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Take the plunge with this full-body workout.

Kristin Canning
May 22, 2017

Swimming in a pool, lake, or ocean is an excellent way to exercise without feeling like you’re melting in the heat. Plus, it’s a full-body workout that is gentle on the joints. Ironman and USA Triathlon coach Heather Casey shares two quick beginner workouts, one for the pool and one for open water. Before you get started, here are a few helpful tips from Casey:

• Keep water bottles nearby. Just because you don’t feel sweaty doesn't mean you aren't losing fluids. 
• Invest in some dark-lens or reflective goggles to help block the sun and the glare from the water.
• Swimming in open water? Stay safe by bringing a partner. Warm up on dry land. Remain close to the shoreline, and even if you’re an experienced swimmer, breathe every other stroke. It’s easier to become breathless in open water. If you do, head back to shore at an easy pace.

These workouts burn approximately 367 calories (a 30-minute swim for a 150-pound person).

30-minute pool workout

Interval targets are set by a rate of perceived exertion (RPE) scale of 1 to 10; 10 is the hardest. 

The warm up: Go for a 100-yard swim at RPE of 4 to 5, then a 50-yard swim with kickboard at RPE of 5 to 6.

The workout:

• 25-yard swim at RPE of 4; 25-yard swim at RPE of 6 
• 25-yard swim at RPE of 6; 25-yard swim at RPE of 4 
• 50-yard swim at RPE of 4 
• 50-yard swim at RPE of 6 
• Repeat these four intervals 
• 100-yard swim at RPE of 4 (cooldown)

RELATED: 10-Minute Lower-Body Water Workout

30-minute open-water workout 

Dry land warm-up: Arm circles and shoulder shrugs on shore.

Swim warm-up: 8 minutes of 1-minute out-and-back intervals from the shore at RPE of 4.

The workout:

• 4-minute swim at RPE of 4 
• 30 seconds treading water 
• 2-minute swim at RPE of 6 
• 2-minute swim at RPE of 4 
• 30 seconds treading water 
• 2-minute swim at RPE of 4 
• 2-minute swim at RPE of 6 
• 30 seconds treading water 
• 4-minute swim at RPE of 6 
• 30 seconds treading water 
• 2 sets of 3-minute swims at RPE of 4, treading for 1 minute in between (cooldown)