It comes as no surprise that the swimmer’s physique is highly sought after. With fine physical specimens like Chad le Clos and Cameron van der Burgh, it’s clearly the way to get a sexy body – or is it?
The obvious answer would be ‘yes’, but if you’re after the body type of a competitive Olympic swimmer, you’re going to have to incorporate weight training with a fairly regular swimming schedule.
The typical swimmer’s build
The typical swimmer’s body is V-shaped, meaning broad shoulders and a lean and slender waistline. Regular swimmers will have well toned arms and legs, well-defined back muscles and ripped abs.
Like many other sexy body types, it takes time to develop and needs to be maintained once it is obtained. The great thing about swimming is it’s a good way to get fit – and more importantly, stay fit.
Swimming is a total body workout unlike running, which works out the lower body ,and weight lifting, which works out the upper body. Swimming is also a great cardiovascular exercise and because it is not a weight-bearing exercise it causes no damage to the joints.
Techniques and muscle groups
According to Livestrong.com these four swimming techniques will work out most of your muscle groups: the freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke and the butterfly.
When doing freestyle or the butterfly (since the two are roughly the same), you work out your upper chest, shoulder extension muscles, biceps and triceps.
The backstroke works out the back muscles, pectoral muscles, biceps and triceps while the breaststroke works out the spinal muscles, deltoid muscles, brachial muscles and also the pectoral muscles.
While performing all these techniques, you are also working out the leg muscles do to all the kicking involved. The leg muscles that get worked out are: adductor, quadriceps, gluteus and calf muscles.
Swimming may be fun, but not everyone has the natural ability to perform a perfect backstroke. Watch this video for some quick and easy exercises you can do in the pool, to help you tone up for summer.
Swimming is also just a fun activity. So working out in the swimming pool can’t be seen as tedious or a chore, but rather fun. Enjoy the summer season and remember to keep fit and stay healthy.
(Health24, Kyle Boshoff, updated July 2012)
(References: Livestrong.com, swimmersbody.net, sgfitness.com, abc.net, prohealth.com, swimsa.org, dietandfitnesstoday.com)(Images: iStock)
(Video: YouTube; SelfMagazine)