In this article we take a look at how you can workout in your swimming pool and become healthier and trimmer.

Laps and laughs.

You might be thinking that your pool is a place where you swim a few lengths and have a few laughs with your family and the place for a workout is down at the gym.

On that last point, you would be wrong.

Your swimming pool is the perfect place to help loose weight and tone and firm your body. Swimming workouts provide a way of burning calories, boosting your metabolism, giving yourself a healthier heart and cardiovascular system and firming every muscle in your body without the risk of over stressing your joints.

Everyone knows that swimming is good exercise; you only have to look at the physique of an Olympic swimmer to be made aware of that. The problem for most people is that they see the route to that toned body as doing lap after lap after lap and their enthusiasm and interest is exhausted long before their body gets tired.

Planning a workout and exercise routine to practice in your pool gives you some goals to aim for, a regime to follow and, by maximising the benefit of every minute spent in the pool, the motivation of quickly looking and feeling healthier.

Resistance and support.

Water is approximately 800 times denser than air. Every muscle in your body that contributes to every stroke that you swim – and they almost all do – is working against the resistance of the water.

Swimming works your body core particularly well so you don’t have to ‘concentrate on your waist’, the simple act of swimming is doing that for you. Hips, arms, shoulders and bum are getting a good workout as well, no matter which stroke you are using.

Swimming at an easy pace will burn around 500 calories an hour and goes up to almost 700 an hour when you are really swimming flat out. Burning calories and building lean muscle changes your metabolism for the better so the benefits last even after you have got out of the pool.

Other exercise regimes allow you to burn fat and build muscle but swimming is unique in the support that it gives to your body while exercising. People who train with weights and those who run have to take time out from the exercise schedule because of occasional injuries; swimmers hardly ever do.

Because swimming is generally injury free, it’s an exercise that you can start older and continue for longer than most others. Research has shown that swimmers can have better blood pressure, lower cholesterol and better cardiovascular performance than non-swimmers half their age.

Planning a workout.

In the same way that if you are working out down at the gym you will set yourself a program of different machines and exercises and a certain number of sets and reps, then the way to build a swimming workout program is to divide your time into sections with a set goal for each.

Having a plan makes things more interesting as well as more effective. Using different strokes beats boredom and focuses on different parts of your body. For instance, backstroke improves your posture and breaststroke works your hips and inner thighs.

If you are starting from scratch, the first thing to decide is how many workouts you will aim to do each week. You should be looking at somewhere between 3 and 5.

Decide how long you want your longest session to be – an hour is about the recommended maximum – and aim to build up to that over the course of two months.

You should be increasing the lengths of each workout by about 10% each week, so on week 1 you would be looking at workouts that will take a little less than 30 minutes each.

You then need to divide up each workout session into 4 sections. A warm up (20%), a skill refresher or practice section (20%), the main set (50%) and then a cool-down period at the end (10%).

Assuming you have access to a 25-metre pool and a waterproof watch, then your first workout session might look like this:

  • Warm up: 2 laps of easy kick using a float then 2 laps of moderate swimming. 20 seconds rest and then repeat till the 6 minutes is up.
  • Skill refresher: 1 lap of easy stroke drill concentrating on perfecting or improving a certain stroke with 15 seconds rest at each end. Carry on for 6 minutes.
  • Main set: 3 laps of the pool, one fast then one easier then another fast then rest for 30 seconds. Keep this up for 15 minutes.
  • Cool-down: easy laps with 10 seconds rest at each end for the last 3 minutes.

What counts as easy, moderate and fast is down to you and your abilities. Being able to stick to the plan and enjoying it is far more important than trying to beat a record.

You can rest for up to 60 seconds between each section.

Every week you should aim for those section times to be 10% longer than the week before.

For smaller pools.

Not everyone has the space for a pool long enough to swim full laps, but there is a solution.

The Badu Counter Current unit will do exactly what it says. It will produce a stream of water that is strong enough to swim against so that, effectively, the swimmer stays stationery relative to the pool no matter how hard they swim.

A pump draws water in through many openings located around the back of the nozzle housing before jetting it back into the pool as a powerful stream of up to 85 m³/hr via a directional nozzle.

On built in models, the jet nozzle swivels 60° in each direction allowing the stream of water to be adjusted to suit individual swimmers requirements. The jet housing is produced from high quality stainless steel to create an eye-catching feature within the pool. A pneumatic on/off switch is incorporated into the housing together with the regulator for the air-intake, which gives the sparkling bubble bath effect.

You should always consult your doctor before embarking on any new exercise program.

We hope that this article has been useful for you.

If you have any experiences or insights about enjoying your pool as a place to workout or you have your own pool exercise regime that you would like to share then we’d love to hear from you. Please use the comment box that is just below.