How Long Do You Need to Swim to Get a Good Workout?

How long do you need to swim to get a good workout? Find out the answer, plus get tips on how to make the most of your swimming workout.

Benefits of Swimming

The benefits of swimming are plentiful and can provide a great workout for all ages and skill levels. Swimming is a low-impact exercise that can strengthen your heart, improve your cardiovascular health, and burn fat. Plus, it is an excellent way to relax and unwind. Swimming is a great way to get a full-body workout, but how long and how often do you need to swim to get the most out of it?

Cardiovascular Benefits

Swimming is one of the most efficient cardiovascular exercises and can offer several important health benefits. It is an ideal exercise for individuals with joint problems because it places less stress on them than activities such as running, jogging or aerobics. Swimming exercises the heart, lungs and major muscle groups at the same time without putting too much stress on your joints thus making it a great workout to build strength, improve balance and coordination, promote better posture and reduce chances of injury.

The benefits of swimming in terms of cardiovascular health are numerous primarily due to two factors: duration and intensity. The longer you swim each session, the more calories you burn. High intensity swims like interval training or sprints can increase your cardio endurance while aiding in building muscle tone as well as boosting calorie burning. Low intensity swimming also has benefits but at a slightly lower level than high intensity workouts. Combined with a healthy diet and proper rest, swimming can help you achieve weight loss goals, keep your heart healthy, and boost your overall energy levels!

Strength Benefits

Swimming is an excellent way to improve your overall strength, as it targets your entire body. You use a wide range of muscles as you move through the water, from your arms and shoulders to your legs and glutes. Swimming is also a great cardiovascular exercise and can help increase your endurance. A regular swimming routine can help strengthen your cardiovascular system by providing resistance which is not present in other forms of exercise while walking or running. Furthermore, due to the low-impact nature of swimming, it can be utilized to avoid further wear on joints that might be damaged through more rigorous workouts such as running or weightlifting.

Swimming offers a variety of strength benefits including:
– Increased coordination as you learn how to propel yourself through the water efficiently.
– Improved posture and balance as you learn how to control movements while swimming in various directions.
– Enhanced upper body strength thanks to pushing off from the wall and pulling with your arms during laps or drills like freestyle strokes, backstrokes and butterflys.
– Stronger lower body due to kicking movements when performing breaststroke style swims or using fins or dryland devices for added resistance for leg workouts.
– Improved range of motion throughout arms, legs, chest and back from continuous repetition of turns performed during drills and lap swims.

Flexibility Benefits

Swimming is one of the best ways to increase flexibility, especially in your back, abdomen and hips. Flexibility allows you to move your body with ease through a full range of motion and helps prevent injuries. Swimming can help improve posture by loosening tight muscles and eliminating excess tension in your body. Additionally, it helps strengthen joints and reduce inflammation. Swimming regularly as part of a healthy lifestyle not only has physical benefits but can also promote inner peace by allowing your mind to be clear and relaxed.

Flexibility exercises such as forward bends, backbends, shoulder rolls, neck stretches and hip flexor stretching are great for improving range of motion. Freestyle swimming is one of the most popular strokes due to its simplicity in execution. The forward motion helps stretch the shoulders to promote good posture while helping you build stronger upper body muscles. Breaststroke is another great stroke that can help increase flexibility when done correctly as it gives you a wide range of motion in your arms, chest and hip flexors while creating resistance in each movement. When incorporating different strokes into your workout routine, you will also work on improving agility which will help increase reaction time as well as muscular endurance throughout the whole body.

Furthermore, swimming gives you access to a full-body workout which targets your core muscles by engaging them throughout every stroke; this helps create stability while increasing balance and coordination over time. Additionally, consistent swimming sessions have been proven to increase muscle tone in the arms and legs while providing a smooth aerobic exercise that anybody can get involved with regardless of fitness level or athleticism experience!

