What muscles does swimming work the least?

Question by Ben: What muscles does swimming work the least?
I am team captain of my school’s swim team, so it’s fair for me to say that swimming is something that I’m not willing to give up. However, I used to be very well built, and while I am still toned and muscular, I am losing most of my bulk muscle because when I get home from swim practice, my muscles are too sore to work out. Through trial and error, I’ve learned that my biceps hardly get worked at all, so I’ve started working those out after practice with no ill effects. But what other muscles are also not worked quite as much, that I can work on? And I mean even the most obscure, non-appearance related muscles. I just like working out.

Best answer:

Answer by Emma
Your problem happens to the best of swimmers. What’s happening is that your muscles are actually lengthening. Just like a gymnast’s muscles are shortened, a swimmer’s muscles are lengthened. You probably have around the same muscle mass, except it’s just been toned in a different way, a more lean, tall way.

Swimming actually works every main muscle in the body (obviously it doesn’t work your tongue and your nose, but it works all the muscles like lats, traps and ceps). However, there are some ways to improve your conditioning.

If you’re tired after practice, as most of us are, here are some tips to boost your metabolism, add energy, and formulate a good workout routine:

1. Hydrate – This is the first, and most crucial step to getting more energized. In addition to being tired after practice, most swimmers (myself included) feel super hungry after a long practice. This is because you’ve burned a lot of calories and your body is actually still burning even after you jump out of the pool. Drinking water will keep you from raiding the fridge and replenish all the nutrients your body lost in the pool.

2. Eat plenty of carbs – Before practice, eat a small serving of whole grain carbs. This will fuel you and keep you from over-using your energy while you swim, giving you more energy afterwards. You may even want to eat a granola bar during a break in the middle of practice or a similar time. The night before a meet, eat a high-carb dinner such as pasta, or rice. This will provide you with the energy you need for the next day. Finally, eat a carb and lean protein snack after practice, to replenish the energy you’ve worn out while swimming.

3. Plan your time wisely – One thing to keep in mind when training is: Proportion. It’s important to have a right balance of weight training in comparison to your normal swim routine. For example, if you’re a sprinter, you should have a 1:5 weight-to-swimming routine (i.e, one hour swim workout = twenty minute weight workout). If you’re an endurance swimmer, you’ll want a 2:5 ratio, because you’ll need more muscle to enhance your endurance more efficiently.

4. Do your research – The best way to learn is from example. Keep up on the latest swimming news– read about how Olympic and professional swimmers train. Talk to your coach. Look around online, at places like Livestrong and FINA. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice!

I hope that helped, and that you’re training will help you more. Hopefully, you can incorporate some of this into your routine and really improve your skills and health. Just keep swimming!

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!
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