Does Swimming Count as Resistance Training?

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Does Swimming Count as Resistance Training.

Swimming is a form of water aerobics that is very beneficial in many ways for building better physical health inside and out. But does it contribute to resistance training? This article will discuss whether you can engage in swimming to replace the traditional resistance workouts.

What is resistance training?

Resistance training or strength training involves the contraction of muscles against an external weighted object such as dumbbells and resistance bands or your body weight. Resistance training aims to build muscles by stretching and recovery from resistance exercises.

Swimming vs traditional resistance training

Swimming, unlike other low-impact exercises, offers a lot of resistance. Water resists body movements much more than air by other low-impact aerobics activities like walking, running, and cycling.

The main characteristic of resistance training is short bursts of intense activity followed by short rest periods. This series of short periods of exercise is not commonly done while swimming, which differs from resistance training.

How can swimming improve strength and resistance?

Although swimming is mainly a cardiovascular exercise, water’s natural resistance during swimming makes it very effective. Each movement in water requires you to displace the water and thus burns many calories.

To gain more strength from swimming, you can increase the effect of resistance naturally offered by the water. You can achieve that by doing more challenging activities and using weights, push plates, and other tools.

Ways to make swimming more effective

Ways to make swimming more effective

Although swimming helps tone your body, you have to make it more effective to use swimming as an exercise to help build muscles. Here are some ways you can use swimming to build muscles.

  • Vary your routine

You can add more variety of exercise and ways to work out for making it more effective. Make sure you add a variety of techniques to the activity and keep experimenting with new methods to see what works best.

  • Increase the intensity

Having the same routine for any exercise will not have good results over time. Your body will get used to the routine, and you will not get good results. To make swimming effective, just like weight lifting, requires an increase in intensity and duration of the activity.

  • Keep the separate focus on arms and legs

With resistance training, you have separate arm and leg days, and you have to perform an independent exercise to focus on a specific muscle group. It also applies to water aerobics, but it is much more challenging to do in the water.

You can use specific tools to focus on arms and legs separately. You can use a kickboard where your legs will have to do all the work for your legs. For arms, you can use a pull buoy to keep the focus on your arms.

  • Be consistent

Consistency is the key to making any workout effective and getting results. If you want to build muscles and have a better body, you must follow your swimming routine consistently. To follow a consistent swimming regime, make sure you have access to a swimming pool near you.

  • Maintain a healthy diet

Eating healthy is a crucial factor in getting better results from whatever exercise you are doing. You cannot hope to get toned muscles and body if you do not take care of your food intake.

Eating lean proteins and avoiding refined sugars and processed food is necessary to get the results you are hoping for.

Can swimming replace strength training?

Swimming is a great exercise that is refreshing and keeps your body toned at the same time. It is, however, not a replacement for resistance training as the latter is much more effective and greater in intensity.

You can enjoy swimming and add resistance training to your routine or at least twice a week if you want to achieve a more muscular body. You can even bring tools for resistance training, such as dumbbells, to the pool if you enjoy a workout in the pool.


Now that you know swimming is mainly an aerobic cardiovascular exercise and not a form of resistance training, you can decide on your fitness regime. You can engage in a combination of swimming and strength training or add both to your routine for best results.

Reed Cooper

Reed Cooper is a Health & Fitness expert from USA. He completed his graduation from the Department of Health and Fitness from a reputed University. He loves to help people to achieve their weight loss and fitness goals through his Blogging. He has good experience about Gym, Hunting, Shooting, and Tactical products. Click here for more details. Twitter: Reed Cooper Facebook: Reed Cooper

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