Beginners Swimming Workout Plan

Author: ANCP   Date Posted:3 March 2014 

Swimming is an excellent activity for keeping fit, staying healthy and relieving stress. As swimming is a low-impact workout, it is recommended for people of all ages. If you’re not sure how to start swimming for exercise, take a look at our beginners swimming workout plan below: Try the following work out for the first few weeks:


  • Warm Up: swim 50-100metres at an easy pace.
  • Work-Out: swim four lengths of the pool at an easy-moderate pace and then rest for 30 seconds.  Repeat this through between seven and ten times.  If needs be, stop at the wall between lengths to regain your breath.
  • Cool Down: swim 50m at an easy pace and then walk 50m in the pool.  Stretch out your chest, triceps, shoulders, back, hip flexors, hamstrings and glutes.


You may find it beneficial to use a kickboard for the first set or so. This will allow you to adjust to the kicking pattern and you won’t have to worry about co-ordinating your arms and legs. To keep your session interesting, mix it up a little by using various strokes (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke or butterfly). This will also help to ensure muscle balance.


Resistance Training:

To complement your swimming program and maximise weight loss, ensure that you perform some resistance training. This will help you to build more muscle and strength, increasing your metabolic rate, calorie expenditure (both in and out of the pool) and your speed and power in the pool. Perform resistance exercises targeting all of your muscle groups, like squats, lunges, push-ups, chin ups, shoulder press, glute bridges, planks and side planks.



How to Boost your Energy Expenditure:

Want to torch more calories in the pool? Try some of the following tips:

  • Perform interval training: alternate swimming laps as hard and as fast as you can, with “rest” laps where you slow your pace and regain your breath. The hard laps will really get your heart pumping and maximise your energy expenditure.
  • Give yourself some challenges: to swim more laps without stopping, or maybe to swim a lap or set of laps in a quicker time.
  • Focus on really working your leg muscles hard: Your leg muscles are larger and so will burn more energy as you swim.  You could even don a pair of flippers to make your legs work even harder.
  • Check your technique: Attending a swimming lesson at your pool or politely asking a more experienced fellow swimmer for some advice will help to improve your swimming speed and endurance. You will also build relationships with people at the pool, increasing the likelihood that you will commit to your training.
  • Test out some other aquatic activities such as running in deep-water, walking in shallow-water (ankle to mid-thigh depth) and aqua-aerobics.


Pool Etiquette:

When hitting up the pool, you will want to respect your fellow swimmers and ensure that everyone has a fair turn. This is particularly important at peak times, when the swimming lanes are packed. So try to remember these few rules and you will help create a pleasant swimming environment for everyone:

  • If other swimmers are faster than you, give them enough space to go by or stop at the end of the pool to allow them to overtake you.
  • Follow the lane signage and swim in the lane matching your speed; ie if you are swimming breast stroke at a slow pace, swim in the slow lane rather than the fast lane.
  • Only walk in lanes designated for walking, so that you don’t obstruct the path of lap swimmers.
  • Keep left hand side of the lane unless you are overtaking. When overtaking, do so with care so as to avoid collisions.