soles these shoes make water workouts much more enjoyable.
Let’s keep this one in house with our very own Kiefer ankle and wrist weights. These portable weights are made primarily of soft and durable neoprene. Being fully adjustable with clips makes them a good fit for everyone. Increase the difficulty of your workout with different weights as your strength increases! Voila.
If adding weight isn’t your thing check out water gloves that slide on your hands putting webbing between your fingers. Swim gloves increase water resistance and come in a variety of materials to fit your needs. Kiefer currently offers neoprene, silicone, and Lycra®.
Barbells & Dumbbells:
Don’t panic! Not the heavy weight room kind, these aqua specialty barbells and dumbbells are made of foam and plastics. They increase resistance and are very lightweight. Some classes utilize handheld equipment such as these to push through the water, down to the bottom or out in front. The bigger the dumbbell or barbell the more resistance the user encounters. Kiefer offers a wide variety sure to please everyone.
Learn More About Aquatic Fitness: