Table of Contents
A Different Approach To Building Lean Muscle
You don’t stack weights on a barbell, lie on a bench and press to tone your legs. You also don’t build lean muscle in your shoulders and arms by doing butterfly kicks. Building lean muscle from knuckles to toes can be difficult for the occasional gym-goer, especially on a fixed amount of time per day and week. If you are trying to stay fit, stay afloat. That’s no joke; swimming is an activity that can improve your health in many different ways at the same time.
Swimming is a great way to exercise because of the unique environment it creates. The water allows the human body to function with less resistance as compared to the open air. Think about it, when you jump off the high dive at a rapid pace, and land in the water, your speed changes and you fall slower than you had during your initial leap. Due to its abilities to consume all the space around the human body, we constantly have to push it away from us or use it to bring ourselves closer to our destination. This resistance is a challenge to the body and acts as your “equipment.” During this time you are elevating heart rate and heightening your cardiovascular ceiling.
A lot of time you hear people say they want to hit the gym more often, but don’t want people confusing their need to get healthier for wanting to gain bulk and muscle. To do so, one needs to challenge the boy in a unique way. Weightlifters who consume carbohydrates and protein in large amounts and workout multiple times per day typically use their body’s anaerobic energy system. They spend time working their bodies to gain bulk, which typically consists of performing three to four sets that consist of eight to twelve repetitions (three sets of ten sound familiar?) with one to two minutes rest between sets that over time creates hypertrophy in the muscles and the lifter looks buff. To create lean muscle, triggering the aerobic energy system is key. Lifters will engage in activity for longer bouts, from two sets of fifteen repetitions, for minutes at a time or even until exhaustion. This builds muscle that looks lean and sculpted rather than large and swollen.
This article will mimic that of a thirty-second infomercial pitch: a quick pitch attempting to sell the idea of a product that allows you to accomplish more with less. Most gym attendees want a great many things when they walk in the door and since they don’t have the time or energy to complete twenty-five separate activities and run a half marathon per lunch break. Even the kids who hit the weight room after school couldn’t produce as much with more time. But if you won’t take “no way” for a solution then trade in your dumbbells for a swimsuit and get ready to be lean and tone.
How Do I Incorporate Swimming?
First lets revisit the idea of challenging the entire body all at once and start with the simple act of treading water. When a person is submerged in water in which they cannot stand in they are forced to wade with the movement of their arms and legs. To stay afloat, the body works together as a unit. The ankles dorsiflex and plantar-flex as the knees extend and flex. The hips combine for a fluid motion of hip flexion and extension, abduction and adduction with some slight internal and external rotation.
In order to keep the spine upright the core muscles including the erector spinae and abdomen muscles posture the spine to keep the person upright while wading. During a calm tread the person will horizontally abduct and and adduct the arms at the shoulder simultaneously while the arms themselves are in slight external rotation to allow the hands to paddle in a cupped shape to propel the body at the surface. Arms, abs and legs: a full body exercise.