zig
0

Notifications

  • You're all caught up!

Do Swimmers Have the Best Bodies?

by
author image Nina Makofsky
Nina Makofsky has been a professional writer for more than 20 years. She specializes in art, pop culture, education, travel and theater. She currently serves as a Mexican correspondent for "Aishti Magazine," covering everything from folk art to urban trends. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mills College.
Do Swimmers Have the Best Bodies?
People are swimming laps. Photo Credit Gary Faber/Photodisc/Getty Images

Competitive swimmers have distinctive physiques that many people may consider an ideal body shape. They have defined upper body, lower body and abdominal muscles. They tend to have a low amount of body fat, resulting in flat bellies, defined backs and narrow waists. A typical swimmer's build has more muscular bulk than that of runners, who tend to be leaner and lighter. Many people aspire to have the lean yet strong body type of swimmers.

Typical Body

The typical physique of a swimmer is muscular. Vigorous swimmers have toned arms, large shoulders and pronounced back muscles from doing strokes. Competitive swimmers have the added benefit of looking long and lean, because tall people tend to perform well in the sport. A typical male swimmer measures about 6 feet, 4 inches. Swimmers who compete in short-distance races tend to be taller and with larger muscles, because this body types gives them a speed advantage.

Cardiovascular Benefits

Doing gentle water exercises or aqua aerobics does not burn a considerable number of calories, but intense lap-swimming burns between 511 to 673 calories per hour depending upon your weight and level of fitness. These calories burned are similar in nature to other vigorous aerobic activities like jogging, running slow, hiking with a weighted backpack, skating, playing singles tennis and aerobic dance. Working out at this level burns excess body fat at a rapid clip, resulting in maintaining a healthy weight or losing weight at a rate of 1 lb. per week.

Full-Body Workout

Unlike running or jogging, which targets mostly lower-body muscle groups, and weight-lifting, which often focuses on the upper body, swimming provides a full-body workout. The water creates drag and resistance, challenging you to engage your muscles as your propel yourself forward. Most strokes demand using your arms and legs as well as engaging your core to balance your body in the water. Vigorous strokes like the butterfly and the freestyle require your making broad arm motions while kicking hard.

Body Shape

The classic swimmer's physique is often a V-shape, with a narrow waist and hips, broader shoulders and toned legs and arms. Many men and women aspire to have this body type, while others prefer the light and lean look of runners. If you appreciate a muscular, toned and athletic look, you may rank swimmers' bodies among the best of the athletic body types.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
THE LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Nutrition, Workouts & Tips
GOAL
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
GENDER
  • Female
  • Male
lbs.
ft. in.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

CURRENTLY TRENDING

Demand Media

Our Privacy Policy has been updated. Please take a moment and read it here.