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Swimming For Weight Loss: Step-By-Step Guide For Beginners

Swimming For Weight Loss: Step-By-Step Guide For Beginners

We’ve all seen how Micheal Phelps leaves a trail of fire in the water — yes, he’s such a miracle that sometimes we imagine him doing that — during the Olympic Games that he participates in. Apart from the record-breaking feats he has achieved, many sports enthusiasts have taken to the internet to praise the physique that he has chiselled out through his regime of extremely strenuous training.

Well, it is no surprise that swimmers are lean and ripped because swimming is on the list of top calorie-burning activities known to man. At 840 calories per hour for men and 720 for women, people who are considering losing weight should definitely consider our recommended swim workout plan. Not only does it help you lose weight, it also helps you to build some serious stamina.

If you want to know more about weight loss, you can’t miss the following article that provides all useful tips you need:

Weight Loss Plan And Program: Create Your Own One

Mind Prep

Before each and every training program, write down on a piece of paper what you would like to achieve from it. The goal has to be very specific and down to the details of who you want to impress or for which event you would like to lose weight. For example, “Lose weight for a rave party event,” is not probably not motivating enough, but “Lose weight for a rave party and have friends notice my crazy progress,” sounds more like a driver.

Beginner to Intermediate Level Swimming for Weight Loss

If you’ve been on a swimming hiatus, worry not — this plan will ease you back into your stride. The program is split into 2 sessions per week and each session would last about 15-30 minutes depending on how fast you swim. Remember, this program is all about swimming for weight loss, so you will be working out every part of your body.

Week One

Session 1 (Swim 300m)

Warm up:

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4 x 25m laps at a slow pace

Note: Go as easy and slow as you can as this is just the warm-up phase.

Main Set:

2 x 25m with fins

Note: Fins allow you to manoeuvre in the water faster.

2 x 25m with a pull buoy

Note: Doing freestyle with a pull buoy will help you be more aware of your strokes. Lead the board with your fingertips and your hands should be higher than your elbow when pulling through the water. Do not drop your elbow. 

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2 x 25m with a kickboard

Note: A kickboard will help you develop lower-body strength, involving a lot of kicking. 

*Rest for 1 minute between sets.

Cool Down:

2 x 25m at a slow pace

Session 2 (Swim 400m)

Warm up: 

4 x 25m laps at a slow pace

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Note: Rest for 2 minutes after this set.

Main Set: 

4 x 25m with snorkel

Note: The snorkel allows you to concentrate more on your strokes than on your breathing. 

4 x 25m with a kickboard

Note: Make sure your elbows are kept high when you perform your strokes and you should lead the board with your finger tips. 

Cool Down: 

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4 x 25m laps at your own pace

Note: Remember your techniques and do not fall back on old habits.

Week Two and Beyond

For the second week, increase your warm-up set to an extra 4 rounds, making it 8 x 25m during the first session. Also, in the second session add an extra 4 rounds to one of the sets to make it 8 x 25m while using a pull buoy to add strength and stamina.

For the following week, follow second week’s training while adding an extra alternate arm training to the main set. At 4 x 25m, you should only use your left arm to pull through the water for the first 50m and then use only your right arm to pull through the water for the last 50m.

With this plan, you will eventually reach a total of 600m per session. At this rate, you will be losing about 200-300 calories per session, which will take you about 15-30 minutes to complete.

After three weeks of swimming, your technique and stamina will have been built up to a level where you feel you could go for more.

Stop procrastinating — swimming for weight loss starts when you take the first step into the pool. Always challenge yourself to do more, as progress does not happen in your comfort zone.

Featured photo credit: Swimmer via swimbetterhq.com

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Published on July 18, 2019

11 Best Core Strengthening Exercises to Do At Home

11 Best Core Strengthening Exercises to Do At Home

No matter where you are in your fitness journey, chances are you wouldn’t mind a little more definition in your midsection.

Whether you have a six pack or a beer belly, those abs could probably be a little bit sharper. Not to mention developing better core strength is hugely important when it comes to improving your overall strength and athleticism, as well as protecting you from injuries.[1]

The good news? Your abs and core muscles can handle a lot of training.

While most of your muscle groups do best with just two training sessions per week,[2] you can hit your abs every other day to great effect. You don’t even have to leave the house!

Here’s my guide to the 11 best core strengthening exercises you can do at home with no equipment.

1. Planks

Let’s start with the mother of all core-strengtheners, the plank.

Planks not only work your abs and obliques, they challenge those core muscles deep inside your body that help promote stability and power. They can also reduce back pain and improve your balance and posture.

Get down into pushup position, feet behind you, hands under your shoulders. Lock out your arms and legs, squeeze your core muscles, and hold your body stiff (like a plank!) for as long as you can.

For a more challenging variation, try a forearm plank with your arms out in front you. Lay your forearms on the ground for support, with your elbows under your face rather than aligned with your shoulders.

2. Side Planks

To hit your obliques even harder, try this challenging variation: the side plank.

