Hit the pool to tone your thighs.
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If you're looking to trim fat from your thighs, jumping in the pool is a great place to start. Fat is actually stored energy, according to Katherine Zertsky, RD, LD, a nutritionist with the Mayo Clinic. Swimming will give you the kind of intense workout necessary to tap into that stored energy. But keep in mind that losing fat ultimately requires burning more calories than you're taking in.1.
Figure out how many calories you're eating and then figure out how much swimming you need to do to burn those calories and then some. Swimming will help you burn calories and tone muscle, but to lose the fat on top of the muscle, you'll need to burn more calories than you are taking in. Your body will burn fat over your entire body -- not just in one spot -- but as you burn fat, you will eventually burn the fat on your thighs, too. And with all the swimming you're doing, you will soon be able to see those toned thigh muscles. The number of calories burned while swimming depends on your body weight. A 160-pound person burns an average of 423 calories during an hour of lap swimming. To lose a pound a week, you'll need to burn 3,500 more calories than you take in per week.2.
Pick a drill. Swimmers break up their workouts into drills which consist of several laps followed by a period of rest. For beginners, swim four lengths of the pool, then rest for up to 30 seconds. Repeat this series up to 10 times.3.
Use a kickboard. If your swimming skills are more than a little rusty, Robert Pearson, head swim coach at Macalester Colllege, suggests holding onto a kick board as you complete your laps. Kickboards also offer a way to target your leg muscles specifically and continue swimming even if your arms are tired. The more time you spend swimming, the more calories you'll be burning, and if you can burn more calories than you eat, you will start burning fat.4.
Do the breast stroke. While swimming works muscles all over your body, certain strokes target specific muscles more than others. The style of kicking involved in the breast stroke specifically works the muscles along your hips and inner thighs.5.
Add intervals. Pushing yourself to swim faster during a few laps now and then will help your body burn extra calories. It will also help you build lean muscle. The more lean muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn throughout the day.6.
Set the clock. Aim for swimming a total of 30 minutes at least three days a week. Unlike many other forms of exercise though, swimming is okay to do on a daily basis. Exercises on dry land require your joints to do battle with the forces of gravity but swimming doesn't. In water that force is nearly eliminated so your joints are faced with very little stress.
- Make sure you're eating enough protein. It will help your muscles recover once you're done swimming for the day. To estimate how many grams of protein you should eat each day, multiply your body weight times 0.4.
- Be sure to consult your doctor before beginning any new workout routine.