Swimming is a highly effective full-body workout that can slim and tone the entire body, including the glutes and thighs. If you keep up the intensity, 30 minutes of swimming laps five days a week can achieve results that take longer on other cardio equipment as it works multiple muscle groups and gets the heart pumping quickly.
Swimming is an excellent exercise for gym regulars looking to lengthen and tone their body and for those new to exercise. Water provides a natural resistance for the body to work against. Those with substantial weight to lose often prefer swimming to build their fitness stamina, because they do not have to support their body weight to workout allowing them to continue for longer than on a standing machine.
Strokes That Target Your Glutes and Thighs
The key to working out your glutes and thighs while swimming is to focus the work of the stroke on your lower body. By removing your arms or lessening the work there you get an excellent lower body workout. The kick of the breaststroke targets the upper butt and outer butt into the hips. Most of us learn to focus our strength in the upper body, so if you have trouble switching up remove the arms entirely by using a noodle or kickboard to support the upper body while you work out. Squeeze your glutes and thighs tight as you kick, creating the movement from kicking your lower legs.
Other Pool Exercises
Swimming laps is a skill to be developed, and if you are not at the point where you can swim laps throughout a workout then do some poolside exercises that further your glute and thigh workout. In the water, hold on to the side of the pool and kick your legs hard in the water while still holding your muscles clenched. Treading water can be altered for your workout as well. In the deep end of the pool, tread water with only your legs, while straight kick them forward and back as if lowering into the splits.
Safety and Tips
If you are new to swimming, take it slowly and develop your breathing technique and the standard swimming strokes before being concerned about speed or the number of laps you can complete. One or two laps in a Olympic-sized pool is highly challenging for anyone who has not been in the water for a while. Take your time to acclimate to this and add a third and fourth as you feel your strength and stamina develop. It is helpful to ask a gym trainer to watch your stroke and fine tune your form. As with any new exercise, listen to your body's stress signals. If you have substantial weight to lose or health concerns, speak to your doctor before beginning.
Grace Bordelon is a public relations professional, teacher and writer. She owns her own boutique public relations firm that specializes in the advertising, gaming and software industries. She also teaches at a major design school for fine artists, commercial artists and graphic designers. Bordelon holds a B.A. in international economics and an M.A. in English from Bard College.