Ready to dive in?

Swimming Exercises for a Busy Schedule

Posted by Greg on 3/20/14 1:00 PM

If you only have time for a quick 20 or 30 minute workout in the pool, it’s enough. An easy swim can scorch up to 500 calories, so no matter how much time you have to devote you’ll still feel the burn. Here are a few workouts you can do on your lunch break, before work or after the day is done.

From Fitness Magazine:

With this workout, you’ll burn close to 300 calories in just 22 minutes. Give it all you’ve got and you’ll get a great workout in less time than it takes to shower and get ready for work. The times are your goal, but you can take it as slow or fast as you want. Keep in mind, the distances are based on a 25-yard-long pool.

  • Freestyle: 4 lengths, 2 minutes
  • Freestyle and backstroke alternating: 8 lengths, 4 minutes
  • Kickboard exercise: 4 lengths, 4 minutes
  • Freestyle while pulling a buoy behind you: 4 lengths, 2 minutes
  • #2 repeat: 8 lengths, 4 minutes
  • Any stroke: 8 lengths, 4 minutes
  • Sprint any stroke: 2 lengths, one minute
  • Freestyle: 2 lengths, 1 minute

From Aspirations of Athletic Greatness:

This workout is based on yards/meters, for a total of 2,000, so it will be as quick as you can swim. However, this is designed to be a short workout, so plan to kick it into high gear for this one.

  • 500 warm up: 300 freestyle, 100 backstroke, 100 kick
  • Freestyle pyramid: 300, 250, 150, 100
  • 8 x 50 kick: 2 fly, 2 backstroke, 2 breaststroke, and 2 freestyle
  • 100 cool down


This isn’t necessarily a swim workout, but it’s done in the pool to maximize your effort and have little to no impact on your joints. All the exercises are done with a noodle, so put that kid’s toy to use if you’re sick of the usual laps. Do the whole workout twice.

  • Float in the deep end with noodle behind your upper back; extend legs down, engage abs and pull them up to your chest. Do 20 reps.
  • Keep your feet on the pool ladder and float in the water, holding the noodle out in front of you. Push it down into the water until you’re in plank position. Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Hold onto the latter with your hands, legs extended behind you and noodle wrapped around your middle. Engage your abs and pull legs down until your hips are hinged at a 90 degree angle. Do 20 reps.
  • Stand in the shallow end, feet shoulder width apart, noodle in your hands, floating at the surface. Push the noodle down into the water and pull your left leg back, until your body is at a 90 degree angle. Do 10 reps then switch sides.
  • Stand in knee deep water, holding the noodle on the surface. Squat down, pulling the noodle down to your knees. Do 20 reps.
  • Float on your back with the noodle resting below your knees, arms at your sides. Crunch up to touch your knees. Do 20 reps.
  • Stand in chest deep water, feet shoulder width apart, noodle held out in front of you in a U shape. Step forward in a lunge motion, stepping through the noodle. Do 10 reps total.


Filed Under:

General, How-To