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How Many Calories Does Swimming Burn

Swimming is an excellent full body workout, and helps to build lean muscles. It is an excellent workout for all age groups and recommended especially for children, pregnant women, and older people. Many people opt for swimming as a workout for weight loss.
FitnessVigil Staff
There are various styles of swimming, the most commonly practiced are breast-stroke, also known as frog-style, freestyle swim strokes, and butterfly stroke. The amount of calories burned while swimming depends upon the style. Here is a table on how many calories swimming burns.
Calories Burned While Swimming
While swimming a person can burn an amazing amount of calories. The following table has the number of calories burned while swimming per hour depending on the swimming strokes. On the left side of the table is the swimming activity, and on the right side is the amount of calories burned by swimming per hour according to the body weight.

Swimming Activity 130 lbs 155 lbs 190 lbs
Swimming or treading water with moderate effort 236 281 345
Swimming strokes or treading water with vigorous effort 590 704 863
Synchronized swimming 472 563 690
Swimming sidestroke in general 472 563 690
Swimming at a leisurely pace 354 422 518
Swimming butterfly style in general 649 774 949
Breast stroke style of swimming in general 590 704 863
Swimming backstroke style in general 472 563 690
Swimming laps in freestyle with moderate effort 472 563 690
Swimming laps in freestyle with vigorous effort 590 704 863

Reference: Department of Health and Family Services
Benefits of Swimming Over Other Workouts
After learning about the amount of calories burned in swimming workouts, here is a list of the benefits of swimming over other sports or workout routines.
  • Swimming is one of the safest exercises as the possibility of injury is very less compared to other exercises. Unlike other exercises like jogging or walking, swimming does not put any pressure on the joints as the buoyancy of the water cushions and supports the body, reducing any stress on the muscles or joints.
  • A study shows that swimming regularly helps to live a longer life.
  • It improves flexibility and helps to build lean muscles.
  • It is an excellent workout as it helps to strengthen the back and ab muscles.
  • It is also a beneficial workout for pregnant women, as it strengthens the muscles used during childbirth.
  • Swimming is a sport and an enjoyable activity especially during the summer.
Important Tips Before You Opt for Swimming
Keep these important tips in mind before you start swimming.
  • Buy a swimsuit and a swim cap, which fits you well and doesn't need adjusting while you are swimming.
  • If you don't know how to swim, then either hire a coach or join swimming classes.
  • For weight loss, opt for swimming styles which help to burn maximum amount of calories.
  • Consult your doctor before you start your swimming workouts, if you suffer from any health conditions.
  • Make sure you do a proper warm-up before going for a swim, like a mild jog or a few rounds around the pool.
Now that you know the benefits of swimming, and the amount of calories burned while swimming; you can enroll yourself in a swimming class or use a pool at a gym nearby. So, whether for endurance, weight loss, or fun, go for swimming workouts and enjoy its benefits!