An excellent often overlooked cardio exercise to do when cutting is swimming.
Adding a swimming routine to your workout plan can have a big impact when burning off fat because there is no other cardio exercise that can give you an intense full-body cardio workout quite like what swimming does.
Not only is it one of the highest calorie burning cardio exercises you can do, but it provides much needed relief for many people with painful joints from higher impact exercises such as running and walking.
Swimming – Cardio for Bad Joints
If you’re finding you have trouble walking, jogging, or running due to joint pain or arthritis then swimming is the perfect alternative to those cardio exercises. Swimming is the only form of cardio exercise that offers a completely balanced form of resistance on your entire body. While continuously swimming, you’ll note how intense the workout can be and how easy it is on your joints compared to other conventional cardio workouts.
If you are obese and plan on losing a lot of weight, then I recommend trying swimming as your primary cardio exercise initially. Many people who have wanted to lose 50 lbs or more have found that by doing swimming as their main cardio exercise, they were able to lose weight quickly without any potential joint pain they might have experienced if they did another form of cardio exercise. Think about it for a second. The more weight behind every impact (in the case of jogging, its behind every step) the more likely you are to cause injury to your joints. This is especially true if you’re obese. A hundred pounds overweight is an additional hundred pounds of force your joints have to endure with each step you take. By losing weight prior to doing some high impact cardio exercises, you can reduce the overall strain on your joints significantly.
The Right Swimming Form Makes All of the Difference
Doing swimming as a form of cardio exercise doesn’t just mean that you hop in the pool and do your own thing.
If you do this then it probably won’t be as effective as you’d like it to be.
In order to classify it as a cardio exercise, you need to consistently be swimming at ALL times. That means no stopping, holding onto the edges of the pool, or touching the floor of the pool.
Think of it as any other cardio exercise. Do you randomly just stop while jogging or riding a bike when you workout? (While you may slow down occasionally, you shouldn’t be completely stopping until you finish!)
Swimming is no different from those other forms of cardio exercise except that you have more freedom. You can try many different forms of swimming. The most effective way to burn calories in the pool is to swim laps around the pool. If you’re just starting out swimming or only have access to a local shared pool where you can’t swim laps, I recommend you swim in place on the deep end to stay afloat. It can be just as effective if you do it right.
When I swim, I have access to a local shared pool so I tend to swim in place at the deep end to try to stay afloat. When it isn’t crowded or clears up I’ll to do a few laps until it becomes crowded again. Just because you have a shared pool that isn’t meant for swimming laps, doesn’t mean you can make an excuse not to go!
Water Temperature Has A Direct Impact on Fat Loss Effectiveness
If you decide to include swimming to your regular workout plan, it is important to note that the water temperature can play an important role as to the effectiveness your swimming routine is to burn fat.
When you decide to hop in the pool to swim, you can experience one of two things; an initial feeling of cold as you make contact with the water (my least favorite part of swimming) and if the water is too cold then you may also continuously feel a slight chill while swimming.
It is important to know that the most effective temperature for burning fat while swimming is a temperature you consider as warm (usually if its an outdoor pool, when the sun beams on the pool water on a hot summer day).
Studies show that if the water is too cold you’ll develop more intense hunger cravings. If you’re not careful those hunger cravings can cause you too eat way too many calories and destroy any benefits your workout had in helping you burn off fat.
The Bottom Line
Swimming is an excellent exercise to switch up your cardio routine while cutting. I encourage you to add it to your arsenal of different cardio exercises that you occasionally switch around to keep your workouts fresh.
Does swimming top the list of favorite cardio exercises? Share below!