How Many Calories Does Swimming Burn?

December 28, 2022
Fitness exercise

Many people have heard that swimming is one of the best exercises around, but how many calories does swimming burn? There are several factors that influence the number of calories burned during swimming. Follow Liftyolife ( to find the answer to this question and know how to burn more calories while swimming.

1. How Many Calories Does Swimming Burn?

How many calories do I burn by swimming? According to research, the average number of calories for a person engaging in 30-minute moderate swimming activity is around 250 calories. Calorie expenditure can jump to 450 calories in the same timeframe for vigorous swimming.

2. What Factors Into Your Calories Burned While Swimming?

Tom Holland – an exercise physiologist, triathlete, and founder of TeamHolland – indicated that the number of calories you burn when you swim depends on factors that include your body weight, intensity, duration, and which stroke you’re doing.

  • Body weight: Someone who weighs more will burn more calories than someone who weighs less because it takes more energy to move a larger body than a smaller one. Larger bodies also have more surface area in the water, which means they will meet more resistance and require more effort to move forward. Consequently, the heart rate will rise, boosting caloric expenditure.
  • Intensity and duration: How fast you can swim also influences your calorie burn. Absolutely the longer and harder you swim, the more energy you will use and the more calories you burn.
  • Swim stroke: Some strokes need more technical skill and energy than others. “Butterfly is possibly the hardest and most technical stroke, that’s why it burns the most calories” explains Baxter – a master trainer. Butterfly swimming is far more difficult than breaststroke because you have to simultaneously sweep both arms straight out in front of you while doing a challenging dolphin kick. But when you swim breaststroke, you can leisurely frog kick and pull yourself through the water.
What Factors Into Your Calories Burned While Swimming?

What Factors Into Your Calories Burned While Swimming?

3. What stroke burns the most calories?

When you swim farther and faster, you burn more calories. The freestyle stroke, which is the quickest type of swimming, offers the most potential for calorie burning. However, that does not imply that you should always choose the freestyle when you enter the pool.

Duration and frequency are the main factors that determine how many calories you burn. You might swim farther if you favor the breaststroke over the freestyle. Additionally, you might burn more calories and be more consistent.

Holland also advises sticking to your preferred routine and varying your strokes to engage different muscle groups and keep things fresh.

You can also see the estimations for the number of calories burnt swimming each type of stroke in greater detail below:

  • Butterfly: 13.8 METs = 878 calories/hour
  • Freestyle or crawl (fast or vigorous effort): 9.8 METs =623 calories/hour
  • Freestyle or crawl (medium to vigorous effort): 8.3 METs = 528 calories/hour
  • Freestyle or crawl (light or moderate effort): 5.8 METs = 369 calories
  • Breaststroke: 5.3 METs = 337 calories/hour
  • Backstroke: 4.8 METs = 305 calories/hour
  • Treading water (moderate effort): 3.5 METs = 223 calories/hour

4. How to Burn More Calories While Swimming?

Regardless of your size, speed, or stroke, the best way to burn more calories while swimming is doing intervals of hard efforts interspersed with recovery time.

A typical interval set might consist of five repetitions of a 50m freestyle sprint, followed by a 10-second break during which your heart rate returns to normal.

The evidence reveals that HIIT burns 25 to 30 percent more calories than a steady-state workout and also taps into the afterburn effect, which continues to burn calories long after your workout is finished. Those high-intensity efforts, with respite, test your system for more than a steady-state workout.

Are you ready to try it? The next time you want to lose weight without straining your body, try one of these swimming exercises. They are suitable for people of all fitness levels.

5. Do You Burn More Calories Swimming Than You Do Running Or Bicycling?

  • 1-hour running at a 9:00/mile pace: burns from 649 to 1,024 calories. Your total calorie burn will naturally increase the faster you run.
  • 1-hour cycling at 15 miles/hour will burn anywhere from 590 to 931 calories

If burning calories is your primary objective, swimming is a great option. And you should consider how easy the sport is on your joints. It’s a workout you can enjoy doing—while knowing that you’re getting results!

How many calories does swimming burnLiftyolife ( hopes you can find the information you need in this article. Swimming is more than a good exercise you can enjoy in the summer. It benefits both your heart and the tone of your muscles. It could also help in weight loss. But like with other types of exercise, it’s essential to combine it with a healthy diet if you want to lose weight.

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