From plank position, rotate onto one side. Prop yourself up on your elbow and one foot with your body straight and stiff.

Don’t forget to squeeze your core as you hold this position for as long as you can.

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Switch sides and repeat to avoid creating muscle imbalances.

3. Reverse Crunches

The regular stomach crunch is a fine exercise, but when it comes to abs and core strength, you’ll want to opt for moves that are a lot more challenging.

When you can crank out 50 crunches without a problem, it’s probably time for something new.

The reverse crunch packs a wallop for your lower abs and can be done anywhere, anytime, just like the standard crunch.

Lay on your back with knees bent in crunch position. Place your hands flat on the ground by your side and lift your pelvis, bringing your knees up toward your face, then back down again.

Engage your lower ab muscles to do the work, not your back. Repeat for a few sets of 12-20 reps.

4. Flutter Kicks

The lower abs are a problem area for a lot of people, so we’ll want to work them hard.

If that sounds like you, flutter kicks are just what the doctor ordered.

Lay flat on your back in leg raise position, hands at your sides or pressed into the floor. Raise your legs together about 6 inches off the floor, then alternate lowering one and raising one a few inches in rapid succession.

It should look like you’re kicking the air, and it should give you quite a burn in your abdominal area.

5. Arms High Sit-Ups

Imagine a crunch, but way harder!

Lay down on the ground in sit-up position, knees bent, feet flat on the floor in front of you.

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Raise your arms up to the sky and keep them elevated as you perform a few sets of sit-ups.

Engaging your arms in this way makes the move extraordinarily difficult and taxing. You’ll get a lot more mileage out of this move versus traditional crunches.

6. L-Sits

The L-Sit is outrageously difficult to perform well, but if you can build your strength here, the benefits are phenomenal.

To perform an L-Sit, you’ll need a stable surface to press off of. You can do them on the floor, but it’s a little easier if you can elevate yourself on a pair of dumbbells, two sturdy chairs, or a similar apparatus.

Sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you. Lock your arms in place at your sides, palms on the ground or surface, and press. Bring your legs into the air, perpendicular to your upper body, using the tension from your locked arms.

Hold this position as long as possible for an intense strength building workout.

7. Stomach Vacuums

And now for something different!

It’s easy to work your front-facing abdominal muscles, but there is another muscle group in your core that’s frequently overlooked: The transverse abdominis.

This muscle isn’t visible through your skin, but it’s incredibly important in stabilizing your body, creating good posture, and holding your belly in tight to your spine.

To strengthen this muscle and get a flatter stomach, try stomach vacuums.[3]

Standing straight and tall. Exhale all of the air out of your body and simultaneously pull your belly in tight. Imagine sucking your belly button back into your spine.

You’ll feel the transverse abdominis engage. Hold as long as possible, rest and then repeat.

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8. Star Planks

Planks are too effective to not utilize multiple variations of them in your routine.

The star plank engaged similar muscles to the traditional plank, but is a lot harder to hold for time.

From the push-up or standard plank position, walk your feet out wide and your hands, as well.

Your body should form an X position. Elevate your core off the ground, squeeze tight, and hold for as long as possible.

9. Boat Pose

Yogis know all about core strength, so if you want a tighter tummy, you should take a page out of their playbook.

Boat pose is an extremely difficult isometric hold that builds exceptional balance and core power.

Star in sit-up position. Crunch yourself up toward your knees, then lift your feet off the floor until they’re about level with your face. Balance on your butt, squeeze your core, and hold this position as long as you can.

Your body should form a V with the only point of contact being your butt on the ground. Holding boat pose should be extraordinarily challenging!

10. Mountain Climbers

Ab work alone won’t shred stomach fat. But when you combine abs and cardio, that’s when you’re onto something magical.

Mountain climbers fit the bill if you’re looking to blast your core and also work up a good sweat.

Get down into plank position. With your arms locked and your body tight, drive one knee at a time off the floor, up toward your chest, and then back to its original position. Repeat in quick succession.

It should look like you’re climbing a hill, and it should exhaust you in a matter of seconds!

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11. Russian Twists

Finally, let’s give the obliques a little more love.

Get down into sit-up position and perform a crunch toward your knees. From here, lean back so your torso is at a 45 degree angle to the floor, clasp your hands in front of you, and twist side to side in rapid succession.

You’ll feel your obliques engage after just a few reps.

For a more difficult variation, lift your feet off the floor similar to boat pose while perform the move, or perform the twist using a heavy medicine ball for added resistance.

The Bottom Line

The biggest piece of the puzzle when it comes to six-pack abs is a low body fat percentage. That’s best accomplished by sticking to a smart diet and building your fully body strength.

However, if you want to improve your athleticism, overall strength, or even your longevity, you can afford to work your abs a bit more frequently — 3-4 times per week is perfect.

If you hit them hard enough, you’ll probably see some great improvement in definition as well!

Cranking out endless crunches is one way to go about core training, but there are so many better and more challenging moves you can try without ever having to leave your living room.

Give them a shot!

Featured photo credit: Luis Quintero via unsplash.com

Reference

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