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Burn More Calories Swimming

How to Burn More Calories on Your Next Swim

There are tons of ways to burn more calories when running, but if swimming is your go-to form of cardio, here are ways to burn more calories in the pool.

  • Choose full-body strokes: Both butterfly and the crawl stroke burn 297 calories per 30 minutes (based on a 130-pound woman). They burn slightly more than the breaststroke (270), and more still than the backstroke (216).
  • Include speed intervals: Picking up the pace will burn more calories, so include speed intervals, say every third or fifth lap, where you're pushing harder than during the other laps.
  • Isolate muscle groups: Grab a kickboard or a pool noodle and do fast-paced kicking laps, or head to deeper water to tread. Not only will making your lower body do all the work not only will tone your core, butt, and legs, but also, it's a heart-pumping way to amp the calorie burn. To target the upper body, use one of these ankle bands that holds your feet together, so instead of kicking, you have to use your arms to propel your body forward.

See more swimming tips after the break!

  • Add resistance: You may feel a little silly with these in your hands, but using swim paddles in the pool is like using dumbbells in the weight room. They're one way to build shoulder strength, and lean muscles burn more calories.
  • Strength train in the pool: There are other ways to build muscle mass in the pool. Try these:
    • Pool push-ups: To strengthen your upper body, stand in about four feet of water and place your hands on the edge of the pool. Straighten your arms so your lower half is still in the water, and then bend your elbows, releasing your feet back to the pool floor. Repeat as many as you can.
    • Pool walking: In three feet of water, just walk. You'll be amazed at how the water adds resistance quickly — it's a great way to tone the legs and booty.
    • Double knee lifts: To work your core and upper body, stand in four feet of water. Lift both knees up toward the chest, pulling them in as high as you can as you use your arms to keep you from sinking. Hold for 10 or so seconds and then release the feet back to the ground. Repeat for a minute or two.
    • Leg sweeps: To target the tush, legs, and abs, stand in three feet of water with the left side of your body about six inches from the edge of the pool. Rest your left hand on the edge, and raise your right arm in the air. Sweep your right leg up in front of you, and then sweep it behind you, squeezing the glutes. Repeat 15 to 20 times on each leg.
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