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Swim Workouts for Cardio

Swim Workouts for Cardio

Stew Smith, CSCS

During the winter months, many people who email me usually are looking for an alternative to running outside. In other words, what can they do inside to still workout. This week’s focus on indoor fitness activities is on swimming. Many clubs, community centers, and YMCAs have indoor swimming pools to use during the year. Here is what I like to do in the pool regardless of climate and should help this week’s email question with a variety of workouts to keep the cardio high and fat metabolism moving during what many consider to be the toughest time of the year to lose weight – the Holidays!!

*Stew – My goal now is to be in shape as much as possible with the schedule I have which is 50 – 60 minutes during my lunch time in a swimming pool. Which of your books would you suggest me to buy?

PS. I have been through all your 45 day plan trainings before as well as your PFT workouts.*

No need to buy any ebook / book as I do not have any that solely focuses on swimming. So, if you just want SWIM Workouts check out some of these ideas:

Swim Workouts for cardio:

Do sprints / fast swims / kickboard / underwater swims first phase ( 20-30 minutes) then go to easy pace cardio swims to burn fat at a higher rate the 2nd half of the workout. If you can get anaerobic first and then go aerobic in the later part of the workout, you can focus on fat burning the last 20-30 minutes.

Workout #1

5 × 50m sprint freestyle (change strokes as desired)

Rest with 20 seconds (hydrate if needed)

5 × 100m sprints – any stroke

Rest 40-60 seconds

The remaining time of your hour, swim at regular pace non-stop for 15-30 minutes

Organize other workouts by adding kickboard / underwater swims too:

Workouts #2

5 × 50-100m sprint / rest with 50m kickboard using flutterkicks

5 × 50-100m sprint / rest with 50m kick board using breast or dolphin kick

Swim with fins for 15-30 minutes non-stop

Stretch your legs well as you will feel the burn after kickboarding using flutterkicks.

For more of an upper body pump add in some calisthenics or weights in between laps:

Workout #3:

Repeat 5 times

Swim 100-200m moderate pace

Pushups – 30 seconds worth of pushups (10-40 reps depending on fitness level)

Abs of choice – crunches, situps, flutterkicks, leg levers – 1:00 of abs

Workout #4

Bring a medium and a light weight set of dumbbells to the pool deck:

Repeat 5 times

Swim 100-200m moderate pace

Pushups – 10-20

Crunches – 20-30

Bicep curls – 10-20 reps (or bent over rows)

military press – 10 reps

If you really want to challenge your shoulders bring a 5 lbs set of dumbbells and add in the Light Weight Shoulder Workout in place of military press above.

Adding in the LWS workout is very tough so I usually do this one 2-3 times max throughout the entire workout and skip some of the sets of shoulder workout

Now – if you are really creative, ask the pool management if you can donate a pullup / dip bar to the club or community center. I placed a Pullup, Dip and Vertical Knee Raise machine on the pool deck and in between several laps I add in some pull-ups / dips to the above workouts. Now the swim teams use it in their training programs as well.

But I usually do the following workout when I have access to a pool and pull-up bars:

Repeat 5-7 times

Swim 200-250m moderate pace (adding some hypoxic swims in there too)

Pushups – 20-30 reps

Variety of abs – 20-30 reps

Pull-ups – max reps or 10-15 reps

Dips – try to match pull-ups.

The best thing about this type of pull-up / dip machine is that if you CANNOT do pull-ups or dips you can do an assisted version which is pull-ups using the dip bar and keeping your feet on the floor. You can also do bench dips with a chair if you cannot do regular dips too. Also see my Pull-up Tips – for more info.

I hope these ideas will help you with your training in the pool during the colder months of the winter when running and PTing outside is not an option. If you have any questions about training or want to share another swim workout, please feel free to email me at stew@stewsmith.com

Stew Smith, former Navy SEAL and fitness writer is certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).


+4
  • Photo_user_blank_big

    laboni

    about 1 year ago

    4 Comments

    Swimming could be a great exercise for your body and mind. I am passionate about swimming and that is the reason I built a swimming pool at my place. Recently I had to replace few old parts, so I bought new swimming pool parts at CommercialPool.com.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    dhiraj

    about 1 year ago

    6 Comments

    These workouts are so cool and these would help one to get in shape too. There are good swimming pools in our locality, I am planning to try out these activities there soon.

  • Sdc10013_max50

    elmo491

    about 7 years ago

    52 Comments

    Ok....This all sounds good but what if you are not a good swimmer? I would love to try out the work outs but i am not a great swimmer!

  • Photo_user_banned_big

    aaa111

    about 7 years ago

    2112 Comments

    I USED TO BE A LIFE GUARD AND A WATER SAFETY INSTRUCTOR. SWIMMING IS SIMPLY THE BEST EXERCISE YOU CAN DO PERIOD. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT NOT ONLY IN THE WINTER, BUT ALL YEAR.

  • Kodiak_b_fulface_3288_471_max50

    Tony_Riffel

    about 7 years ago

    738 Comments

    Good info. Remember your fitness may save your life, or that of your partner.

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