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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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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

12 Stretching Exercises to Increase Your Flexibility

12 Stretching Exercises to Increase Your Flexibility

When thinking about stretching and learning how to become flexible, consider you are doing more than just elongating and strengthening your muscles. You are, in fact, improving circulation of the blood (lymphatic system), and optimizing the depth of your breath, which further enhances circulation[1].

Stretching and yoga aren’t just trends; they are practices that have been utilized by humans arguably for hundreds of thousands of years or more. In many cases, modern humans have simply forgotten much of their ancestry, and stretching/yoga is certainly an integral part.

The following stretching routines, if practiced consistently (every day, or a few times a week), will improve your physical and mental well-being, so let’s get into them!

Here’s a breakdown of all the exercises I’ve covered in the video:

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1. Standing Hamstring Stretch

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    • Stand straight and tall with your feet hip-width apart, knees just slightly bent, and arms by your sides.
    • Exhale as you bend forward (think of a door hinge movement at the hips), lowering your head toward the floor (imagine the top of your head being parallel with the floor), while keeping your head, neck, and shoulders relaxed (do not tense up).
    • Wrap your arms around the backs of your legs, or simply grab and hold the back of your legs; holding anywhere from 45 seconds to two minutes.
    • Bend your knees and slowly “roll up” back to the standing position when you’re done.

    2. Downward Dog

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      • Start standing with your feet hip-width apart.
      • While exhaling, hinge at the hips and lower your head toward the floor.
      • Place your hands/palms on the ground.
      • Step back with your feet while keeping a neutral back/spine and with your head/neck in-line with your shoulders and arms.

      3. Deep Lunge and Twist

      See the source image
        • Start standing with your feet together hip width apart.
        • Take a large step forward with your right foot.
        • Bend your right knee and drop into a lunge, keeping your left leg as straight as you can behind you with your toes on the ground, so you feel a stretch at the front of your left thigh.
        • Place your right hand on the floor or in a pray position, and twist your upper body to the right as you extend your right arm toward the ceiling (for a deeper stretch).
        • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes while taking slow and steady breaths.
        • Repeat on the other side.

        4. Piriformis Stretch

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        See the source image

           

          • Sit on the floor with both legs extended in front of you to start.
          • Cross your left leg over your right, and place your left foot flat on the floor.
          • Place your left hand on the floor behind your body.
          • Place your right hand on your left quad or your right elbow on your left knee (as shown), and press your left leg to the right as you twist your torso to the left.
          • If the spinal rotation causes back discomfort, remove the twist and simply use your right hand to pull your left quad in and to the right.

          5. Figure Four Stretch

          See the source image
            • Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor.
            • Cross your left foot over your right quad.
            • Lift your right leg off the floor. Grab onto the back of your right leg and gently pull it toward your chest.
            • When you feel a comfortable stretch, hold there.
            • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
            • Switch sides and repeat.

            6. 90/90 Stretch

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              • Sit with your right knee bent at 90-degrees in front of you, calf perpendicular to your body and the sole of your foot facing to the left. Keep your left foot flexed.
              • Let your leg rest flat on the floor.
              • Place your left knee to the left of your body, and bend the knee so that your foot faces behind you. Keep your left foot flexed.
              • Keep your right butt cheek on the floor. Try to move the left cheek as close to the floor as possible. It may not be possible if your hips are tight.
              • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
              • Repeat on the other side.

              7. Frog Stretch

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              See the source image

                 

                • Start on all fours.
                • Slide your knees wider than shoulder-width apart.
                • Turn your toes out and rest the inner edges of your feet flat on the floor.
                • Ensure your legs are maintaining approximately a 90-degree angle (squared off).
                • Shift your hips back toward your heels.
                • Move from your hands down to your forearms to get a deeper stretch, if possible.
                • Hold for for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

                8. Butterfly Stretch

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                  • Sit tall on the floor with the soles of your feet together, knees bent out to the sides.
                  • Hold onto your feet (or ankles), engage your abs slightly to keep an upright posture with steady breathing, and slowly lower your body toward your feet as far as you can while pressing your knees toward the floor. Keep a neutral spine during this stretch.
                  • If you cannot lower your torso, then simply hold the stretch and aim to lower your knees closer to the ground gradually.
                  • Hold this stretch for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

                  9. Tricep Stretch

                  See the source image
                    • Kneel, sit, or stand tall with feet hip-width apart, arms extended overhead.
                    • Bend your right elbow and reach your right hand to touch the top middle of your back.
                    • Reach your left hand overhead and grasp just below your right elbow.
                    • Gently pull your right elbow down and toward your head.
                    • Switch arms and repeat.

                    10. Extended Puppy Pose

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                    See the source image
                      • Start on all fours.
                      • Move your arms forward a few inches.
                      • Push your hips up and back halfway toward your heels, or until you feel a deep stretch.
                      • Push through the palms of your hands to keep your arms straight and engaged.
                      • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

                      11. Neck Stretch and Release

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                        • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, or sit down with your back straight and chest lifted.
                        • Drop your right ear to your right shoulder.
                        • To deepen the stretch, gently press down on your head with your right hand.
                        • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

                        12. Standing Quad Stretch

                        See the source image
                          • Stand with your feet together.
                          • Bend your left knee and use your left hand to pull your left foot toward your butt. Keep your knees together.
                          • If you need to, put one hand on a wall for balance.
                          • Squeeze your glutes to increase the stretch in the front of your legs.
                          • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
                          • Repeat on the other leg.

                          Conclusion

                          The key take away here is that consistency with your stretching routine, followed by good quality sleep and lots of hydration, will instantly begin to improve your quality of life. Find which stretches feel the best in your body and add them to a daily routine you can enjoy.

                          More on How to Become Flexible

                          Featured photo credit: Scott Broome via unsplash.com

                          Reference

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