Swimming is an exercise that affects the whole body because it demands both power and cardio. When you swim, your heart as well as the muscles in your hips, arms, legs, and torso are worked. The resistance you create against water while swimming makes your muscle to contract and stretch thereby making your muscle fibers more resilient and flexible. So, what muscles does swimming work?
People enjoy swimming because when they go for a swim workout, they come out of the feeling great and refreshed. Also, people love swimming because it has incredible long-term effects such as increased lung capacity, willpower, endurance, flexibility, and strength are benefits of swimming.
However, if you want to know what muscles swimming work, well, let’s take a look.
The triceps muscles are also known as the “tri” are those muscles found at the back part of your upper arm. They are the opposite of the biceps, and they enable us to carry out the backstroke, butterfly, and freestyle stroke with ease while swimming.
Whenever you pull, the tricep muscle gives you that final push which enables you to carry out a full stroke to your hips. Without this muscle supplying the energy, you will need to complete more stroke which would eventually slow you down.
The triceps muscles are often worked while swimming; hence, the stronger they are, the easier swimming becomes. Another excellent way of building these muscles for more effective swimming exercise is to engage in pushing weight down from your chest to your waist while tucking your elbow in front of your body.
Also known as “lats,” the latisssimus dorsi muscle are the middle back muscles of the body. You can make these muscles more flexible and stronger by merely pushing your hands together in front of the lower chest part and extending them back and forth.
In swimming, these muscles make it easier for you to pull. You begin to use and flex the lats immediately you step into the pool until when your hand is just past your chest, which at this point your triceps takes charge of your pull.
Building the lats is vital in swimming, and an excellent way to do this is engaging in pull-ups. Pull-ups are easy to do, you only need to grab onto a horizontal rod above you and then pull up and down. Ensure you pinch your shoulder blades together while pulling yourself up.
The pectoral muscles are commonly known as “pecs” is a chest muscle which plays a vital role in the breaststroke and freestyle stroke. The muscles help to stabilize your strokes, so you do not have to expend too much energy while swimming.
One of the most effective ways of building your chest muscles is through bench pressing. You can do this by lying on a bench and hold a bar with both hands, then slowing moving it up and down to chest continuously.
These muscles are also known as “quads” are located in the upper part of the leg. They are used for jumping and kicking which play a vital role is backstroke and butterfly. Kicking also plays a minor role in freestyle. Although quadriceps plays only a minor role in propulsion, they are crucial for start and on turns. One of the most effective ways to build the quads is to make lunges with weights in your hands.
Core muscles refer to the abs. These muscles are essential because they enable you to stabilize your body and also play a role in your position in water. If your core muscles are flat and weak, then it would be difficult for you to hold yourself on top of water thus causing unnecessary drag. However, a tight core helps you to remain hydrodynamic thus providing efficiency in your strokes and better propulsion while swimming.
The above are the five essential muscles you work while swimming; thus, exercising them would make you a better swimmer. Hence if you want to see some improvement during the next swim workout, then you need to build your tri, lats, pec, quad, and core.
Benefits of Swimming
Aside from building and working your muscles, swimming has a wide range of merits ranging from weight loss to decreased anxiety to better bone health. Some of the essential benefits of swimming include:
- Ease joint affected by osteoarthritis and arthritis
- Improves overall endurance since it strengthens the heart and trains the body to maximize oxygen intake
- Helps to accommodate individuals with limited mobility
- Help to improve flexibility and posture.