The best swimming stroke for weight loss

When considering the best swimming stroke for weight loss you need to remember that no amount of exercise minimises the impact of a bad diet. So, before you consider strokes check out our Eating Better section here.

OK, now that’s out of the way, we know that swimming decreases stress on the body. That’s down to the water buoyancy. The benefits it offers in terms of calories burn depends on the stroke you swim. So here’s a breakdown of the strokes, and which is the best swimming stroke for weight loss.

Best swimming stroke for weight loss

4th place: Breaststroke

Breaststroke is a bit of a slow burner in terms of calories. In fact, it is the least beneficial stroke for burning calories.

  1. Average calorie burn: around 200 calories for 30 minutes swimming.
  2. Breaststroke is a much better cardiovascular workout than the other strokes.
  3. It helps strengthen heart and lungs while toning thighs, upper back, triceps, hamstrings and lower legs.
  4. It helps to work and tone the chest muscles.

3rd place: Backstroke

Backstroke is the second lowest calorie burner next to breaststroke. However, it’s one of the best for improving posture and toning the all important areas for showing off the summer swimsuit.

  1. Average calorie burn: around 250 calories for 30 minutes swimming.
  2. Practising keeping yourself straight in the water can help you to lengthen your spine, helping you look taller and less hunched.
  3. Backstroke works to tone the stomach, legs, arms, shoulders and buttocks.
  4. It’s great for improving the flexibility of your hips. Great for office bound workers.

2nd place: Freestyle

Freestyle is the fastest of all the strokes, so as you might expect it is up in second place for calorie burning potential.

  1. Average calorie burn: around 300 calories for 30 minutes swimming
  2. Swimming freestyle tones your stomach, buttocks and shoulders.
  3. Out of all the four strokes freestyle is said to have the greatest impact on toning back muscles.

1st place: Butterfly

It’s the hardest to learn, and definitely not for beginners, but Butterfly is at the top of the calorie burn list.

  1. Average calorie burn: around 450 calories for 30 minutes swimming
  2. It’s most effective all round stroke for toning and building muscles.
  3. It helps with upper body strength, toning your chest, stomach, arms (particularly your triceps) and your back muscles.
  4. It helps to increase your flexibility, suppleness and stretches out the body to improve posture.
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