Swimming workout for beginner lap swimmers

    Swimming laps

Swimming workout for beginner lap swimmers

If you’re new to swimming laps, it can be difficult (and boring!) to swim the same style over and over again in your session. If you switch it up, you’ll not only use all major muscle groups, but you’ll also be building endurance and skill. If you’re a beginner lap swimmer still building fitness and basic skills, here’s a quick 1km swim workout that you can easily fit in before work.

What you’ll need:

  • A kickboard
  • A clock to watch
  • A 50-metre pool – if you’re swimming in a 25-metre pool, count up and back as one lap.


What you’ll do:

Warming up is important to keep your muscles in check and avoid injury. Before you hop in the pool, do a proper stretch outside the pool.  

Step 1: When you’re in the pool, start off by swimming your preferred stroke for 200 metres (4 laps), mixing it up if you like, at about 50% effort.

Step 2: Next, grab the kickboard – it’s time to work on form and breathing and give those quads a major workout.

For 200 metres (4 laps), use the kickboard to flutter kick up and down the pool. Hold the kickboard in front of you with your arms outstretched, and try to use only your legs to propel you forward. At the same time, try to count in threes, bringing your cheek up to breathe on every count of three. If you find breathing to both sides difficult when you’re swimming laps, this is a good exercise to practice balanced breathing without having to worry about what your arms are doing.

Step 3: For the next 150 metres (3 laps), try your hand at freestyle. Taking a very short break in between laps, begin your first lap at a moderate to difficult intensity, using about 70% effort. Increase that intensity on your second lap and then swim using maximum effort on your third lap.

Step 4: Take a minute break, then repeat step 3 using breaststroke.

Step 5: Take a minute break, then repeat step 3 using backstroke.

By now, you would have swum 850 metres! Not far to go…

Step 6: For the last 150 metres, swim your preferred stroke at a moderate intensity, bringing it down to a low intensity by the last lap.

Congratulations! You’ve just swum 1km! If you like, you can record your best lap time in each stroke style, so you can try to beat yourself next time. There’s nothing like some friendly competition with yourself to keep you on track to reaching your goals!


Are you a beginner swimmer? Click here to read about why you shouldn’t give it up.

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