Jump into a pool for a refreshing swim and you'll do more than just cool off. Whether you choose a butterfly, freestyle, breast or back stroke, swimming is an aerobic workout that boosts your energy, helps you slim down, strengthens your muscles and increases your range of motion. But, will it make your butt bigger? Because swimming burns calories and increases muscle strength, it helps lower your body fat and define your muscles, leaving you with a toned and shapely bottom that will look great in any pair of jeans.
Work With Your Body Shape
Everyone is born with a certain body type. This determines how and where you store fat, how you build muscle and how your metabolism works. Ectomorphs have a thin build and a fast metabolism and find gaining weight and muscle difficult. Mesomorphs are athletic, have well-defined muscles and see results quickly when they exercise. Endomorphs store fat easily and usually have a slower metabolism, making it more difficult to lose weight and show muscle tone. While lanky ectomorphs may want to increase the size of their buttocks, mesomorphs and endomorphs may be looking to decrease this asset. Most people are a combination of two or all three of these body types. You can’t change your body type, but you can define its shape with a combination of aerobic and strength training. Swimming provides both types of training.
When you exercise aerobically, your body burns glycogen to fuel the activity. Once your glycogen stores are depleted, your fat stores supply the energy while you're working out. As an added bonus, water provides natural resistance to movement, so swimming strengthens your muscles. When your muscles are stronger, they cause you to burn more calories and, consequently, more fat throughout the day.
Enhance Your Assets
As your muscles get stronger, your body takes shape. This enhances your natural curves. One of these natural curves occurs at your buttocks. The primary muscles that you use to propel yourself forward with a swimming kick are the gluteus maximus, hip flexors, quadriceps and hamstrings. As these muscles get stronger, they tone up and enhance the shape and function of your buttocks.
Use Water’s Resistance to Your Advantage
Because water surrounds your body when you’re swimming, it provides resistance in every direction and works your entire body. Unlike land exercises, the water challenges muscle pairs equally, leading to balanced strength training. Water’s resistance increases or decreases depending upon your level of exertion. You can increase the number of calories burned by increasing the intensity of your swimming workout. A moderate-intensity swim burns about 500 calories per hour, while a high-intensity one burns about 700 calories per hour.
- Women's Health: Best Swimming Workout: Lose Body Fat in the Pool
- Muscle & Strength: Your Body Type - Ectomorph, Mesomorph or Endomorph?
- Waterfit Instructor Training & Speedo’s Aquatic Fitness System Specificity of Training and Deep Water Program; Mary E Sanders
Cindy Killip is a health and fitness specialist, health coach, author and speaker who has been teaching and writing about exercise and wellness since 1989. She authored "Living the BONES Lifestyle: A Practical Guide to Conquering the Fear of Osteoporosis." Killip holds multiple certifications through the American Council on Exercise and degrees in communications and sociology from Trinity University.