Does Swimming Build Muscle?

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Whether done for leisure or competitively, swimming is a phenomenal way to build your muscles as well as your overall health. The “Swimmers Body” consists of large, broad shoulders with a lean, flat core. The low-impact yet challenging nature of moving through the water not only develops and tones your muscles, it helps with flexibility and mobility as well. Here’s some more information regarding the effect swimming has on muscle growth.

Full Body Workout

When you’re swimming, you’re activating a multitude of different muscles all at once. Everything from your abdominals, core, hamstrings and quads are all firing to keep you afloat and moving within the water. Your arms are used to pull you through the water, and your legs help push you forward. Swimming is a form of resistance training. Instead of a resistance band or machine, the water provides natural resistance to which your body eventually becomes more equipped to handle, this leads to the development and growth of your muscles.

Some of the world's fastest and most dedicated swimmers have v-shaped backs, with defined arms, legs, and abdominals. Their muscles have adapted to function efficiently within the water, causing the “Swimmers Body” to develop. 

Joint-Free Muscle Building

Swimming is unique in that it doesn’t take a huge toll on your joints. Other muscle-building exercises such as weightlifting can leave you feeling pain or stiffness in your joints. The low-impact nature of swimming is great for people who want to realize the muscle growth swimming can provide, but don’t want to sacrifice joint health in the process. 

Lean Muscle, Not Giant

Swimming won’t make your muscles huge, it’ll make them more defined. The intense calorie burning that swimming offers doesn’t allow for your muscles to grow exponentially large. It’ll make you tone, defined and lean. Also, it’s important to note that only the areas involved in your swimming will grow. Important muscles which contribute to the swimming movement such as your lats and shoulders will see significant gains in size, strength, and tone over time. As is with any form of physical exercise, you need to stay consistent in your training to see any significant gains. 

Great for Everyone

Swimming is a great exercise for just about anyone. It’s great for people with injuries who can’t workout in the weight room or gym. Swimming can still keep them in shape while also growing and defining certain key areas of the body. Additionally, gains can be made in muscle development and growth for every swimmer, no matter the experience level. Whether you’ve never worked out before or have been active your entire life, swimming offers very tangible benefits.

If you’re looking to build lean and defined muscle with a low-impact, pain free exercise, swimming is perfect for you!

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