How Long to Swim for a Good Workout

Swimming is a great way to get in a good workout, as it provides aerobic and cardiovascular benefits. It is also a low-impact exercise that can improve your endurance and build strength. But how long do you need to swim to get a good workout? This article will provide you with some tips and guidelines for determining how long to swim to get a good workout.


It is important to begin any workout with a warm-up period. This will increase your heart rate, loosen up the muscles and joints, and get the blood flowing. For swimming specifically, it is recommended to warm-up by performing a few leisurely laps followed by some dynamic stretching and core exercises like crunches and planks. This warm-up should take between 5 and 10 minutes.

Main set

The main set is the core of your swimming workout and should form the majority of your swimming time. The length of your main set will depend on a few factors, including how since you’ve been swimming, how strong of a swimmer you are, and what kind of results you would like to achieve from your swim workout. Generally, a good starting point for swimmers new to the sport or those who are reasonably fit but perhaps not as experienced in the pool, is between 20 and 40 minutes per session.

However, if you have been swimming consistently for some time and have built up a certain level of endurance and strength in the water then transitioning to a longer main set can be beneficial. A good guideline is to experience regular improvement; if at any stage it seems like the time spent swimming has plateaued then increasing or altering your main set can be beneficial. Longer sets can range anywhere from 50 minutes up to 2 hours – depending on fitness levels, physical limitations and desired results.

Eventually with continual practice and dedication there’s no limit to increases in aerobic endurance and physical strength as many competitive swimmers cover distances of over 10km in training sessions several times a week!


The final part of a successful swim workout is the cool-down. This part is just as important as warming up and the main set, as it helps your body gradually get used to resting and prepares it for the next swim session. Cooling down gives your body the opportunity to reduce your heart rate, relax muscle tension and help avoid cramping. It’s also a great time to do lighter exercises such as stretching, yoga or Pilates.

Your cool-down should last between 5 and 10 minutes depending on how hard you’ve been training and its intensity. Start with a slow warm-up swim to get your heart rate down before finally finishing with gentle stretching exercises focusing on problem areas such as shoulders, arms and hips that you had worked during your main set be it swimming laps or swimming drills. Aim for full range of motion when doing all stretches, this will help minimize any soreness later on and increase flexibility levels over time.

Intensity Levels

When it comes to swimming to get a good workout, it’s important to consider the intensity level that you’re going for in order to get the most out of your exercise session. Depending on your current fitness and swimming ability, you’ll need to adjust the intensity level of each swim session in order to get the best workout for you. Here, we’ll look at different intensity levels and how long you’ll need to swim in order to get a good workout.

Low Intensity

Low intensity swimming is perfect for beginners. It is done at a leisurely pace, in a relaxed manner with no sensations of breathlessness or tiredness. Swimming at this level does not increase fitness levels or burn many calories, so it is best used for warming up and cooling down or as general exercise.

Low intensity swimming consists of any stroke done at an easy to moderate pace for up to 45 minutes for overall health benefits. During a low-intensity swim, you don’t need to push yourself too hard and can still work on improving your technique, building endurance and keeping the heart rate within a comfortable range (60-70% maximum).

Swimming at this level also allows you to actively rest during sets. For example, if you’re doing sets of four lengths (each length being 25 metres) with 30 seconds rest between each length, then you could swim two lengths continuously then take 15 seconds rest before continuing on with the next two lengths. This allows the body time to recover while still keeping active and making steady progress in the pool.

Moderate Intensity

Moderate intensity swimming is a great way to get a workout and burn some calories without overexerting yourself. You’ll feel like you’re working out, but you won’t be going all out. Moderate-intensity swimming will help increase your heart rate and improve your cardiovascular fitness. Generally, moderate intensity is considered to be swimming a few seconds faster than a comfortable pace for about 40 minutes to an hour.

An example of a moderate-intensity swim workout might include warm-up drills like the crawl stroke, alternating with 25 meters of easy backstroke or breaststroke. This can be followed by doing four 100 meter repeats of the crawl stroke at a moderate pace and resting between each sprint for 15 seconds or longer as needed. Finish off with more drills and perhaps an easy 200 meters backstroke/breaststroke cool down with recovery intervals.

