The breaststroke is an effective way to burn calories and work your chest muscles, inner thighs, shoulders, triceps, legs and hamstrings. Include other strokes in your swimming routine to get a full body workout.
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The breaststroke begins with the swimmer lying flat in the water with face down, arms extended straight forward and legs extended straight back. The arms move with the palms facing outward and pushing the water backwards, come together with facing palms in front of the chest and then return to the original position. To perform the leg movement, known as the "frog kick," draw your knees up towards your body, then kick your legs out as wide as you can and move them in an arc until they are straight behind you.
The calories you burn performing the breaststroke will depend on how vigorously you swim and your size. If you weigh 155 pounds and swim the breaststroke for 30 minutes, you'll burn about 372 calories, according to Harvard Medical School. A person who weighs 185 pounds will burn about 444 while swimming the breaststroke for 30 minutes.
Swimming works all the major muscle groups, according to the Go Ask Alice advice service of Columbia University. However, research on swimming and weight loss has produced inconsistent results. To lose weight, speed up your pace and increase the length of your swimming lessons. The more vigorously you perform the stroke, the quicker your body moves and thus burns more calories. Remember not to make up for calories burned during swimming by eating more.