Swimming Exercises to Lose Weight

There are many different variants of swimming exercises; some of them are better than others, for when you're trying to lose weight. 
Swimming Exercises to Lose Weight

Last update: 14 November, 2019

Swimming is considered to be one of the most complete aerobic sport exercises, when it comes to the benefits it brings. By making all the body parts move together, it increases flexibility and resistance. Plus, it strengthens the respiratory, cardiovascular, bone and muscular systemLet’s see how to use this sport to lose weight.

By practicing swimming, you can burn many calories and allow for extra weight loss. For men, it’s about 10 kcal that is burned per minute, and 7.8 kcal, per minute for women.

The fact that this exercise is performed in water means it doesn’t have the strong impact on your body that surface sports have. With a proper professional to help you, any age is the perfect age to begin swimming!


What you must know before starting a swimming program

swimming advice

You may find the following advice useful:

  • As with every sport, staying hydrated is fundamental. We recommend that you drink water intermittently during the day, and before your swimming routine, in moderate quantities.
  • It’s necessary to overcome impatience. The program must start with a moderate intensity and include intervals during the first week. In the following weeks, you may progressively increase intensity as well as swimming time.
  • Swim two hours after a meal or with an empty stomach in the morning–when all glucose has been processed. This is with the intention to burn only fat during the training.
  • Follow a healthy diet to complement your physical activity and guarantee effective weight loss. 
  • Only by doing this activity regularly you’ll achieve your goal. You should be training several times a week, every week.
  • You need a proper swimming pool, preferably an Olympic-sized swimming pool (50 meters long) or a short course one (25 meters long).
  • Your coach must know the difference between training for men and women’s anatomical features.
  • Warm-up’s are essential before every session.

Main swimming styles


This is the slowest and more stable style, the one that is usually taught to beginners, due to it allowing them to breathe more frequentlyIt requires lots of leg workwhich results in really toned legs.

The cycle starts with your head out of the water and your whole body straight, lying face down. Arms extend from forwards to backwards at the same time, to push yourself forward. Then the legs bend forwards and stretch backwards to complete the push.

Front crawl

swimming vs running

This is one of the most popular techniques and it requires quite some work with arms, glutes and back. It starts with the swimmer laying on their stomach, alternating the arms that swing from behind to the front, with the palms facing down; a movement similar to that of a propeller.

As the arms move, the extended legs do short, alternate kicks. This style provides lots of anatomical strength due to the force applied throughout the whole body.


Backstroke is very similar to the front crawl, but with your body facing up instead, which makes all the work go to the upper body. This is a speedy swimming technique.


It’s a variation of the breaststroke technique. Both arms enter the water at the same time from above the head as the latter submerges. In this moment, the swimmer holds their breath; meanwhile, the rest of the body performs a certain wave-like movement, with the legs extended and together.

The moment the arms come out of the water, the head does so too and allows for a few seconds to breathe. It requires lots of strength, so you will quickly see the benefits of practicing this style regularly.

What should a swimming program include to lose weight?

  1. The program during the first week should include a 100 meter warm-up in front crawl and at a low intensity. In the middle of the session, you should reach 50 meters with each technique, until you complete a total of 200 meters per session. 
  2. Breaks between each style should be 30 seconds, or a little more. To conclude the workout, you should do 100 meters of front crawl at a low intensity.
  3. In the following weeks you must increase the warm-up time, the amount of meters to swim and the intensity of the most demanding styles.
  4. Create a detailed program board with your coach, where you can establish challenges, chronologies and which goals to achieve.
  5. Swimming to lose weight will be effective, as long as it’s complemented with a healthy diet and lifestyle.
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You've probably heard that swimming is a very complete sport that's great for your body. In this article, we'll look over the benefits of swimming.

The contents of this publication are written for informational purposes. At no time do they facilitate or replace the diagnoses, treatments, or recommendations of a professional. Consult your trusted specialist if you have any doubts and seek their approval before beginning any procedure.