When you think about spending time in the pool, what comes to mind? Many people imagine relaxing under the hot summer sun, yet staying cool in the refreshing water. While the pool can certainly be a place to relax and escape the heat of summer, it is also the means of completing a calorie-burning workout. Here are 5 great swimming workouts you can utilize in your backyard pool or the lanes of the local public pool.


Fist swimming drills are the first of the 5 great swimming workouts, and it means exactly what it sounds like. For this to give you a workout, you must concentrate on your body position and swim with your hands in balled fists. When you return to swimming with your hands open, they will seem to be larger than kickboards!


Kicking is another workout idea. You can either kick with or without a kickboard. Depending on the stroke, you will kick differently. For example, if you are a doing a backstroke, you should kick on your side with your head facing up and with both hands above your head. For the butterfly, position yourself on your back, side, or in butterfly position. When you kick, do so from your hips and torso, which will give you a great ab workout.

Hybrid style

Drill combos are great swimming workouts as well. Alternate between a backstroke and freestyle every four strokes. Be sure you drive the rotation with your hips while keeping your rhythm light and easy.

Alternate Sides

4 to 8-count drills can be done with either backstroke or freestyle. For 4, 6, or 8 counts, kick on your side. After each set, take a full arm stroke and rotate onto your opposite side and repeat the set. Be sure to focus on body position no matter which side you are on. These are great swimming workouts because you use your core to rotate yourself while using your bottom hand to “hold” the water.

Backstroke Gallop

Backstroke gallop drills make great swimming workouts as well. Arm speed is the focus here. While on your side, kick for 6 to 8 counts while holding your recovery hand about six inches out of the water instead of at your side. Lower it back to your hip and propel yourself forward with three fast, intense strokes. Don’t forget to focus on your hip rotation while maintaining a solid body position. After three strokes, the process should be repeated.