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Swimming is among the most popular sports worldwide. It is fun and a great way to keep yourself fit, stay healthy, and make friends. In addition, swimming is a low-impact and healthy activity that you can continue for a lifetime. However, I wonder will swimming give me abs?
Swimming is an excellent exercise that will give you abs because you need to actively move your entire body against the resistance of the water. It keeps your heart rate up, builds endurance, and helps maintain a healthy weight. And best of all, swimming provides a full-body workout because you are using nearly all of your muscles.
This article discusses everything you need to know about swimming and abs, how to build abs with swimming and the best strokes to tone your abs, and more.
See also: Crossfit Vs Gym: Which One is Better For You? (Including Pros and Cons)
Table of Contents
Is Swimming Good for Your Abs?
Swimming is a cardio exercise that contributes to giving you abs. It works your entire body’s muscles. Similarly, it strengthens your legs, hips, and glutes through kicking. In addition, it significantly develops your upper body by strengthening your arms, back, chest, and all major muscle groups.
However, you will have to combine it with a clean diet and do other activities. Going to the gym will help you develop strength and aesthetics. And swimming will help you with strength and endurance, both mental and physical. To build abs, you need to combine cleaning up your diet, swimming, running, and regularly hitting the gym.
Furthermore, swimming gives you an excellent opportunity to build strength with less risk. For example, you can lose your balance lifting free weights or move into the wrong position on a workout machine, but falling over in the pool is pretty rare.
See also: 10 Best Abs Exercises That Actually Work for Females at Home [Including Videos]
How Long Does It Take to See Results From Swimming?
In general, it will take you four to six weeks of consistent swimming to see results. In addition, the better you eat, including the right foods and the right calories, the better the results you will notice.
However, depending on how much body fat and muscle you are starting with, the time it will take to see the results you want will vary.
Swimming is a resistance exercise that helps you build lean muscle. And the more lean muscle you build through swimming, the more calories you will burn. Plus, swimming burns way more calories than other aerobic exercises.
Can Swimming Help You Lose weight?
Swimming is a fun and effective way to burn calories and therefore helping you lose weight. Additionally, swimming is an excellent aerobic exercise for toning and building abs because even the parts of your body that aren’t actively moving support you against the water’s resistance.
As you can see in the table below, a 155-pound (71 Kg) person burns about 432 calories an hour while swimming laps at a low or moderate pace. And that same person may burn up to 720 calories an hour swimming at a more vigorous rate.
Swimming for an hour can burn up to 720 calories depending on your intensity and your body weight. And, if you swim for an hour seven days a week, that’s 5040 calories burned. It will all come down to how many pounds you need to torch; even more, make sure you stick to a healthy and clean diet.
According to Healthline, males with six-pack abs usually have a body fat of between 6 and 9 percent and females between 16 and 19 percent.
The amount of weight you lose will depend on your intensity, but swimming alone is not enough. Ensure you add in some abs workouts either at home or at the gym. Also, add in some free weights workouts, especially if you want to keep yourself balanced.
The table below shows the Calories Burned in 30 minutes of swimming.
|Activities||125-pound (56.70 Kg) person||155-pound (71 Kg) person||185-pound (84 Kg) person|
|Swimming: laps, vigorous||300||360||420|
Can You Get a Good Body From Just Swimming?
You can have a total body transformation from swimming only, according to the U.S. Masters Swimming. In addition, swimming will help you with muscle definition and toning and burn calories. However, they also recommend adding in some higher-impact activities such as running and strength workouts.
Indeed, swimming is excellent for shaping the body, even without any other type of exercise. Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise. Swimming can help you shed some pounds, build muscles, and improve your overall fitness level. The more you swim, the more your body will look good and toned.
See also: 24 Effective Workouts to Get Bigger Buttocks Science Proven [With Videos]
What Swimming Style Is Best For Abs?
To build muscles and abs, you need to create resistance. And, when you are swimming, the water creates resistance because your muscles will need to battle against the resistance of the water. Therefore, your muscles need to work harder to move you through the water.
With its many strokes and various exercises, swimming will help you burn fat and work your abs optimally. Each stroke connects with your shoulders, triceps, biceps, upper back, and chest when you swim.
Below are the best swimming strokes for abs (Later in this article, we will discuss each stroke in detail). Each stroke protracts and extends the muscles utilized, and the repeated movements to continue moving through the water cause you to create muscle perseverance and develop abs.
All of the strokes will help you burn many calories, which leads to burning more fat in the long run.
- Kickboard kicks
- Butterfly Stroke
- And Freestyle
Furthermore, swimming is good for building abs because it works muscles throughout the entire body, and swimming consistently works your core muscles and enables your abs to support your overall stability and body control. In other words, core muscles, such as the abs, hips, and lower back, are completely engaged when you are swimming.
