How to Go Swimming After Leg Workouts

Swimming after a leg workout affords you a variety of benefits.

Swimming after a leg workout affords you a variety of benefits.

The World Health Organization recommends completing at least two sessions of strength training in addition to your weekly 150 minutes of vigorous exercise. This group cautions that postpartum and pregnant women may need to adjust this expectation based on your physician's recommendation. Swimming after your leg workout allows you to exercise during one session and avoid multiple trips to the gym. The combination of dryland training and swimming also improves your speed and strength in the water, according to USA Swimming. Follow a few simple steps to maximize the benefits from both types of workouts.

Select a block of your day that allows adequate time for both workouts. The combination of a leg strengthening and swimming workout increases the time needed at the gym, so plan ahead for childcare or babysitting during this period.

Fill a sports bottle with either water or an electrolyte drink and begin sipping on it as soon as you complete your leg workout. According to MedLine Plus, dehydration is the most common reason for muscle cramps. Avoid this potential issue and drink an entire 16-ounce bottle by the time you have completed your swimming workout. Increase this amount based on the intensity of your workout.

Eat a light snack rich in carbohydrates. Because your muscles rely on carbohydrates for fuel, replace what you burned off during your leg strengthening workout. USA Swimming recommends selecting a snack that is easy to digest such as fruit or dry cereal and avoiding one high in sugar.

Prepare for your swimming workout and change into a properly fitting swim suit that is supportive, but not too tight. Straps should support your chest but not restrict your ability to complete the various swimming strokes. Quickly rinse off in the shower before entering the swimming pool because you may be sweaty from your previous workout.

Complete light stretches before entering the water. While it is important to stretch your biceps, shoulders and upper arms, focus on your leg muscles such as hamstrings, quadriceps and calves. Because these muscles may be additionally fatigued from your previous exercises, spend about five minutes completing a variety of stretches before entering the pool. For example, stand on the pool deck, slowly touch your toes and hold this stretch for 10 to 30 seconds. You should feel a gentle pull in each of your calves.

Items you will need

  • Sports bottle
  • Water or electrolyte-based sports drink
  • Carbohydrate-rich snack
  • Swimming suit

Warnings

  • Speak with your physician before beginning any new exercise routine.
  • Avoid the swimming portion of your workout if your leg muscles are extremely fatigued from the strength training.
 

About the Author

Based in Texas, Lucie Westminster has been a writer and researcher since 1975. Her work has been published in journals such as "Psychological Reports" and "Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior." Westminster's interests include developmental psychology, children, pets and crafting. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology from Miami University.

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