When most people think of building muscle, the mental images that come to mind are barbells, dumbbells, and weight machines. However, if the gym is not your thing then you do not need to force yourself to go if you still want to get into great shape. In fact, there are many other ways to boost the growth of your muscles.
Swimming, for example, is often overlooked as a great way to build muscle. Since it involves many different muscle groups and also doubles as a cardiovascular exercise, you can reap many benefits and get into the shape of your life by doing some laps every day. Most people might find this hard to believe, and some explanation of the potential of swimming to boost your biceps needs some explanation.
So, get into your wetsuit and let’s look at some of the reasons why swimming is great for building muscle.
Water Counts As Resistance
One of the main principles of muscle growth is the importance of resistance. With progressive increases in the amount of resistance that your muscles are exposed to, you can expect that they will become bigger and stronger to account for this added stress. Many people find it easy to do this with conventional weights.
However, swimming also offers its own form of resistance. Since water needs to be pulled and pushed in order to make your body move through it, this stress will slowly but surely boost the growth of your muscles.
Lower The Strain
While water is a great means of applying light resistance to your body’s muscle groups, it is much easier on your bones and joints than other exercises. Weightlifters, for example, expose themselves to all sorts of injuries and strains, especially if the exercises are not completed with the correct form which, if you go to any gym, applies to many people. Similarly, running can be traumatic for knees and ankles. Many professional runners experience problems with their legs later on in life.
However, water is very gentle on your body. There is nowhere near the same potential for joint injuries with swimming as there is with virtually any other sport. This makes it ideal for building muscle without risking an injury. For this reason, it is also a great rehabilitation option.
With many different strokes available for those who enjoy swimming laps, different muscle groups of the body can be targeted with swimming. By mixing up things like the backstroke with the breaststroke, you can ensure that your entire body gets a workout in the pool or lake.
For added benefits, you can also easily mix up the intensity of your swimming workouts. By making some of your workouts more intense and faster and also taking the time to go slow at other times you will provide your body with different stimuli to trigger the development of diverse muscle groups.
Mix It Up
Swimming is a great means of building muscle for all of the reasons outlined above. If you want to get into the shape of your life while reducing your risk for injury, then make swimming the mainstay of your exercise routine. Consistency is key and you also need to be sure that your sleeping habits and diet are in check to see significant progress.
However, for best results, it is always best to do a bit of cross-training. If you can handle the additional stress, then mixing up your swimming with running and traditional weightlifting will provide your muscles with the most efficient growth.