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Swimming as exercise?


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I'm looking for an effective way to increase core strength as supplementary exercise.


I'm already taking a pilates-based body conditioining class once a week at a local gym, but cannot fit in more than one in a week.

There is also one traditional Pilates mat class in my city, but it costs considerably more than a ballet class so I opted for an extra ballet technique class instead. :) The floor barre class at my studio conflicts with a ballet technique class I already take.


I've seen several people recommend swimming on this board. How effective is swimming in strengthening the body, especially abs and back? Are there other options besides the good old crunches?



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I don't think you could do much better than swimming for abs and back strength! Backstroke is especially good for your stomach muscles, and it doesn't strain your neck the way other strokes can do if you don't like putting your face in the water!


It's good to do a variety of strokes in a session though - I alternate between breastroke and backstroke - so you don't build up too many muscles in your chest and shoulders. But you'd have to swim a lot to get big muscles!


It's the only exercise I know of that is strain-free and works every muscle in the body and is good for burning calories.


Shame I find it really really boring!!! But I know it's really good for me so I go. ;)

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Swimming at a recreational level is fine exercise, and is a good thing for dancers, generally speaking. Former NYCB Ballerina Allegra Kent, among many others, swears by it! It's just when you get into competition-level activity of swimming as hard as possible for several hours every day that problems enter into the picture.

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When I first started dancing I was swimming two miles a day. I was so centered and so strong, it made classes much easier for me. Then I stopped swimming. Boy did I lose my center real fast. Trying to get back to it but the old schedule makes it tough. If you can add swimming to you regiment I strongly recommend it.

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You dance with a regiment? Now that's one for the class size threads!;)


(Regiment=1000 soldiers)

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I just started swimming about 6 weeks ago now and I think it is the most marveloous exercise ever. I can't believe I didn't start it sooner.

My body is more toned and I have little or no problems with my neck and shoulders as I used to.

I also do water jogging, which is just a brilliant all over body workout and no impact whatsoever, so my knees are great. I also have a kickboard so I can really work my legs out and not worry about the arms for a while.


Just fantastic, totally recommend it. But then it depends on what your local pool is like. I guess I am spoiled a bit at Stanford, having two, 50m outdoor heated pools, with 10 lanes..ummmmm so relaxing...I'm glad today is swimming day :)

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I'm envious of all of you - I used to swim recreationally for a short while in high school, but since then every time I jump into a pool I end up with an ear infection a month later. No matter how dry I think my ears are when I get out. This year I had two of them already - I'm getting concerned about antibiotic resistivity.


Actually, I never liked the chilly walk from the dressing room to the pool, let alone jumping in the water... Also, I always thought that the actual swimming has the same monotonous quality that keeps me away from jogging. Plus my technique is so bad, I constantly have the feeling I'm sinking. Good riddance!


Now I get my back/upper body work-out at the gym. Not as "organic", but effective.

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Guest dancerwannabe


There is a remedy to get water out of your ears that you make at home.. My parents have it and used to use it on us kids when we were young and at the pool alot during the summer. I'll have to ask them exactly what the mixture is. I too am prone to ear infections otherwise.


My question is where does everyone find the time to seemingly take 5 classes a week, work, go to school AND the Gym AND go swimming etc? I currently work from 6 am to 4 p.m. 5-6 days a week. I take ballet two or three times a week. I try to fit in yoga once a week and then I take two classes at University of Kentucky. I consider myself as being pretty busy. And yet I'm jealous of how everyone else seems to be fitting more into their day than I can..

If only I had no job and was independently wealthy.... hmmm..

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