How To Build Abs With Swimming
Swimming is a full-body workout that tones each significant muscle in your body. Each of the different strokes targets specific muscles. Using a combination of strokes will help you develop abs. Here’s how you can build abs by swimming.
Optimize Your Diet
A clean diet is one of the most fundamental parts of successfully building muscle through swimming and any other exercise. You need to provide your body with the necessary nutrients it needs to recover and develop. Several studies highlight the importance of diet in building and maintaining muscles.
Your diet will be an essential factor in attaining and maintaining low body fat and developing excellent six-packs.
To obtain abs, you will need to be eating at a calorie deficit. And the most crucial factor in achieving abs would be low body fat, which is mainly determined outside of the swimming pool and the gym but in your kitchen.
See also: 18 Veggies That Successfully Destroy Stomach Fat – Backed By Science.
Consistency is Key
After cleaning your diet, your training frequency will be another key to building abs with swimming.
Training frequencies of at least twice per week per muscle group appeared to show the highest degree of muscle growth observed in a meta-analysis published by researchers Brad J. Schoenfeld, Dan Ogborn, and James W. Krieger. At the same time, it is uncertain whether or not a frequency of 3 times per week would be more optimal, concluded the researchers.
I would add that a training frequency of more than two times a week will be more beneficial for maximizing your muscle growth and building abs since swimming is a low-impact activity and not as damaging to the muscle as lifting weights.
What Swimming Style Is Best For Abs?
Swimming works almost every muscle in your body. However, the number of calories burned will depend on your body weight, the intensity of each stroke, and your diet. Here are the best strokes to tone your abs.
How to use Kickboard kicks:
- Arms far-reaching, keep a kickboard in front of you, and begin kicking your feet.
- Imagine pulling your navel in toward your spine and away from the bottom of the pool as you swim.
- Move the length of the pool till you feel exhausted and cannot continue safely.
Here is a link to purchase a Kickboard on Amazon.
Muscles Worked: Abs and your Arms.
How to Do Pikes workouts:
- Pull your knees up to your chest while you are standing in water up to your neck.
- Lean back, stretching and straightening both legs forward into a jackknife. Your body should form a “V,” with your bottom facing toward the floor of the pool.
- Maintain this position to help you tone your abs.
- Keep yourself floating using your arms and pushing them backward in circles, which will help you tone your triceps.
- Keep this position for a few seconds, rest,
- Repeat 10 times.
Muscles worked: Waistline, Hamstrings, Internal thighs, and Glutes.
- Start with your legs in a streamlined posture and your feet pointed.
- Bring your heels towards your bottom with the soles of your feet pointing toward the ceiling.
- As your heels near your bottom, knees over hip-width apart, facing down and lightly out.
- Focus on bringing your feet to your bottom rather than your knees to your chest.
- As your heels come up, turn your feet and knees out and drive backward in a circular motion.
- Hold your feet in this flat, turned-out position rather than loose.
- The kick ends with your legs together, stretched in a streamlined position with your feet pointed.
The butterfly stroke is one of the most challenging swimming exercises and undoubtedly one of the best strokes to tone your abs.
How To do Butterfly Stroke
- Stretch your arms above your head and pull your hands toward your body in a semicircle with palms outward.
- Push your palms backward and pull your arms along your sides and past your hips. Try to make this move quickly to complete the arms release.
- Recover and then finish the pull by dragging your thumbs on your thighs as you finish the stroke. Then sweep arms out of the water simultaneously and throw them forward to the origin position.
Backstroke and Freestyle
Muscles worked: Rectus abdominis, Glutes, Quadriceps, Hip flexors, and External obliques.
Backstroke and freestyle are virtually mirror images of one another, and both strokes engage the same muscles. In addition, they both depend on your core muscles to lift and keep your body above or near the surface of the water.
Both strokes require that you start reaching out with one arm and then the other. Your core must stabilize those alternating actions to keep you from literally swimming in circles.
Your lower abs are especially well-worked by the kicking motions required by freestyle and backstrokes. And the strong kicks used in both strokes start from your lower abs and hips.
Other Benefits of Swimming
If you swim with proper forms and consistently, it will help to build endurance and strength. And, besides developing abs, being super fit and super toned, swimming helps you to:
- Manage weight
- Improves your sleep
- Reduces stress levels and raises self-esteem
- Boosts your mood
- Lowers disease risk
- Strengthens muscles
- Perform low-impact exercise
- It is sweat-free
Overall, as a full-body core-focused movement, swimming can help you build abs. In addition, you can build abs faster by combining swimming with a healthy diet and performing abs exercises at home or just squatting and deadlifting in the gym.
Mixing swimming, healthy eating, and exercising will help you build ab muscles. And, if you want to burn extra calories, try swimming in intervals, as swimming faster for a couple of laps will help you burn many extra calories.