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Beat the Winter Blues with a 60-Minute Interval Swimming Workout

A Swim Interval Workout for the Pool

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Winter is fast approaching, but that doesn’t mean you have to pack away your swimsuits until next year. Swimming workouts are a great way to build muscle, develop cardio-respiratory fitness, and burn calories—all without putting too much of a strain on your joints. Still, endless laps can get boring, and you’re not going to work as hard as you can if you aren’t engaged. That’s why we asked Elizabeth Beisel, a two-time Olympic swimmer and two-time Olympic medalist, how she keeps things fun in the pool.

“Interval workouts are my favorite type of workout,” she says. “They incorporate changing speed within the distances. Timed intervals can go from moderate to hard to easy—which keeps it interesting and challenging.” Convinced? Check out this interval pool workout Biesel put together for us. The time limits are just suggestions—push yourself as hard as you can during your intervals, and be sure to use the entire recovery time between them. Rest for up to 90 seconds between sets; stick to one stroke or switch between your favorites for each one. (Don't have a pool? Keep up with your swimming and break a sweat in one of The 10 Most Beautiful Gyms in the U.S..)

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Warm-Up

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Warm-up: 4 lengths, 6 times (total of 600 yards)
Do 2 lengths kicking (using a kickboard), followed by 2 lengths swimming.
Repeat 6 times

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Interval Set #1

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Set #1: 10 lengths, 4 times (total of 1,000 yards)
Swim 1 length within 45 seconds, using any remaining time to rest.
Swim 2 lengths within 60 seconds, using any remaining time to rest.
Swim 3 lengths within 75 seconds, using any remaining time to rest.
Swim 4 lengths within 90 seconds, using any remaining time to rest.
Repeat 4 times

Photo: iStock

Interval Set #2

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Interval #2: 32 lengths (total of 800 yards)
Start by swimming 16 lengths as follows: 4 lengths fast/8 lengths slow/4 lengths fast.
Swim 2 lengths within 90 seconds, using any remaining time to rest.
Swim 2 lengths within 75 seconds, using any remaining time to rest.
Swim 2 lengths within 60 seconds, using any remaining time to rest.
Then swim 10 lengths as follows: 2 lengths fast/2 lengths easy/2 lengths fast/2 lengths easy/2 lengths fast.
(If you're loving this exercise so far, try a HIIT routine like Exhale's Core Fusion Extreme Workout.)

Photo: iStock

Interval Set #3

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Interval #3: 5 lengths, 4 times (total of 500 yards)
Swim 2 lengths fast, then swim 3 lengths easy.
Repeat 4 times.

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Warm-Down

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Warm-down: Swim two lengths, then rest 20 seconds.
Repeat 10 times.

Workout total: 3,400 yards

(Keep up with your cardio workouts by trying this 305 Fitness' Dance Cardio Workout.)

Photo: iStock

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