Swim Strokes That Are Great For Weight Loss

If your everyday running routine is beginning to feel a little uninspired, consider swapping out those hill sprints for swim strokes.

Swimming is a great form of exercise to add to your workout routine. Compared to running, swimming is easier on the joints and less likely to cause injury. It's also an excellent way to burn calories while giving yourself a full body workout. Swimming is especially beneficial if you're looking to add more strength and definition to your upper body (via Healthline).

Now that you're in the pool, what are the optimal swim strokes you should focus on if your specific goal is to lose weight? According to Swimming.org, the gold medalist winner when it comes to fat-burning swim strokes is the butterfly stroke — with the potential to burn up to 450 calories in 30 minutes. 

The butterfly stroke can be a physically demanding stroke. If you're not already a skilled swimmer, there are other styles of strokes that you may want to consider starting out with.

Alternative swim strokes that promote weight loss

So what are these alternative swim strokes that also burn calories? Let's take a deeper dive.

Looking to burn belly fat? Kris Gagne, senior swim coach for Life Time, and a USA-registered and ASCA-certified swim coach, tells Women's Health that in addition to the butterfly, the backstroke and the breaststroke will also engage your core. "In the beginning, [swimming] three times a week for 30 minutes will benefit you greatly," says Gagne. "You will find that you are using muscles you didn't even know you had."

If you prefer freestyle swimming, Fit Day reports that a 150-pound person can burn roughly 476 calories an hour at a moderate pace. And if you're partial to the sidestroke, that same 150-pound person could burn up to 544 calories an hour.

Besides traditional laps, there are other aerobic ways to exercise in the pool. Feel like a kid again and try kick boarding. Hold the board with your arms outstretched for a few laps and see how that feels on your arms and legs. Or, if you want to target your abs, try a series of pikes (via Healthline).

If you're looking for new ways to tackle weight loss, the pool will provide you with plenty of options. Consider incorporating different swim strokes and water aerobics into your new workout routine to ensure that your week goes swimmingly.