top of page

Dive In: Swimming Builds Core Strength

Summer is the perfect time to dive into the pool and enjoy the refreshing benefits of swimming. It is a fun way to cool off, and swimming is also a fantastic full-body workout that can significantly enhance your core strength. However, like any physical activity, swimming has its potential downsides. Let’s explore the pros and cons of swimming in the summer, focusing on its impact on core strength and common injuries.

The Pros of Swimming for Core Strength:

  • Engages Multiple Muscle Groups: Swimming is a comprehensive workout that engages various muscle groups simultaneously. Each stroke activates your arms, legs, and core muscles, providing a balanced and effective workout.

  • Low-Impact Exercise: The buoyancy of water reduces the strain on your joints and muscles, making swimming an excellent option for individuals with arthritis or joint pain. This low-impact nature allows you to work on your core without putting excessive stress on your body.

  • Improves Stability and Balance: Swimming requires maintaining a streamlined position and balanced movements, naturally engaging and strengthening your core muscles. A strong core is essential for stability and balance in everyday activities.

  • Enhances Flexibility: The full range of motion required for various swimming strokes helps improve flexibility. This increased flexibility can contribute to a more effective core workout and overall physical health.

However, despite these benefits, there are some potential injuries in swimming that you should be aware of.

The Cons of Swimming: Potential Injuries

  • Shoulder Injuries: One of the most common injuries associated with swimming is swimmer’s shoulder, a condition caused by repetitive overhead movements. This can lead to inflammation, pain, and limited shoulder mobility. Poor technique, overtraining, and inadequate warm-up can exacerbate this issue.

  • Lower Back Strain: Although swimming is low-impact, improper technique or overuse can lead to lower back strain. For example, excessive back arching during certain strokes can put undue stress on the lumbar spine.

  • Knee Injuries: Breaststroke, in particular, can strain the knees due to the frog-like kick. This can lead to pain and discomfort, especially if an underlying knee condition exists.

  • Neck Pain: Swimmers often develop neck pain from turning their heads to breathe. Poor technique or consistent breathing on one side can lead to muscle imbalances and discomfort.

To ensure you swim safely and maximize the benefits while minimizing the risks, it’s crucial to warm up properly before swimming. Always start with a proper warm-up to prepare your muscles and joints for the workout ahead. This can help prevent injuries and improve performance. Proper technique is also crucial in preventing injuries. Consider taking lessons or consulting a coach to ensure you use the correct form. Additionally, incorporate exercises that strengthen the muscles supporting your shoulders, back, and knees. This can help prevent overuse injuries and improve your overall swimming performance. Finally, pay attention to any signs of discomfort or pain. If something doesn’t feel right, stop and rest. Pushing through pain can lead to more serious injuries.

Swimming in the summer is a fantastic way to build core strength and enjoy a full-body workout. However, it’s important to be mindful of the potential risks that could lead to injuries. By focusing on proper technique, warming up adequately, and listening to your body, you can maximize the benefits of swimming while minimizing the risks. If you experience pain while swimming or have any concerns about your summer activities, don’t hesitate to see your physical therapist. They can provide personalized advice and treatment to help you stay active and pain-free.

Happy swimming and stay safe this summer!


If you would like help with an exercise program to meet your needs, Marko Physical Therapy can help.

Make an appointment today with a physical therapist. We have in-person and telehealth appointments available.

A physical therapist can help you Restore Your Body!


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page