How to burn more calories while swimming?

Want to make the most out of your swim sesh? Read this guide to find out how you can swim more effectively!

How to Burn More Calories while Swimming?

Are you someone who wants to have an amazing cardio sesh, but the thought of running doesn't seem enticing?

If yes, then you can turn to swimming. It is one of the few exercises that burn a lot of calories. 

 It might seem relatively scary and hard, but it is undoubtedly among the best cardiovascular workouts for people of any age.

Read on to find out how you can swim effectively to burn more calories in the same amount of time.

How to Burn More Calories while Swimming?

How many calories can you burn while swimming?

We all know that swimming is an amazing calorie-burning exercise. But, how many calories can you exactly burn?


The answer to this will depend on a wide range of factors, including the intensity of the workout, your weight, and the stroke you are doing. 

According to the Harvard Medical School, 30 minutes of recreational swimming can help you burn calories in the following way:


180 calories (56kg woman)
223 calories (70kg woman)
266 calories (83kg woman)


However, if you increase the intensity of the workout and swim vigorously for 30 minutes, the number of calories you burn will increase.

Here is what you need to know:


300 calories (56kg woman)
372 calories (70kg woman)
444 calories (83kg woman)


The number of calories you burn will be significantly impacted by the stroke you select. 

For instance, if a 56kg woman swims breaststroke for 30 minutes, the number of swimming calories burned will be 372. 

However, if she opts for butterfly strokes, the number of torched calories will increase to 409 calories.

How to Burn More Calories while Swimming?

Swimming vs running/bicycling—which will burn more calories?

The truth is that swimming helps you burn the same or even more calories than you would do on a treadmill or on the bike.

However, it also depends on the amount of effort you are putting into it. So, let’s get to know whether swimming or running burns more calories.


For instance, if you run for 30 minutes at the speed of 10-minute/mile pace, you will burn the same number of calories as you would do in the swimming pool.

However, if your pace is more than 11 minutes per mile, swimming will help you burn more calories.

The same goes for swimming and bicycling.

If a woman weighing 56kg pounds spins the wheels of a stationary bike for 30 minutes, she will burn 260 calories.

This is around 100 calories less than what you will burn through 30 minutes of vigorous swimming.

If the same woman increases the intensity of spinning, she will burn around 391 calories in 30 minutes.

This is comparable to 30 minutes of butterfly strokes, which burns 409 calories.

How to Burn More Calories while Swimming?

Best swimming strokes to try to burn calories

When it comes to burning calories, there are some strokes that offer better results than others. However, there are some others that are easier to sustain, which means that you can swim for a longer period of time without getting tired. Check out what these strokes are:

Breaststroke
When it comes to swimming strokes, breaststroke is the one that burns the least amount of calories.

They burn an average of 200 calories per 30 minutes. However, if you can swim for longer, it will not only increase your stamina but also improve your cardiovascular strength.

You can also use breaststrokes to work on your legs, triceps, upper back, and chest.

Butterfly
This is the most calorie-burning stroke, as it burns around 450 calories every 30 minutes.

However, it is difficult to learn. But, once you do, you will have an exercise that strengthens you and works most of the muscle groups, which is also why it has a high calorie-burning value.



Freestyle
When it comes to swimming races, freestyle is the fastest option.

However, in terms of calorie burning, it's the second number. If you do freestyle swimming, you will be able to burn somewhere around 300 calories.

It will also tone every major muscle group in your back and provide a great workout for you.



Backstroke
Compared to breaststroke, backstroke burns more calories. A 30-minute workout will help you burn around 250 calories.

You can try out this swimming style to boost your stamina and improve your hips’ flexibility as well as your posture.

If you have a sedentary lifestyle, it can help you out.

How to Burn More Calories while Swimming?

Tips to burn more calories while swimming

1. Use training aids to work harder and tone up


When you use training aids, such as kickboards or a pull buoy, it allows you to work on specific muscle groups. 

So, if you want to work on your lower or upper body, you can use these to tone up. 

For your arms, use a pull buoy and for your legs, use a kickboard.



2. Create resistance


The more resistance there is in the water, the more calories you will be able to burn. 

For this, you can either use your own body or use equipment. A lot of professional swimmers try out gears like fins or hand paddles or even wear a loose swimsuit over the speedo (known as a drag suit).



3. Take less rest


A lot of people spend around 10% of their time resting in the pool. And even though there is nothing wrong with that, but, if you want to burn more calories, you should try to reduce your rest periods. 

If you rest less and swim for longer, your heart rate will remain up and you will be able to burn more calories. 

Make sure that you have realistic goals while swimming. You can try swimming for longer, reducing your lap times, and more. 

With a goal in front of you, you will be able to build momentum.



4. Swim Individual Medley (IM)


In an individual medley, you have to swim four primary strokes back to back. 

You can try swimming a lap of butterfly, followed by a lap of backstroke, a lap of breaststroke, and end with a lap of freestyle. 

After your IM, you can either do a couple of laps of leisurely backstroke or breaststroke or any stroke that is easier to recover from. 

Once you are done, you can repeat the IM.

Swimming is an amazing workout to lose weight, strengthen your heart, and increase muscle tone. 

If you don’t like going to the gym or performing certain exercises, swimming can be a great option for you to get into shape.

How to Burn More Calories while Swimming?

Written by: olee sasithon

Swimming digital sports leader, decathlon singapore

Make the most of your workout by keeping it efficient!

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