Does Swimming Build Muscles? Know the Surprising Answer


Does swimming build muscles? There seems to be some doubt whether swimming is a body building activity or merely a fun activity. I will clarify this doubt in this post. However, before I answer this question, let’s get our facts straight. You have to know some basic information about swimming and related activities.

Basic Information about Swimming

To ordinary people, swimming is only a fun and leisure activity. But to many athletes and sports’ enthusiasts, swimming is a type of sport that they could actively engage in. Everyone knows that there are swimming competitions conducted all over the world with the swimmers standing glorious displaying their sinewy bodies. Is swimming a body building activity?

Does Swimming Build Muscles?

Now, if you’re into body building, you would naturally wonder if swimming can build muscles.

1. Any physical activity can build muscles

Take note that any physical activity can build muscles.Scientists have proven that doing nothing would cause your muscles to atrophy and become slack. Try lying down for two weeks and you would notice that when you finally stand up, your knees and muscles would be too weak to perform this simple motion.

You need to use your muscles to make them stronger and well-toned. Exercises and physical activities can do that. You only have to look at the perfectly-sculpted body of swimmers during Olympic Games and you’d know swimming must be a body builder.

2. Swimming is a physical activity

When you’re swimming, you move your arms, your legs, your abdominal area and your whole body. So, swimming is a physical activity that involves all of the muscles in your body. This is the reason why doctors recommend it too as an exercise for cardio patients. Also, it has a decreased risk of injuries compared to other sports.

3. If you’re serious about body building, there are other intensive activities to build your muscles

Nevertheless, if you want an instant muscle builder, there are other exercises that concentrate more on the upper body, such as weightlifting and heavy endurance exercises. The upper body is the part that body builders are most aware of.

Having stated these facts, let’s now answer the question: Does swimming build muscles?

The answer is “Yes, swimming builds muscles.” BUT, it takes a longer period of time to build muscles using swimming. You will have to swim at least daily and continuously for several years, before you can achieve your goal. You won’t be able to develop bulky muscles but your muscles will become stronger and more flexible. You won’t regret utilizing swimming as your body builder though because it has several advantages and health benefits.

The Advantages of Swimming

  • It’s good for physical and mental relaxation
  • It’s recommended for cardiac patients, as a form of exercise
  • It’s an effective method to lose weight
  • It exercises all of your body parts, so your muscles would be uniformly toned
  • It boosts your endurance and flexibility
  • It alleviates stress
  • It calms down nervous energy
  • It eases pain for some conditions
  • It can improve your posture
  • It can be easily taught to everyone

There are other body building exercises that can have quicker results than swimming. These exercises focus on the upper body muscles, such as the biceps, back, chest and the forearm. You would achieve an amazing bulky body within months of exercising with the following types of exercises.

  • Push Ups
  • Dumbbell Bench Press
  • One-Arm Dumbbell Press
  • Other Dumbbell Exercises

Tips for Swimming

  • A dirty swimming pool can transmit a myriad of disease; so, before you dip your feet into the water, make sure the pool is clean and sanitized.
  • Ensure that you truly know how to swim before diving into the water.
  • Swim only in places that are safe with a lifeguard watching nearby.
  • Use appropriate swimming apparel to avoid accidents.
  • Do some warm-up exercises before swimming; stretches are sufficient.


Does swimming build muscles? Yes, it does, but it takes a longer time for your muscles to appear. If you’re looking for a quick way to do it, swimming is not the method for you. It would take years for your muscles to develop and become sinewy. Also, the muscles build from swimming are sturdy but not as bulky as those you see on ads. Nonetheless, swimming is a good and safe exercise for people who want to have fun, while keeping fit and healthy.


Hello everyone! I’m glad to have you here. I’m a medical technologist by profession. My second love is writing. So, I’m focusing on providing content to help other people with their health problems. I hope I can be of help to you.

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