Swimming is considered a low impact sport. Because your weight is supported by the water, you do not exert any pressure or force on your bones or joints. Therefore swimming is a great way to exercise if you suffer from any joint pain. But because it is not a weight bearing exercise, swimming will not stimulate bone growth, therefore it does not help you reduce the risk of age related bone fractures (osteoporosis). So, unless you are unable to due to joint pain, then we do recommend that you incorporate at least 2 sessions of weight bearing exercises into your weekly schedule. And if you don't know how to swim but are interested in a pool-based exercise, you can do walking or running in the pool. When Babak had a stress fracture from too much running, he spent a whole month running in the pool while his foot healed. 

In the drills below, we assume that you are in a 25 meter or yard pool. One lap refers to 50 meters, so in a 25 meter pool, that is a down and back, and in a 50 meter pool, that is just one length down. 

You can also use any stroke you want. 

Equipment you may need (most gym pools have these):​

  • set of flippers (optional)

  • kickboard

Exercise 1: easy swim:

  1. Swim easy (z1): 200 meters

  2. Swim moderate (z2): 400 meters

  3. Kick using kickboard: 50m

  4. Swim easy (z1): 200 meters

Exercise 2: swim sprints:

Warm up: 

Swim easy (z1): 200 meters

Swim moderate: 25 meters, easy 25 meters. Repeat 2 times. 

Rest 1 minute

Main set:

  1. Swim as fast as you can (z5): 25 meters. 

  2. Rest 30 seconds.

  3. Repeat 4-10 times. 

Cool down: 

Swim easy 100 meters

Exercise 3: tempo swim:

Warm up:

Swim easy (z1): 200 meters.

Kick: 50m

Main set:

  1. Swim moderate (z3): 50 meters

  2. Rest 15 seconds

  3. Swim moderate (z3): 100 meters

  4. Rest 20 seconds

  5. Swim moderate (z3): 150 meters

  6. Rest 20 seconds

  7. Swim moderate (z3): 100 meters

  8. Rest 15 seconds

  9. Swim moderate (z3): 50 meters

  10. Rest 1 minute.

Cool down: swim easy 100 meters. 

This is a challenging session. If you are new to swimming, start at shorter distances and work your way up. Once you get better you can increase the distance of each step.