I found this, it's for a mile of swimming, but you can easily adapt it to your physical abilities. I went swimming for my cross-training the other day (also with a half-hour elliptical workout) and let me tell you... it was a pretty great workout. I would agree though, that doing the backstroke doesn't feel that demanding. I usually do a length and back of that if I need a quick break and then go back to something more challenging.
Try using a flutter board and just using your legs for a few lengths or a buoy and just pulling with your arms.
Thank you everyone for your responses! Swimming is not going to be my only attempt at cardio, but it's something new and it feels great. I will keep at it and see if it makes a difference and I will try switching it up a little bit. You are all great! Thanks again!
Fitness Minutes: (15,322)
449 4/23/12 12:51 P
I would suggest swimming one way the breast stroke or something to get your heart rate up and then swimming the backstroke on your way back. That way your heart rate stays up.
Fitness Minutes: (261,365)
2,243 4/23/12 12:49 P
"Weird" is rather like "normal"....everyone has their own definition. :) :) :)
I found swimming to be too tame to lose weight. I could swim for hours & gain 2 lbs. Walking fast on my treadmill really pumps my heart rate & gives me a great cardio burn though.
I guess it's all just a matter of trial & error--what works for some, doesn't work for others. Either way, exercising is ALWAYS GOOD! There's no such thing as bad exercise--some things just burns more calories than others.
Keep on working out! You can do it!
Fitness Minutes: (68,349)
4/23/12 12:34 P
I agree, not enough info to deduce if you are weird or not. ;-) As far as whether or not your swimming is taxing enough or not, it would depend on how hard you are swimming. Gliding through the water with great efficient strokes actually minimizes your exertion. And the more fluid you are the less energy it takes to swim. So in order to really get a burn, you have to really pump it out like you are racing someone. At that point you can actually burn some pretty good calories. But it is like any other exercise used to call cardio, it needs to raise your HR and for an extended period of time.
As noted, biking is very similar. One can ride around the lake path and pretty much burn very little in calories. But if you go off road and up and down dirt paths at a good clip, then you can actually burn some calories. Keep the faith
Fitness Minutes: (58,674)
4/23/12 12:08 P
lol I love your energy! ...as far as your actual question: i have no clue. Maybe try doing a different stroke and go for speed to get your heart rate up?
Fitness Minutes: (79,333)
4/23/12 11:07 A
Swimming is very much like biking in that the former involves moving in a dense fluid (water) and the latter involves moving in a thin fluid (air) and in both of them moving fast costs too much energy, while moving slow costs almost nothing.
So you can actually swim very slowly and bike very slowly and burn next to nothing, and you can swim fast and ride fast and burn enormous energy.
If in doubt, carry a heart rate monitor that works while swimming to be sure how hard you are working. But if you have felt that you have not worked hard, chances are that you did not. So the calories burned could not be too much.
Edited by: MPLANE37 at: 4/23/2012 (11:08)
Fitness Minutes: (6,088)
4/23/12 10:30 A
I guess it depends on the person and how efficiently the muscles are recruited to execute a certain set of movements. Have you been swimming for a long time? Is it time to cross train to challenge your boy more?
So first of all, Yay for me! I swam for 25 minutes this am.....5 am and only 3 hours of sleep and still got my ass up! So my question is.....When I am swimming.....backstroke.....I don't feel like I am getting any cardio....it feels more llike ST to me. I really work my arms and legs and really feel it there, but I don't feel like my heart rate gets up to realy count it as cardio. Am I the only one that feels this or am I weird? Happy Day!