This is one of the more common questions asked about swimming, and the short answer is a resounding “yes.” Whether you swim at the gym or at home in your own underground pool, you’ll be engaging in an aerobic form of exercise, so it offers you the potential to shed some unwanted fat, including what can be found in the belly, or abdominal area. Continue reading to dive a bit deeper and find out why swimming can be an effective way to minimize belly fat.
The movements associated with swimming work many different muscles at once. This list includes your core muscles, which are primarily located within your trunk area. These just happen to be the same muscles that need to be stimulated to burn belly fat.
If your goal is to lose belly fat as you swim, focus your efforts on cardio swimming, which is done by continuously swimming for about 15–20 minutes at a time. Strive to swim fast enough to keep your heart rate at a level that allows for optimal fat burning—sometimes called the “fat-burning zone.” According to Healthline, the “fat-burning zone” is approximately 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. This is how many times your heart should be beating, at a maximum, when you’re doing an activity like swimming. Get this figure by subtracting your age from the number 220. One way to track your heart rate while you swim is with a wearable waterproof fitness tracker device.
Doing laps in the pool isn’t the only thing you can do to burn belly fat. As you go through your swimming workout routine, take a break to go to the deeper end of the pool to tread water as fast you can. The reason to do this is to force the resistance of the water to work against you in a way that strengthens your abdominal muscles.
Target your tummy even more precisely as you swim by using strokes that target your core muscles and those in your abdominal area. The top strokes that achieve this goal include the breaststroke, backstroke, and butterfly stroke. Swimming freestyle, according to Swimming.org, also tones your stomach area and helps with belly fat burning. It’s also the fastest of the common swimming strokes, so it can also keep your heart rate within the fat-burning zone as you swim.
If your main goal with swimming is to burn belly fat and build muscle, do a proper warmup before you start and a cooldown when you’re done to reduce your risk of post-swim soreness and prevent injuries. This could simply involve a brief casual swim as you shift into or out of cardio swimming mode.
Lastly, complement your swimming efforts with pool games, water aerobics, and other things you can do in the water that are fun and enjoyable for you. It’s important to do this to maintain your motivation so you don’t view swimming as just a workout you have to get done and over with.
If you’re looking for the perfect way to lose fat and boost your physical fitness levels, swimming can be exactly what you need. As an award-winning swimming pool builder San Diego families and businesses have trusted for more than four decades, San Diego Pools can create a custom pool for you that offers a great way to exercise as well as a place to relax and get away from it all. Give us a call today at 888-707-7786.