- Exercise & Fitness
Which Is a Better Workout Swimming or Cycling?
Essentially cycling and swimming develop different parts of the body and different muscle groups, though if done in the right amount and the training is rightly planned out both have extreme cardiovascular benefits. Also from a pulmonary point of view, both are very good workouts. Swimming and cycling increase your vital capacity by leaps, implying increased stamina, because you can breathe in more and hold it in longer and if you practice interval training with these, the results will be outstanding. Interestingly, swimming helps build strong pulmonary system dramatically in the beginning and cycling does it after some days, so both are beneficial and cross training with both has it own advantages.
Now comes the point that which one is a better workout swimming or cycling. Acording to me, both are excellent workouts. Swimming is more upper-body oriented workout while cycling is a thigh and buttocks workout, though even stomach muscles come into play, but then intercostals or side stomach muscles are necessary in all sports and when developed will give maximum performance. They are also known as core-muscle groups. Swimming develops arm, chest, back, and stomach muscles. Cross training with both will increase muscular growth and endurance. That is why you should consider cross-training using both over the week for an overall growth, but swimming being an ideal workout every other way, as there is no hard contact with the ground, has two weaknesses, one, tendons tend to get weak and you can hurt yourself in ground sports, if you only swim. And second is legs remain forever undeveloped in spite of practicing all four strokes.
But still swimming allows you to focus on different muscles in different strokes. It also helps you to build up your core pretty quickly and effectively. Another important thing about swimming is that ergonomics of swimming are better than cycling. If you get your mechanics in place, you can swim for a few hours without tiring or feeling any body ache. Cycling will start to hurt, from shoes to saddle, to your derrière, your palms getting numb beneath the gloves, your back getting stiff after a hundred or so kilometers. For cycling, you basically wear a lot more clothing and things that will scream discomfort at you. You start feeling the weight of the bike, no matter how light it is; it is stuck to you that won’t let go whereas water will be soothing comfort for you. Also long-term cycling can cause problems with knee joints.
But still bicycling surely helps our legs become powerful first, along with ease to design a good cardio workout that is essential to a healthy heart and lungs but the same will come out with swimming as well. Just be sure when you do, do it with intensity, discipline, structure, and a regimented approach and have a plan to work on and a goal to reach. On an additional note, there is a swimming technique called as bubbling where you increase stamina and train the body to breathe while swimming. In bubbling, you basically squat and release the air through your mouth and then stand up and gulp air with your mouth. Repeating bubbling up to 10 times, you will feel completely relaxed. If you will keep increasing the number of repetitions on a gradual basis, you are on your way to develop better endurance and stamina.
So least but not last, out of swimming and cycling both are good but swimming is a little better workout that helps improve your overall body shape and health where are less pains and strains but more gains. Also an upcoming water workout called aqua yoga works really well. One of my friends did aqua yoga for 3 months and lost lots of weight. I used to make fun of him when I noticed him doing it at first but he lost weight faster with this aqua workout than I did with exercise and treadmill.