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Swimming exercise for fitness

One of the most popular ways of getting fit, swimming is famed for its ability to condition the whole body. Because it uses the muscle of the upper and lower body, and also the core, swimming is often seen as a complete workout.

However, if you want to improve your swimming, or get in the best shape possible, you need to look at what you actually do when you're in the pool, and how you can supplement your swimming away from the pool.

The problem with many people's pool workouts is that they have no variety to them. They get in the water, swim a set number of laps at a steady pace, and get back out. There are two issues here:

  • It's possible to swim at a very low heart rate, so the actual cardiovascular benefit may be minimal
  • People often fail to lose weight with these types of workouts
So what is the answer?

In the pool: Add some variety to your workouts. Competitive swimmers perform ever changing workouts that involve both drills, to improve technique, and intervals of different lengths, to improve aerobic and anaerobic fitness.

In the gym: Research has shown that targeted weight training can improve performance in the pool. In particular, you can strengthen the shoulders with weights, or perform pull ups and dips.

Running: Ironically, when competitive swimmers want to lose weight, they usually add some running to their training program.

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