Does Swimming Build Muscle?

Does Swimming Build Muscle?

In previous weeks, we have looked at the respiratory and skeletal benefits of swimming. This week, we will be diving into the muscular benefits that swimming provides. Many wonder whether swimming can be used to build muscle. Although swimming alone won’t make you look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, it can certainly help make your muscles more toned. They do a much better job than running or biking in terms of toning the muscles. Swimming is one of the best exercises you can do in order to increase muscular endurance and can tone your entire body. It helps to engage and ultimately build every muscle in your body. Below are some of the main muscles that swimming helps to build.


Gluteal Muscles and Lower Body

The main muscles that you use in order to move forward while swimming are your glutes. When kicking your legs to propel yourself forward, your entire lower body is being used. In order to build the muscles in your lower body, do swimming exercises that involve a lot of kicking. The flutter kick for instance is one of the best swimming strokes for exercising your legs as it heavily involves the legs. If you want to get a leg workout, try and avoid using your arms as much as possible when swimming and you will notice how sore your legs get afterwards. 


Core Muscles

Swimming is also a great exercise for building one’s core muscles. Your core including your abdomen and lower back muscles help you to maintain balance, stability and body control. When doing most swimming strokes such as a front crawl you will notice how your abdomen is constantly shifting. This in turn helps to strengthen your abdomen much like sit-ups or other abdominal exercises. 


Arm Muscles

Although your lower body is primarily used to propel you forward, your arms help in assisting in this process as well. Many swimming strokes such as the breaststroke can help to target your triceps and deltoids. To help tone your arms more, simply kick less with your legs and rely on your arms during strokes. Developing stronger arms is key not only for swimming performance, but any sport that involves running. You use your arms to swing and help you to run or sprint faster. 


Back Muscles

There is a reason many swimmers tend to have great back muscles. The overhead movement that comes from swimming incorporates the lats. The Latissimus Dorsi muscle will improve your pulling strength which will help you swim faster and improve performance in other sports. The Lats are especially beneficial in sports that involve throwing and/or carrying balls including football, rugby, baseball, basketball (etc). 


Register For Swimming Programs

If you want to grow strong muscles and increase your strength for better athletic performance, then there is no better exercise than swimming! To reap the benefits of swimming you have to know how to swim and know how to swim well. To register for our programs including our swimming camps and Learn-to-Swim programs, click on the buttons below!


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