At this level of intensity, aim to complete 4-5 swim sets per session, taking enough rest between sets so that you are ready to continue working out at the same level of effort throughout your workout. Working at this pace will help build endurance while still providing enough intensity to help burn calories and improve strength.

High Intensity

Swimmers looking for a more strenuous workout can choose high intensity interval training (HIIT) to get the most out of their swims. HIIT involves swimming continuously for a brief period at maximum effort. Training to failure leads to greater gains in aerobic endurance, muscular strength and power, as well as improved anaerobic endurance levels within the swimmer.

The high intensity periods usually last between 30 seconds and 1 minute, with lower intensity recovery sets bridging the intervals. The total duration of a HIIT session lasts between 15-30 minutes, and the number of repetitions depends on metabolic conditioning and age of swimmer. In general young swimmers can complete up to four sets with more advanced swimmers able to complete 5-6 sessions depending on fitness level.

These workouts can be used in competitive events or general fitness development by any level of swimmer. As HIIT is based on an individual’s performance rather than total distance or time, swimmers can track their progress according to how much they’re able to increase their intensity or reduce their rest period over successive sessions.

Swimming Workouts

Swimming is one of the most effective full-body workouts. It’s a low-impact exercise that puts less stress on your joints, making it an ideal form of exercise for people with certain physical limitations. It’s also a great way to get your heart rate up and burn calories. But how long do you need to swim to get a good workout? Let’s find out.

Interval Training

Interval training is a great way to give your swim workout a boost in intensity and increase your aerobic capacity. Interval training is simply alternating between brief, high-intensity bouts of swimming with periods of rest or low-intensity swimming. The high-intensity intervals can range from sprints to repeats of a stroke or drill. Generally, interval sets should be between 30 seconds and 3 minutes long and should be followed by an equal amount of rest or active rest periods at a lower intensity. This cycle can be repeated for 10 minutes up to an hour, depending on the skill level and goals of the swimmer. Interval training isn’t just for elite athletes – it can be done by swimmers of any level and is one of the best ways to make progress and get fit in the pool.

Distance Swimming

Distance swimming is typically anything over 500 yards (or meters) with the goal of building up endurance. Distance swimming can include short, medium and long-distance events, such as the 200-yard freestyle, 1500-meter freestyle, or a 10K open water swim. For the majority of people, distance swimming should be the focus of their workout.

Distance workouts can vary in length depending on your Frequency of Workouts but usually range between 2,000 to 8,000 yards (or meters). Beginner swimmers should start off with shorter distances until they become more comfortable with their technique and develop some base conditioning. An example of a basic distance swim workout might include warming up with 400 yards/meters of easy swimming followed by four sets of 500 yards/meters. These sets don’t need to be swum at race pace; instead use them as an opportunity to practice stroke refinement and technique drills. After completing the four sets rest for one minute before finishing your swim workout with an easy 200 yard/meter cool down. For more information on how long you should workout to build muscle, check out this article.

This type of workout is often referred to as a “bro set” — it is an easy way for new swimmers to incorporate some intense activity interspersed with plenty of rest time. Make sure that you always cool down completely after any type of hard swimming set since skipping this important step can lead to injuries and muscle soreness later on.

Sprint Swimming

Sprint swimming, typically done at a speed of 2:00 per 100m, is an excellent way to increase your aerobic and anaerobic fitness while also toning your muscles. Sprinting challenges the body in ways that pro athletes take advantage of, which is why it’s so popular among those in the sports world. The length of the sprinting workout depends on the intensity that you are looking for and your individual swimming skill level. However, a typical sprint-style workout typically consists of sets lasting 30–60 seconds with rest intervals in between each set for recovery. By accumulating multiple sets and rest periods throughout a session, you can build up to longer and more challenging workouts that effectively target both muscle groups and cardiovascular strength. Recommended workouts vary from 10-20 minutes for beginner swimmers to 20-40 minutes for more advanced swimmers. The number of repetitions per set is ultimately determined by how much time you have available or can manage to swim within any given period; quality should always be prioritized over quantity regardless of how advanced your fitness level may be.


