A Cool Cardio Workout For Summer

Lap swimming burns the same number of calories per minute as biking while building functional strength in your back, chest and abdominal muscles. Here are a few tips on swimming efficiently from Terry Laughlin, a former NCAA coach who has trained world-ranked swimmers: Lead with the top of your head looking down at the bottom of the pool, press your armpits into the water with each stroke to keep your chest down and slice your arms into the water as if slipping into a shirt. The less splashing you do, the more you're getting out of this workout.

The Bigger Picture: Here's a 30-minute workout to get you started on lap swimming. Set #1 is eight 25-yard lengths (one trip across an Olympic sized pool) focusing on head and chest position. For Set #2, swim another eight 25-yard lengths concentrating on extending your body line in the water. For the final Set #3, work on swimming 'quiet' by avoiding excess splashing. At the end of Set #2, do a series of 100, 75, 50 and 25 yard laps. Reverse that order at the end of Set #3.
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