Health and Fitness

Which muscles do you train with swimming?

Swimming muscle building

As you probably already know, swimming with Lifeguard Recertification uses muscles from many different muscle groups. Your whole body is trained without putting any strain on your joints. Besides the fact that swimming is a conditional sport, the muscles are also trained at the same time.

Can you build muscle by swimming?

If you look at the average Olympic swimmer, the answer is definitely yes. The Olympic swimmers often look muscular and toned. Just like in the gym, you train with a resistance. However, in swimming the resistance is not in the form of weights, but in the form of the resistance of the water, which prevents your movement.

Swimming is an activity that is performed relatively at a lower resistance than weightlifting. With training with weights you therefore mainly train the maximum strength, while with swimming you focus more on endurance. So with both you build strength and muscle mass, only with swimming it takes longer to achieve the same result. What is a big advantage of swimming compared to strength training with weights is that you are much less likely to injure yourself. In this way you can keep training much longer and you will eventually get the same result, plus that you have also trained your cardio endurance. With other cardio exercises such as cycling or running, you build up muscle mass less quickly than with swimming.

Which muscles do you train with swimming?

With almost all strokes, muscles are trained all over your body. Muscles that are always trained during each swim stroke are: Abdominal and back core muscles, Shoulder muscles including the deltoid, muscles of the forearm, upper back muscles, glutes and the hamstrings. There are small nuances in each stroke. Below is a description of the most important muscles that are used for each stroke.

front crawl

This mainly uses the straight and oblique abdominal muscles to rotate the trunk for a longer stroke. The chest muscles, the shoulder muscles and the high back muscles are also used a lot. Both the biceps and the triceps are used to move the arms. The hip muscles are important to be able to make a good kick. The neck muscle is also used when turning and keeping the head stable. In the legs, various muscles are also addressed, such as: the thigh muscles, the hamstrings, the calf muscles, but also the foot muscles when making a pointed foot.

More about the front crawl?

Front Crawl Technique – 10 Most Common Mistakes
Front Crawl Breathing – The 6 Biggest Challenges (And How To Improve It)
Swim Training – The Adult Swim Training Options
Front Crawl Course – My Swimming Coach (KNZB) vs Swimming Analysis

back crawl

In the back crawl, the straight and oblique abdominal muscles are again used in order to be able to rotate the trunk for the stroke. The neck muscles are used to stabilize the head in the water. Not only the high neck trapezius is important here, but also the lower trapezius, together with the high back muscles, is used for a stable position in the water. The gluteus medius, which is the middle gluteal muscle, is often trained in the back crawl. The legs mainly use the rectus femoris, which is the middle part of your thigh muscles.

butterfly stroke

The butterfly stroke makes extensive use of the upper body. Core muscles from the abdomen and back are used to rise out of the water. The glutes are very important to be able to move the legs like a dolphin. In the upper body a lot of use is made of the different pectoral and shoulder muscles for a powerful stroke. the lateral glutes, thigh muscles and calves are also trained a lot during this stroke.

More about the butterfly stroke? Read the blog here: Benefits of the butterfly stroke

breaststroke

Less use is made of the obliques here because the trunk does not have to rotate during the stroke. However, the large and small pectoral muscles are used. The latissimus dorsi or long back muscle is used to keep the body stable in the water. The glutes and thigh muscles are particularly important for pedaling power. The calves and foot muscles are also used in the legs.

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