Swimming is a great way to work out and increase your fitness level. However, it’s important to make sure you don’t over do it, especially when you’re just beginning. Your body needs time to recover after swimming, and there are certain steps you can take to maximize your recovery. In this article, we’ll look at how long you need to swim to get a good workout and how to recover from it.

Post-workout stretching

When you’re done swimming and have finished with the post-swim cool down, it’s time for stretching. Stretching after a swim reduces muscle soreness and increases flexibility so that you can perform your best in the next swim workout. After swimming, it also lowers your chances of experiencing an injury in the pool or out of the water.

It is suggested to hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds. Start with your lower body by doing static stretches like quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors and calves stretches. After those have been stretched it is time to move onto upper body static stretching exercises such as chest, neck, and back stretches. Dynamic stretching should also be done before you finish exercising to improve range of motion when swimming in the coming days. Examples of dynamic stretches are walking toe touches and arm circles which help to getting some light movement going before starting your next set or diving off from the block start.

To properly cool down after a swim workout take a few minutes at the end of your workout to stretch all muscles that are important for swimming — not just during training but also on race day — in order to achieve maximum performance and maximize recovery time between practices or races. Stretching alone cannot address stagnant muscles that have been pushed to exertion points during workouts; so complemented by proper nutrition and rest will give you high-quality swims whenever you jump into the pool!


It’s essential that you stay adequately hydrated during and after your swim. A good rule of thumb is to drink at least 8-12 ounces of liquid before, during and after swimming. This may include water, a sports drink, smoothie or juice. Not only will staying hydrated help replenish lost electrolytes, but it will also help you perform at optimal levels and give you more energy during your workout.

In addition to drinking enough fluids, choose foods with some proven dietary benefits—such as fresh fruit, protein-packed nuts and seeds, eggs and yogurt—for lasting energy to accompany your recovery. Eating plenty of fiber is also important for rehydration as fiber helps absorb liquid in the body while bringing overall health benefits as well. Additionally, some research indicates that eating nutrient-rich meals right after your workouts can reduce muscle soreness in the subsequent days by helping reduce inflammation throughout the muscles’ cells. Combining adequate hydration with nourishing foods helps speed up muscle recovery post-swim so that you can stay active day after day without feeling fatigued or run down from frequent exercise sessions.


The recovery aspect of a swimming workout is also very important for your overall performance. Just like with any other sporting activity, you need proper nutrition in order to recover from the intense exercise you put your body through during a swim workout. A proper diet can not only help your body replenish the energy it lost during physical activity, but it can also reduce any post-workout soreness or injury.

In order to recover optimally after your swim workouts, make sure you are getting sufficient amounts of key nutrients such as carbohydrates and protein. Carbohydrates are essential for providing energy to the muscles, keeping them well-nourished and allowing them to perform at their best level. Protein helps repair and build new muscles tissues as well as aiding in recovery after workouts by giving the body necessary amino acids. Eating protein right before or right after your swim can help prevent muscle breakdown and aid in recovery time and post-workout performance. Fats are also important for optimum recovery; adding healthy fats such as those found in foods such as avocados, nuts, and fish can give your overall health a huge boost and help keep up muscle growth during the recovery period.

Make sure to drink plenty of water before and after each swimming workout to hydrate yourself properly — dehydration can worsen post-exercise symptoms like headaches or muscle cramps. Additionally, pay attention to your electrolyte levels, which can be affected by sweat during exercise; if needed add some electrolyte tablets or drinks containing electrolytes into your diet plan in order to stay fully hydrated and ensure proper functioning of muscles during workouts.

Checkout this video:

Similar Posts