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Swim Tip: Make One of Your Laps All About Your Legs

Don't get me wrong. I love that swimming is a total body workout, but sometimes I miss that intense lower-body burn that I get from a good run or bike ride. If you want to increase the intensity of your swim workout, especially in your legs, try this. After every three regular laps, do a kicking lap. That means you keep you arms either at your sides or straight in front of you (like Superwoman), and propel your body through the water solely with the movement of your legs. It doesn't matter what kind of kicks you do, but my favorite is scissor kicking so my legs feel like they're working equally.

At first it'll be really tough to do an entire lap of kicking, so start off by swimming as much of the lap with your legs as you can. Pretty soon, you'll find your legs gaining strength and endurance. Not only are these kicking laps great for toning your quads, hamstrings, bum, and lower back, but I've found that when I go back to swimming using my entire body, I feel much faster and and more powerful overall.

Fit's Tip: If your gym has them, you can use a kickboard to help your torso stay afloat. It'll help you concentrate on just kicking your legs.


Join The Conversation
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
I wish I could swim better. I mean, I can swim, but I'm out of breath after about 3 laps, even though I can run almost 4 miles without a problem.
mudnessa mudnessa 8 years
you know i actually swim almost entirely with my legs. mostly because somewhere around 8 i lost the ability to breathe well, while swimming, my timing just got all off, so i just stopped using my arms and just used my legs, trying to coordinate the arms with breathing no longer worked with me. i have been trying to re-learn how to swim "properly" but im taking it slow.
runningesq runningesq 8 years
I sometimes do workouts with the kickboard, but the great thing about being a triahlete is not having to kick much (thank you wetsuit ;)). Fit: another way to mix it up is to do "sprints" with the kickboard: kick hard one length, kick easy the next, etc.
teacherturtle1 teacherturtle1 8 years
nah.. i'll stick to my karate kicks! watch your rear!!!!!!! j/k :p swimming kicks my buttt! :)
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