Bodybuilders go swimming

Increase muscle building with swimming: That brings success

Swimming is healthy and makes you fit - this applies not only to endurance, but also to muscle building. If you too want to build muscle by swimming, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here you can find out everything about training in the cool water.

Swimming strengthens the whole body

A look at professional swimmers clearly shows that the entire body is shaped and strengthened through regular swimming. If you build muscle by swimming, this has certain advantages over other sports: unlike jogging, for example, muscle groups are hardly neglected when building muscle underwater. Both the legs and the upper body are used at the same time.

Another advantage of swimming is that you do not put any strain on your joints during the movements and, in addition to strengthening your muscles, you also strengthen your condition and your immune system. Water has a much higher density than air. As a result, you are exposed to greater resistance when swimming, which strengthens muscles. At the same time, the risk of injury is reduced, as the buoyancy protects the joints from excessive stress.

Build muscle by swimming

The right technique is crucial for building muscle in water. "Breaststroke is the more strenuous and technically demanding variant compared to the crawl and back technique," explains sports scientist Michael Hahn, head of swimming at the Technical University of Munich, to the fitness magazine "Fit for Fun".


A common mistake is keeping your head above water at all times. With this you risk tension in the neck. Ideally, submerge your whole body and head in the water, stretch out long and breathe out underwater. With the pull of the arm, the head is lifted out of the water again to breathe.


The crawl technique or the back style, on the other hand, are easier to learn. The backstroke is particularly suitable for beginners, as the mouth and nose are constantly above the surface of the water. In addition, the technology is particularly back-friendly.

In order not to stray from the lane, you can orientate yourself when swimming backwards on the ceiling or on the lines to separate the lane.

Freestyle swimming

If you want to get ahead particularly quickly, the crawl technique is recommended. The position of the body in the water is crucial here. To practice, it is best to stand straight in front of a mirror. Pull in your stomach, push out your chest and pull your shoulders back and down. You then convert this position horizontally in the water.

The view is directed downwards towards the water. Start by lying straight with your arms almost outstretched. The chin is pulled towards the chest. One hand is then slid back towards the thighs, pushing the water away.

This also includes the correct breathing technique: Breathe evenly and calmly and try to exhale again after every third arm stroke - this can usually also avoid side stitches.

The legs flap up and down slightly. The ankles should be about a foot's length apart. If the distance is greater, there is a risk that the upper body will vibrate. The goal, however, is to ensure that the upper body glides smoothly.

Fat burning: water temperature is crucial

If you also want to burn fat by swimming, the water temperature is also decisive: 26 degrees Celsius, for example, is an unfavorable temperature because the heat exchange between body and water is in balance here, according to the fitness magazine "Fit for Fun".

"If the water temperature is higher or lower, however, more energy has to be mobilized in the form of fat in order to regulate the body temperature," advises Dr. Andreas Bieder from the German Sport University in Cologne opposite the magazine.

Think about swimming breaks

You can be creative during swimming training. Short sprints, for example, are particularly popular among experts. Around eight to ten sprints over a distance of 40 meters make sense. On average, the increased exertion should initially not last longer than 60 seconds. Also, always allow yourself short breaks and do not overwork your body.

Strengthen muscle building in a targeted manner

The arms can be specially trained with buoyancy aids. Smaller paddles for the hands increase the resistance in the water and lead to increased effort. If you focus on building muscles in the legs, try swimming with a board: If you hold it with both hands, you can only regulate the propulsion via the legs.

Tip: Change your swimming style every now and then to introduce a little variation into your training. Breaststroke swimming, for example, is good for strengthening the shoulder and chest muscles, while the crawl is particularly helpful for endurance.

Important NOTE: The information is in no way a substitute for professional advice or treatment by trained and recognized doctors. The contents of t-online cannot and must not be used to independently make diagnoses or start treatments.