5 Swimming Workouts

5 Swimming Workouts

If you enjoy swimming I am excited to share these 5 swimming workouts with you! These workouts range from beginner to intermediate.

Swimming is my go to exercise when I am pregnant. It is easy on my joints, eases the pain of my varicose veins, and feeling light and buoyant is just really awesome. I do enjoy swimming when I am not pregnant as well I just don’t swim as often.

The Workout Mama - Swim WorkoutsPhoto credit: Steve Donaldson Photography

Currently I am 27 weeks pregnant and I am swimming 3 times a week. The water just feels so great and I really don’t want to do any other type of workout at this point.

I am super fortunate that my parents had my brother and I in swim lessons from elementary school and we both completed all the available levels. In high school we both become lifeguards and taught swim lessons at the same pool we learned to swim at.

I will always be grateful for having the knowledge to swim because it is a great low impact exercise. I also am super thankful for lifeguarding, teaching swim lessons, and being a pool manager because that is how Josh and I met. Thank you City of Tempe and our boss Pat for selecting us to manage a pool together :).

Here are 5 swimming workouts that can help put the fun back into your swims. If you have any questions let me know.

I am also linking (affiliate links) to the equipment I use when I swim Finis Zoomer FinsSpeedo Vanquisher GogglesPull Buoy, and the Best Swim Backpack. I have to share my other favorite that is my swim bag when I swim. I am sure you have had water in your ear before, which is the worst when you are bouncing around trying to get it out. No more jumping, head tilting, or bouncing around (which looks even funnier when you are pregnant) if you use Swim-EAR the magical product that removes water from your ear. As for swimsuits I like to stick with two pieces. Similar suits to the one I am wearing in the photo can be found HERE, HERE, HERE. Lately I have been wearing these bottoms when I am swimming for added comfort.


Category: Intermediate

Why it helps: The ladder workout can take some of the monotony away from pool training. It is great to build endurance and can trick you into swimming longer when you would rather quit your workout.

Total Distance: 1500 yards

  • 500 yards freestyle, rest :20 seconds
  • 400 yards freestyle, rest :15 seconds
  • 300 yards freestyle, rest :10 seconds
  • 200 yards freestyle, rest :5 seconds
  • 100 yards freestyle


Category: Intermediate

Why it helps: Like ladder workouts, timed 50s can take some of the monotony away from pool training. They are great to build endurance and do not require tracking your distance in the pool like a typical swim workout. Just be sure to have a watch/clock/timer that is easily within view to time your intervals.

Total Distance: Variable

The easiest way to explain this type of workout would be use a set of 50 yard freestyles on the one minute.

  • 10 x 50’s yards freestyle on “the minute” or :60 seconds

This means you would be swimming 10 x 50’s yards freestyle every minute. Regardless of the point on the clock from which you begin the set, you will leave at that same point for each swim in that set. If you are swimming 10 x 50’s on the one minute – leaving on the 60 (top of the pace clock) – and you want to hold 40 seconds on each swim. This would allow you 20 seconds rest before leaving to swim the next 50.

Just for reference when I am pregnant I can’t hold this pace. I like to do my 50’s on 1:10 and I usually have about 15 seconds of rest between 50’s and can maintain that pace for 1500 yards.


Category: Beginnier

Why it helps: This drill helps develop bilateral breathing, which is essential for swimming in open water. It also gives you variation in the frequency of breathing which helps your body adjust to changing conditions.

Total Distance: 1000 yards

  • 4 x 250 alternating breathing pattern as follows:
    • 25 yards breathing every 6th stroke,
    • 50 yards breathing every 5th stroke (bilateral breathing)
    • 75 yards breathing every 4th stroke
    • 100 yards breathing every 3rd stroke (bilateral breathing)


Category: Intermediate

Why it helps: Improves kicks and timing. You will need a kick board and fins are optional.

Total Distance: 1800 yards

  • 400 yards freestyle warmup (choice of strokes)
  • 200 yards crawl alternating lengths of pull and kick (on the first 25 pull only, on the second 25 kick only, repeat — do not use a kick board)
  • 4 x 100 yards flutter kick arounds  (one length each of kicking on stomach, left side, right side and back — ok to use kick board)
  • 4 x 50 yards crawl, resting :15 between (count 3 kicks per arm stroke)
  • 2 x 100 yards IM kick only (with or without kickboard)
  • 400 yards freestyle warmdown  (swim choice of strokes slowly)


Category: Beginner

Why it helps: Improves endurance, breathing rhythm, and gain technique on  flip turns.

Total Distance: 1200 yards (plus flip turn practice)

  • 200 yards crawl warmup (continuous swimming)
  • 200 yards crawl no breath approaching wall (breathe in any pattern during swim but do not breathe within 4 strokes of approaching the wall)
  • 4 x flip turns (practice taking 4 strokes and doing a flip turn followed by 4 strokes)
  • 4 x 100 yards crawl resting :15 between (breathe every 4th stroke and do not breathe within 4 strokes of the wall, do flip turns on all turns)
  • 4 x flip turns (practice taking 4 strokes and doing a flip turn followed by 4 strokes)
  • 4 x 50 yards choice of strokes, resting :15 between (do any single stroke or mix the strokes)
  • 200 crawl warmdown (swim slowly and relax)

Hope you enjoy these 5 swimming workouts! Do you enjoy swimming laps? What is your favorite type of workout?


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