How to Get a Great Swim Workout

swim workout

Disclaimer: Elise Ho, aka “Dr. Ho” is a Holistic Health & Life Coach. Dr. Ho is NOT a medical doctor, licensed therapist, lawyer, or a bevy of other things. Products or services that Dr. Ho believes in are the only ones that she recommends. Dr. Ho may receive compensation, product, or an affiliate commission on anything you see on this site. This is a personal Website solely reflecting Dr. Ho’s personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of any organization with which I may be affiliated.

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How to Get a Great Swim Workout


Please enjoy these great swim workout tips by my guest poster, Greta Boris, author of The Wine and Chocolate Workout – Eat, Drink, and Lose Weight.

I always loved to swim as a child. There was nothing better than jumping in cool water on a hot summer day, but I never swam to get a swim workout, I just paddled around.

In high school, the fact that I had to get my hair wet – eek – and put my makeup back on decreased my love for the water.

After I had babies, there was colored hair, makeup, stretch marks and cellulite. What can I say? Sometimes I’m kind of girly. I was not willing to go through all that shame for a swim workout when I’d rather run anyway.

As I grew older yet, I found that if I wanted to reduce my rate of injury from running I had to find non-impact exercise to do on the off days. I made friends with some triathletes, they dumped me in the pool, and that, as they say, was that.


I discovered 5 fantastic benefits from a swim workout:


  • It helps me reduce my rate of injuries.

  • I can zone out and meditate my navel.

  • It fixes a backache.

  • It really burns calories. It’s MET is 6, depending on intensity. Here is an explanation of MET’s and more exercise equivalents.

  • Goodbye flabby arms thanks to this great upper body workout.


Get a great swim workout.


Here are suggestions for if you’re just getting started in the sport.


  1. Join a team, a class, or get an instructor.
  2. If you have never swam competitively or seriously, chances are you have some funky form habits that will slow you down. These will keep you from really getting a good workout. Your local YMCA probably has the help you need.
  3. Push yourself.
  4. It’s really easy to get in the water, zone out and slow down. I like to go to the pool with a swim workout in mind. Something that will challenge me. It’s also good to go with a friend who’s better at than you are and try to keep up!
  5. Buy Toys.
  6. Don’t try to swim in a bikini with your hair flapping around your face and no goggles. You’re not Esther Williams. Look at it this way, the swimsuit made for swimmers makes you look like you know what you’re doing. And with the ugly cap and goggles you’re kind of incognito.
  7. I find that swim fins, paddles and buoys add a little variety and make lap swimming less boring. And, there is nothing for the back of the thighs like doing some kick-laps with fins on.

Here is a sample workout I might do when I go to the pool:


10 Warm up laps. For me, a lap is up and back. This would be approximately 50 meters.

Sprint ladder:

  • 1 sprint lap
  • 1 easy lap
  • 2 sprint laps
  • 1 easy lap
  • 3 sprint laps
  • 1 easy lap
  • 4 sprint laps
  • 1 easy lap
  • 5 sprint laps
  • 1 easy lap
  • 5 laps with paddles
  • 5 kick laps

2,000 meters of swim workout is now your reward.

Swim Workouts for Triathletes is a great little waterproof book in a binder that you can set right on the edge of the pool if you would like even more ideas.

Put vanity aside and jump in. The water’s great.

Greta Boris is the author of The Wine and Chocolate Workout – Eat, Drink, and Lose Weight. She was a personal trainer and weight management coach for the better part of 20 years until she morphed into a full time writer and author. You can find her on Facebook, and Twitter and check out her free e-course, How to be Fit, 30 Ways, in 30 Days, for People over 30.



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Naturally Yours,
Elise Ho
Ph.D., D.N. Psych.
Behavioral & Mental Health Specialist

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About The Author

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho is a Holistic Health & Life Coach with a special interest in emotional health, life alignment, and energy flow.

Elise will partner with you to align your mindset, your energy, your home and your career so that you can live your life's desire with freedom and love.

Elise offers 30 years of experience and multiple certifications and degrees including a Ph.D. in Natural Health and a doctoral degree in Naturopathic Psychology.